In his nearly 60-year recording career, Pat Boone
has tried on an astounding variety of styles and genres, and while no one would ever seriously accuse him of being a definitive or innovative artist in any of those genres, the sheer fact that he has affably tackled folk, bluegrass, R&B, rockabilly, gospel, country, and even metal, as well as his patented smooth, crooning pop, with a sort of steadfast professionalism is quite impressive, even if, again, he’s hardly altered the musical history of any of those genres. This expansive 35-track sampler from Bear Family won’t change anyone’s position on Boone
's critical status in the unofficial canon of popular music, but it may be revelatory for listeners unfamiliar with how varied he could actually be as a singer. Drawn from material Boone
recorded between 1955 and 1969 for Randy Wood
's Dot Records, this set has a good-natured flow to it, and sides like “Don’t Forbid Me,” the jazzy ballad “I Almost Lost My Mind,” the jaunty “Johnny Will,” the gently wistful “Gee But It’s Lonely,” and the pop rockabilly of “Rock Boll Weevil” are fun, well-recorded tracks that Boone
seems to tackle with a slight, endearing wink in his eye.