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THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HITS OF YESTERDAY ARE WINNERS UNDER YULE TREES TODAY

SHARE THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HITS OF YESTERDAY ARE WINNERS UNDER YULE TREES TODAY

When "classic rock" appeared on the radio dial a few years back, most thought the clamoring for the rock hits of yesteryear was merely a passing fad. Today "classic rock" is the ruling monster of the air waves in many major American cities.

While most music critics go after classic rock with vicious hatred (it deprives new bands of radio airplay, they say), the baby boomers can't seem to get enough. Not only do they relate more to bands like Cream or the Beatles, but those songs from the '60s and '70s are sensory reminders of a fast-fading youth.Beyond that, most older rock 'n' roll fans find the old stuff a whole lot better than the new stuff from the likes of New Kids of the Block or Bon Jovi. Consequently, today's older rock 'n' rollers are stocking their CD catalogs with old favorites, not the new kids on the chart.

All that is all sweet music to Rhino Records - the nation's premier label when it comes to re-releases of the old stuff. At the top of the Rhino heap these days is the "Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits" and "Billboard Top R&B Hits" series, which feature the top 10 hits of any given year.

Sales of the "Billboard" series surpassed anything Rhino ever expected (they are Rhino's biggest sellers ever), and now Rhino has released new additions to the popular series, as well as holiday gift packs certain to be hits among gift givers.

New for the under the Christmas Tree:

-"Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits 1956," which includes Elvis' "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog," Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes, Bill Haley's "See You Later Alligator," and Frankie Lymon's "Why Do Fools Fall in Love," among others.

-"Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits 1964," which includes the Beach Boys' "I Get Around," the Four Seasons' "Rag Doll," the Zombies' "She's Not There," and Jan and Dean's "The Little Old Lady from Pasadena," among others.

-"Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits 1965," which includes the Byrds' classic "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Mr. Tambourine Man," the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda," Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" and Sam the Sham's "Wooly Bully," among others.

-"Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits 1967," which includes the Monkees' "Daydream Believer," the Turtles "Happy Together," the Spencer Davis Group's "Gimme Some Lov-in,' " and the Box Tops' "The Letter," among others.

-"Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits 1974," which includes Grand Funk's "The Loco-Motion," Elton John's "Bennie and the Jets," Steve Miller's "The Joker," David Essex's "Rock On" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," among others.

-"Billboard Top R&B Hits 1960," which includes Jackie Wilson's "Doggin' Around," Jerry Butler's "He Will Break Your Heart" and Bobby Marchan's "There's Something on Your Mind," among others.

-"Billboard Top R&B Hits 1961," which includes the Miracles' "Shop Around," Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" and Fats Domino's "Let the Four Winds Blow," among others.

-"Billboard Top R&B Hits 1962," which includes James Brown's "Lost Someone," King Curtis' "Soul Twist" and the Contours' "Do You Love Me," among others.

-"Billboard Top R&B Hits 1963," which includes Martha and the Vandellas' "Heat Wave," the Impressions' "It's All Right," Marvin Gaye's "Pride and Joy" and the Miracles' "You've Really Got a Hold on Me," among others.

-"Billboard Top R&B Hits 1964," which includes the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go," Martha and the Vandellas' "Dancing in the Street," Mary Wells' "My Guy" and the Temptations' "The Way You Do the Things You Do," among others.

Holiday boxed sets of "Billboard Top Rock 'n' Roll Hits" includes "1962-1966," a five-CD collection. Collections on cassette tape include "1971-1974," "1955-1958," "1959-1962," "1963-1966" and "1967-1970."

The series was produced, compiled and supervised with the participation of Billboard Magazine and chart specialist Joel Whitburn.

Also a sure hit for the holidays is the double compact anthology of the Righteous Brothers, the premier blue-eyed soul band of the 1960s. While most recognize the hits "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration," there are scores of other great Brothers tunes that fell through the cracks of obscurity. The best of the bunch are found in this true compilation.