Greatest Hits features 20 tracks from Del Shannon's early-'60s heyday, including all of the big hits -- "Runaway," "Hats Off to Larry," "Little Town Flirt," "Handy Man," "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow the Sun)," "Stranger in Town" -- plus a generous selection of lesser-known but equally fine singles and album tracks. Completists should fill in the gaps with his neglected gem I Go to Pieces, but Greatest Hits remains a definitive retrospective from one of the finest pre-Beatles rockers of the '60s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
An intense and charismatic performer, Del Shannon wrote some of the more dramatic hits of the early '60s, including the oft-covered, musitron-infused mega-hit "Runaway" (featuring his famous falsetto) and the bitter "Hats Off to Larry" and "Little Town Flirt." All in all, Shannon had over a dozen hit singles in the U.S. charts within 5 years. When the hits stopped flowing by the end of the '60s, he focused on producing songs for other acts, and on performing live, but he was slowed down greatly by alcohol problems and depression. Both Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne produced quality albums for him 10 years apart, but in 1990--the year of his latest comeback recording venture--Shannon committed suicide.