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Archive for the ‘Jeff Barry’ Category

Release Round-Up: Week of July 23

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Otis Redding - Stax-Volt OpenOtis Redding, The Complete Stax/Volt Singles (Shout! Factory)

A triple-disc set featuring every one of Otis’ single sides in mono – a striking statement on a short but iconic soul career. (Amazon U.S.)

The Aeroplane Flies HighSmashing Pumpkins, The Aeroplane Flies High: Deluxe Edition (Virgin/UMe)

The Pumpkins’ 1996 box set of Mellon Collie-era singles is massively expanded, with bonus tracks on each of the five original discs and an unreleased live CD and DVD.

CD box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
LP box: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

Dionne - Just Being MyselfDionne Warwick, second wave of expanded reissues (Rhino/WEA Japan)

This week, 11 Dionne Warwick titles come out on CD in Japan; three of these titles, released between 1969 and 1977, are making their CD debuts, and nearly all of the titles feature bonus tracks! (The order links are in the post linked above.)

Ella BBCElla Fitzgerald, The Best of the BBC Vaults (Universal)

This CD/DVD set, released as an import in 2010, features four complete shows from 1965 to 1977, newly unearthed and released to video, and a disc of audio highlights from the same sets. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Buckaroos Play Buck and MerleThe Buckaroos, The Buckaroos Play Buck and Merle / Don Rich and The Buckaroos, That Fiddlin’ Man (Omnivore)

It’s back to Bakersfield for Omnivore with two new sets featuring Buck Owens’ iconic band: Play Buck and Merle collects The Buck Owens Songbook (1965) and The Songs of Merle Haggard (1971) on one disc, while That Fiddlin’ Man (1971) appears on CD for the first time.

Play Buck and Merle: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
That Fiddlin’ Man: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

The Idolmaker OSTThe Idolmaker: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Varese Sarabande)

The cult classic film, directed by Taylor Hackford and featuring original songs written by Jeff Barry, sees its soundtrack released on CD for the first time. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

Leaders of the Pack: Ace Celebrates Legendary Songwriters Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry

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The union of Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry was a brief one.  Married in 1962, the same year that they began a songwriting partnership, they were divorced in 1965.  Their professional partnership only continued for a short time thereafter.  Yet to this day, the team of Greenwich and Barry is spoken of in the same breath as two other successful Brill Building husband-and-wife teams, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (married 1961, still going strong!) and Gerry Goffin and Carole King (married 1959, divorced 1968).  Why?  Their songs remain some of the most perfect expressions of youth ever written, and most of them are just plain fun.  By the numbers, Greenwich and Barry saw 17 of their songs make the pop charts in 1964 alone, with a total of five chart-toppers in their career.  A total of 25 of their songs went gold or platinum.  Ace Records has just celebrated the Greenwich and Barry catalogue with a second volume of classic songs from the duo.  Following 2008’s Do-Wah-Diddy: Words and Music by Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry comes the new release Da Doo Ron Ron: More from the Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry Songbook.  This comprehensive 24-track anthology includes many of the team’s hit songs in their original renditions as well as a choice sampling of true rarities and underrated covers.

Both natives of Brooklyn, New York, Greenwich (1940-2009) and Barry (1938-) met at a family get-together.  Actually distant relatives by marriage, both youngsters played piano and wrote songs.  Unlike many of their Brill Building contemporaries, both Greenwich and Barry were equally adept at composing and lyric-writing, so they would frequently share those duties on their compositions.  They consummated their partnership personally and professionally in 1962 although both initially continued to work with other songwriting partners.  Greenwich wrote two of producer Phil Spector’s Top 40 hits with Tony Powers:  Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?” and Darlene Love’s “(Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry.”  For his part, Jeff Barry wrote “Tell Laura I Love Her” with Ben Raleigh, and saw the “death disc” climb all the way to No. 1 in 1960 on both sides of the Atlantic.  Ray Peterson scored the hit in the United States, and Ricky Valance in the United Kingdom!  Barry’s self-penned “Teenage Sonata” was also a No. 22 U.S. R&B success in the hands of Sam Cooke.  But when they joined forces, Greenwich and Barry soon proved unstoppable.

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller united them professionally in 1962, providing cubicles in the Trio Music offices at the Brill Building.  Ellie and Jeff’s collaboration with Leiber and Stoller would lead them to the duo’s Red Bird Records, but first they scored more smash hits with Phil Spector.  Four 1963 classics from the Spector/Greenwich/Barry team all appear on Ace’s new anthology, and all are immortal examples of how the team defined the sound of then-current pop music: The Ronettes’ “Baby I Love You,” Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ “Not Too Young to Get Married,” Darlene Love’s “Wait ‘til My Bobby Gets Home” and The Crystals’ “Da Doo Ron Ron.”  That same year, Spector attempted a song called “Chapel of Love,” co-written with Greenwich and Barry, on both Darlene Love and the Ronettes.  He wasn’t happy with either version, though, and so both recordings sat on the shelf.  The song caught the ear of Leiber and Stoller.  The former hated it and the latter liked it, but the third principal of the new Red Bird label, George Goldner, smelled a hit.  And his nose didn’t lie!  When “Chapel of Love” was released in April 1964 by New Orleans girl group The Dixie Cups, it knocked the Beatles out of the top spot on the U.S. pop charts.  It was Red Bird’s first single and the company’s first hit, but it wouldn’t be its last penned by Greenwich and Barry.  The team was largely responsible for 15 hits out of Red Bird’s first 20 releases!

What will you find on this ace anthology from Ace?  Just hit the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 24, 2012 at 09:49