Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

The Diamonds: Best of the Diamonds [Rhino, 1984]
These brush-crew Canadian cover specialists were real creeps, stealing hits and thunder from such r&b worthies as the G Clefs, the Willows, and the Clovers. But like the experienced thieves they were, they knew quality when it stared them in the face, so even their rinky-dink "Love, Love, Love" and "Church Bells May Ring" sound okay today. And while I've loved the Gladiolas' goofy original of "Little Darlin'" ever since Alan Freed refused to play the Diamonds' in 1957, I have to admit that theirs is the classic. Attacking every target with a petty criminal's nervous intensity, they went all out on pure novelties--not only "Little Darlin'," but "Daddy Cool" and "She Say (Oom Dooby Doom)"--and their frantic notion of fun says worlds about how rock and roll first hit the straightest white teenagers. B+