Dion: Dion (vocals); Little Steven Van Zandt (guitar, background vocals); Darlene Love, Felix Cavaliere, Paul Shaffer, Phoebe Snow.
Personnel: Jimmy Vivino (vocals, guitar); Jerry Vivino (saxophone); Ronnie Lawson (piano, keyboards); Leo Adamian (drums); Walter Santos (congas, percussion); Carlo Mastrangelo, Tommy Moran (background vocals).
Recording information: 1987.
Photographer: Susan Dimucci.
Arranger: Jimmy Vivino.
In 1987, Dion was asked to headline a concert celebrating the 15th Anniversary of WCBS -FM in New York. Dion had been making gospel records in the 1980s, and the opportunity to perform with old friends and family was too great to resist and he agreed. This double-disc set is the complete concert from that evening. At over 35 songs, Dion is in fine voice. The story is on the tape, and in the magic of the performances. With a ten-piece band, the poet of the Bronx runs through his many classics, from "Ruby Baby" to "Donna the Prima Donna," to "Tell My Why," "Little Diane," "The Wanderer," and even "Abraham, Martin and John." Ever the premier showman, DiMucci dialogues with the audience, and pulls out other hits from rock & roll's golden era including "Teenager in Love," and peppers the set with his gospel hits. The encore is, of course, "Runaround Sue," which includes a host of special guests including Paul Shaffer, Little Steven, Felix Cavaliere, and Darlene Love. There is nearly two hours of music here, all of it played by a crack band with a startlingly rigorous frontman. This may be a nostalgia set, but Dion and his fellows play the music here like everything is at stake all over again, like it was all new and coming out of the hopper and being laid down for the first time. This is a fine surprise from Collectables. ~ Thom Jurek