Dreamboats & Petticoats 10th Anniversary Collection

DREAMBOATS & Petticoats began life as a musical whose storyline was as fluffy and lightweight as many of the 1950s songs that made up its soundtrack.

A massive stage success, the show spawned a series of compilation albums that became some of the biggest hits of recent years.

No wonder, for both the show and the albums overflowed with nostalgia for an era that – at least in memory – was a lot more innocent and tuneful than now.

A decade on, and after a stage sequel and lots of albums, we have the Dreamboats & Petticoats 10th Anniversary Collection.

One hundred tracks on four discs, each with a separate theme, and picking the best songs from previous releases the compilers are also picking the best from the entire decade.

Having separate themes is a great idea, so you can play different things depending on your mood or where you are, whether at own home, in the car or wanting to dance.

The first disc, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years, is a fast-moving collection to get you twistin’, shakin’, rattlin’, rollin’, and doing the be-bop-a-lula.

Starting with well-known songs by Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochrane and Chubby Checker, there are 25 dance hall hits.

The second disc was my favourite, High School Dance, packed with 25 of the most irresistibly catchy bubblegum pop songs from the 50s.

Love Is All Around slows the pace, and proves that while the decade was packed with jolly, innocent ditties about true love, there were also many moody and memorable songs about love lost.

I assume the title of the fourth disc, Songs For The Stage, refers to 50s songs used in musicals, possibly the Dreamboats & Petticoats musical itself, but there are no explanatory notes so it’s unclear which shows the title refers to.

This doesn’t really matter, for it’s simply an excuse to gather together another two dozen great songs.

David Knights