40 Years Later’


Tony Wilkinson

Debra DEB 3002 CD Playing Time: 59.38
You/Forty Years Too Late/Seeing Is Believing/I Love How You Love Me/Crazy For You/Happy Happy Birthday Baby/What A Guy/One Little Kiss/My Treasure/Share/To Know Him Is To Love Him/Dance With Me/It’s Not Easy Letting Go/Our First Kiss/It Must Have Been A Dream/She’s The One For Me/Born In Brooklyn/Time Stood Still/Every Time/I Can Still Rock And Roll All Night/Baby Please (Not While I’m Driving)/I’m Movin’/Wanted

The Aquatones are back and have returned with a vengeance.  The hit making vocal group who scored a big USA national chart hit in 1958 with ‘You’ on the small New York based Fargo label effectively disbanded in 1961, hence the title of this CD ’40 Years On’.  Originally founded in 1956, as an all male outfit, they subsequently added the wonderful voice of femme singer Lynne Nixon (who sadly died in January 2001) which eventually led to a recording contract with Lou Fargo and the classic ‘You’ which had the sweet singing of Lynne as the lead vocal.  This disc was issued in Europe under the legendary London American logo where the flipside, the hard driving ‘She’s The One For Me’ featuring the voice of Dave Goddard, achieved cult status.  Six further singles followed before they called it a day although member Gene McCarthy did on occasion lead various formations of The Aquatones at concerts.

In 1999, Dave Goddard linked up with femme singer Colette Delaney and made some demo recordings of the earlier Aquatones music which received drew such a good reaction that Dave decided that it was time for The Aquatones to get back in the studio.  Accordingly he and Colette along with original members Larry Vannata and Gene McCarthy laid down a selection of tracks during 2001 in Scranton, Louisville and New York, the outcome of which is presented on this CD and boy it is good.

On the vast majority of tracks the vocal group have successfully captured both the spirit and sound of the late fifties, there can be no greater praise!  Some of the early Fargo recordings, such as the endearing ballads ‘You’ and ‘Crazy For You’, ‘My Treasure’ plus the solid rockin’  'She’s The One For Me’, ‘Every Time’ and ‘Wanted (Solid Gold Cadillac)’ have been re-cut for this release and they sure do stand up well.  For a further selection, the group have recorded their versions of other fifties vocal groups hits such as a marvellous ‘Happy Happy Birthday Baby’, a haunting ‘I Love How You Love Me’ and ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’, the up tempo ‘What A Guy’ and the truly harmonic ‘Share’ which was originally by Frankie Lymon.  On all the last mentioned cuts, the voice of Colette is majestic and raises the hairs on the back of the neck.  What a find.

Of the remainder, all are composed by Dave Goddard who also takes many of the lead vocals.  Special mention has to be made of ’40 Years Too Late’, ‘Seeing Is Believing’,

‘Dance With Me’, and ‘It’s Not Easy Letting Go’, beautiful ballads in which the feel, sound and harmonies evoke memories of the fifties recordings oh so well.  ‘I Can Still Rock And Roll All Night’ is what many of use wished was possible (the spirit may be willing but the body ain’t), a fine rockin’ work out as are the humorous ‘Baby Please (Not While I’m Driving)’ and ‘I’m Movin’, a real good jiver as we used to say back then.

Hopefully we may be able to witness The Aquatones gracing the stage over here in Europe at one of the rock ‘n’ roll festivals but in the interim this highly recommended CD, which is well worth the effort seeking out, will have to wet the appetites.  Contact Debra Records at 219-221 Linden Street, Scranton, PA 18503 (fax. 570 341 2000).

© Tony Wilkinson
       February 2002

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