If you're in the business of producing boxed sets of CDs, and your intent is to put together the Big Kahuna of oldies collections, one that includes the best from the 1950's through the 1980's, I can't imagine a more potent combination than Dick Clark and Time-Life.
Think about it. A company that has corralled just about every recording from every musician since the days of Caruso on a wax cylinder - or at least it seems that way - teaming up with a guy who has built his name by spending a half-century promoting and presenting rock and roll.
Well folks, the result of that meeting of the minds has arrived. It's the 50th Anniversary Collection - Dick Clark's American Bandstand, a set with a title that might sound a little grandiose but really isn't when you consider that it includes 12 CDs, containing over 200 songs* that represent the best from that classic TV show.
But wait — that's not all. My advance set for review didn't include the extras, but yours would also have a certificate of authenticity and a special collector's box. The box looks pretty nice in the picture and that is sort of expected with a boxed set, but...a certificate?
Turns out that it guarantees that each CD in the set is - er - authentic, so if that sort of thing makes you happy then you've got it, but I doubt that you'll have a reason to pull it out and flash it at anyone. (Unless you just enjoy flashing things, and that's a subject probably best left alone.)
In any case, the music - as always - is what's important, and this set, which is being linked with a TV special being shown nationally, certainly qualifies as one of the most comprehensive and complete ever assembled. There are six double CDs and each twin set has a title which indicates the content, although with varying degrees of success.
The first twin set , I Can't Help Myself, is also the title of one of its songs, AKA "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch," by the Four Tops. This set seems to consist of songs that lean toward love and its many tribulations, and include Diana Ross' "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," Rod Stewart's "Maggie May," and "My Girl," by the Temptations, among others. (Total of 30 tracks.)