The Singles+

by: Pat Boone

Pat Boone's early career is littered with pop crossovers like "Ain't That a Shame" and "Tutti Frutti," records that neutered their superior R&B predecessors and fostered resentment from contemporary fans as well as latter-day music historians. Once Boone settled into his pop career, however, he proved himself a fair singer of heartbroken ballads with a pronounced countrypolitan tilt, effectively explored on this two-disc Dutch import. Surveying his career from the mid-'50s to the mid-'60s, The Singles+ reissues nearly 50 singles (or tracks from extended-play singles), touching on all his major hits, beginning with the 1955 chart-topper "Ain't That a Shame." Boone's next number one was another cover, but he transformed Ivory Joe Hunter's "I Almost Lost My Mind" into a brilliant, ghostly song that sounded like the words of a hollow man. His work of the early '60s found him recording a parade of solid ballads such as "Fool's Hall of Fame," "Moody River," and "With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair." The collection wraps up with a look at Boone's attempts to change with the times: a cover of "Memphis Tennessee" and the Beach Boys imitator "Beach Girl," written by soon-to-be Beach Boy Bruce Johnston and Terry Melcher. ~ John Bush

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