On the Dancefloor with Dion Di Mucci

Bear Family Records have just released another volume in their popular On the Dancefloor with… series, this time featuring popular Doo-Wop artist Dion Di Mucci.

Better known simply as Dion, this is the name under which he released hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, such as Runaround Sue and The Wanderer. These are included on this compilation, along with another monster hit which was originally billed under the group name Dion and the Belmonts, A Teenager in Love.

Alongside them are another 26 tracks, all with a familiar flavour. Only one other track is credited as Dion and the Belmonts: 1958’s I Wonder Why. The vibe across all tracks is consistent, since by the time that Dion reached his early chart success his style was already well developed and this selection spans the time closely following. The Doo-Wop, Smooth Pop with Rock and Roll elements behind make for such a palatable combination. It is just as pleasing in the modern day as it was against its contemporaries.

Dion’s youthful voice brings such emotion and integrity to the songs. The subject matter in songs such as Can’t We Be Sweethearts and Teenager in Love is perfectly pitched. It doesn’t feel incongruous to hear a sub-early-20s artist sing about being a teenager because of the softness yet intentness in Dion’s voice.

Then there are the more musically punchy tracks like The Majestic, The Wanderer and Kansas City which reinforce and lift this CD. Unlike some artists’ compilations, On the Dancefloor with… Dion Di Mucci does not become monotonous. His smooth vocal style pairing with the often forceful musical backing makes this an exciting 29 tracks. It is no wonder that a track like The Wanderer has been covered by a myrias of other artists in the intervening years, sometimes very effectively such as British rock band Status Quo. Many of the songs lend themselves to such interpretation. The irresistible rhythmic qualities as well as the smooth and driving melodies warrant adaptation into different genres. Alongside the quality of the songwriting is the handling of the material by the artist, musicians and producers which make it so contemporary yet so timeless.

Sound Quality

The quality of the audio material here is brilliant. When the surviving source material for some of Dion’s contemporaries occasionally proves an uncomfortable listen due to hiss, poor contemporary production and general age-related degradation, these tracks have all held up marvellously, and are reproduced here flawlessly.

A Little Something Extra…

On the Dancefloor with… Dion Di Mucci is presented in a digipak with an extensive booklet included. Inside are many images of Dion, his band mates and other collaborators. There is a 30-page biography peppered with quotes from Di Mucci himself. As a companion to the music, it is very worthwhile and brings it to life.

Track listing

  1. Drip Drop
  2. Runaround Sue
  3. (I was) Born to Cry
  4. Queen of the Hop
  5. Flim Flam
  6. The Wanderer
  7. Little Star
  8. Dion and the Belmonts – Teenager in Love
  9. Donna the Prima Donna
  10. Sandy
  11. This Little Girl of Mine
  12. Love Came to Me
  13. Can’t We Be Sweethearts
  14. The Majestic
  15. Gonna Make it Alone
  16. Unloved, Unwanted Me
  17. Kansas City
  18. Ruby Baby
  19. Little Diane
  20. Lonely Teenager
  21. Sweet, Sweet Baby
  22. I Got The Blues
  23. Dion and the Belmonts– I Wonder Why
  24. Fever
  25. This Little Girl
  26. Come Go With Me
  27. Shout
  28. Lovers Who Wander
  29. North East End of the Corner


Inclusion in the On the Dancefloor with… series is entirely warranted for Dion Di Mucci, as the music presented here is just so tempting. It is almost impossible to listen to it and not start moving. It is so easy to imagine attending a dance, television taping or early 1960s package show and being irresistibly moved to dance to these numbers.

On the Dancefloor with… Dion Di Mucci is fun, musically very pleasing, with strong song selections and wonderful arrangements which hold up even today. It is clear why Dion was included on package tours such as the ill-fated winter tour of 1959, alongside tragically lost contemporaries Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. His music is fun, driving, emotional, spirited and moving. This compilation sits well alongside all the other editions in the On the Dancefloor with… series.

On the Dancefloor with… Dion Di Mucci is available from Bear Family Records.

On the Dancefloor with... Dion Di Mucci




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