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Archive for the ‘The Ronettes’ Category

Jerry Lee Lewis, The Ronettes, Del Shannon, Louis Armstrong Feature On “The London American Label 1964”

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London American 19641964 will forever be remembered on American shores as the year of Beatlemania, when those four moptops from Liverpool led the British Invasion to the top of the pop charts.  That tale has been chronicled many times, but one of the most recent releases from U.K.-based label Ace tells the story of the year’s American Invasion – via the American records imported to London on the London American label.  This latest volume in the long-running series (which now features an entry for each year between 1956 and 1964) may be the most exciting and most eclectic yet.  The London American Label: 1964 takes in an array of artists both familiar (Jerry Lee Lewis, Ben E. King, The Ronettes) and less-heralded (David Box, Ned Miller, Jimmy Holiday) and everybody in between in chronicling this exciting and musically diverse time.

In his liner notes, Tony Rounce sets the scene for the music, detailing the United Kingdom’s seismic shifts that year in politics, sports, architecture and culture.  The London American label issued 111 singles in 1964, and 28 sides appear on the new compilation.  These were drawn from U.S. labels including Philles, Atlantic, Hi, Dot, Stax and Kapp.  By 1964, Pye and EMI both had their own dedicated labels for releasing American repertoire in the U.K., and by mid-year, Atlantic and Dot would cease supplying singles for release on London, too.  Cadence also departed the London roster by the end of the year.  In many respects, this crucial volume in the London American Label series points the way towards the end of an era.  1965 would be the final year that London’s release tally would total a three-digit number.

What will you find on this transatlantic showcase?  Hit the jump for more details plus a full track listing with discography and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil Are “Born to Be Together” on New Ace CD

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Mann and Weil - Born to Be TogetherBorn to Be Together: could a more apropos title have been devised for a collection of the songs of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil?  Married since 1961, the team both defines and defies the phrase “unsung heroes.”  Without hit records as recording artists, Mann and Weil have never had the name recognition of their Brill Building-era compatriots like Carole King or Neil Sedaka, but these Grammy Award-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are hardly unsung.  If all they’d ever written was the most played song of the twentieth century, The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” they would have gone down in the history books.  With over 1,000 songs reportedly under their collective belt and some 100 hits (not a bad track record, eh?) charted, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil are simply international treasures.  Ace Records has recognized this with Born to Be Together, the label’s second volume of songs from their storied catalogue following 2009’s Glitter and Gold.

A 2004 theatrical revue starring the couple, They Wrote That?, made reference to one of the most frequent exclamations regarding their body of work.  You might find yourself saying that yourself glancing the track listing of this 25-song compendium: “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,”  “Saturday Night at the Movies,” “We’ve Gotta Get Out of This Place,” “Make Your Own Kind of Music.”  But those hits are just the tip of the iceberg here.

Compilation producer Mick Patrick has expertly woven those familiar tracks (all in their most famous versions) into a tapestry that also takes in lesser-known versions of hit songs and true rarities.  The disc also takes in compositions co-written by Mann and/or Weil with other luminaries, among them Gerry Goffin, Russ Titelman, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Ernie Freeman, and of course, Phil Spector.  The specter of Spector lingers on both the majestic songs he produced (“Lovin’ Feelin’,” The Crystals’ “Uptown,” The Ronettes’ darkly seductive “Born to Be Together”) and those he co-wrote as recorded by others (Len Barry’s Philly treatment of “You Baby”).

After the jump: much more on Mann and Weil, including a full track listing and order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio? “The Ramones Heard Them Here First” Arrives

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Ace Records is cheering “Gabba gabba hey!” with the recent release of The Ramones Heard Them Here First, an overview charting the influences behind New York’s seminal punk pioneers.  Joey, Johnny, Dee Dee and Tommy didn’t exactly try to hide their inspirations when they included a cover of Chris Montez’ 1962 hit “Let’s Dance” on their debut long-player Ramones in 1976 and over the years, they continued to tip the hat to rock and roll heroes from The Ronettes to The Beach Boys.  The new compilation includes the original versions of twenty-four songs covered by Ramones between 1976 and 1995’s Adios Amigos, and as such, is a rollicking stew of pop, rock, bubblegum, and psychedelic sounds absorbed by the Forest Hills foursome (plus later members Marky, C.J. and Richie).

When Ramones arrived on Sire Records, it signaled a return to, and a celebration of, primal rock and roll after the excess of progressive rock and the glitz of disco.  Primitive in its execution but colossal in its ambition, Ramones distilled the previous, pre-Woodstock era of pop-rock into fast and ferocious two-minute nuggets.  Though their productions weren’t as polished or immaculate as those they worshipped, they captured the same energy that turned teenagers onto the rebellious art form two decades earlier.  A classic example of a band whose influence far outweighed its sales, the group continued to recognize the past even as it flirted with subjects like Nazism, violence, drug use and prostitution.  (No hippy-dippy peace-and-love for these boys!)  And even though the surname “Ramone” was adopted by all members, they shared a common “less is more” sensibility that made them a true, if dysfunctional, band of brudders.

Many Ramones albums, including their first five, featured amped-up AM radio-style “cover” songs, many of which appear here.  Compilation producer Mick Patrick has arranged the tracks chronologically in the order that the songs appeared on a Ramones set.  So “Let’s Dance” is followed by The Rivieras’ “California Sun,” covered on 1977’s sophomore effort Leave Home, then by The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” and The Beach Boys’ “Do You Wanna Dance,” both aired on Rocket to Russia.  (“Do You Wanna Dance,” of course, was originally written and recorded by Bobby Freeman, but it’s likely that the immaculate, Brian Wilson-produced, Dennis Wilson-sung version was The Ramones’ go-to choice.)  1978’s Road to Ruin featured a take on Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono’s “Needles and Pins,” which is also reprised here in its hit version by The Searchers.  But the band’s biggest success on 45 in the U.K. came from 1980’s controversial End of the Century, in which Phil Spector took the production reins.  That hit single was a recording of Spector’s own “Baby, I Love You,” which he originally produced for The Ronettes, and the album itself also became the band’s highest-charting stateside.  The immortal, Ronnie Spector-led track (arranged by the aforementioned Nitzsche) represents the band’s brief association with Phil Spector.  Following End of the Century, a number of albums were recorded of entirely original Ramones compositions, among them Pleasant Dreams (1981), Too Tough to Die (1984), and Animal Boy (1986).

There’s lots more Ramones-mania after the jump, including an order link and complete track listing with discographical annotation! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

September 26, 2012 at 10:10

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

Be My Baby: Sundazed Preps Spector Reissues On Vinyl

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It’s once again time to go back to mono.  Sundazed has just announced the vinyl reissue of four classic albums from Phil Spector’s Philles label.  On July 31, The Ronettes’ Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica by the Ronettes; Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah by Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans; and The Crystals’ Uptown and He’s A Rebel will all receive the Sundazed treatment.  All four albums were reissued on CD last year from Phil Spector Records and Legacy Recordings as part of The Philles Album Collection box set, but this Sundazed campaign marks their return to their original vinyl format.

These four LPs tell the early Spector story and in doing so, the story of a shift in American popular music as the music business took notice of the buying power of the teenager.  The then-21 year old Spector’s earliest hits, The Crystals’ “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” and “Uptown,” are both heard here, as well as the breakthroughs “Be My Baby,” “Baby, I Love You” and “Walking in the Rain” for the Ronettes.  The development of the “Wall of Sound” is traced from the early New York sessions, many with arranger Arnold Goland, to the famous Hollywood recordings on which Spector was aided by the power of the Wrecking Crew and arranger Jack Nitzsche.

After the jump, we’ll take an in-depth look at all four albums!   Plus: track listings and a pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 11, 2012 at 14:42

Holiday Tunes Watch, Part 4: Starbucks to “Let It Snow” With Dylan, Diamond, Aretha, Elvis and More

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With each holiday season inevitably comes a new Christmas-themed compilation CD from Starbucks, combining rare and familiar tracks from artists new and old, designed as the perfect accompaniment for that venti skinny Peppermint Mocha!  2011’s entry in the annual series, Let It Snow, features Michigan singer/songwriter Rosie Thomas’ recording of the Jule Styne/Sammy Cahn title song, along with fifteen other tracks.  Some tracks are from the “usual suspects” (Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley) and others from less expected artists (Bob Dylan, Death Cab for Cutie).

Dylan’s much-discussed 2009 Christmas From the Heart is represented with its most exciting track, “Must Be Santa,” the singer’s wild zydeco-meets-polka re-invention of the novelty song first recorded by onetime Columbia Records boss Mitch Miller.  “Must Be Santa” is one the two most recent tracks on Let It Snow; the other is Andrea Bocelli’s booming, if good-natured, take on “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”  The oldest track on the compilation is Bing Crosby’s relaxed 1955 take on Meredith (The Music Man) Willson’s chestnut “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.”  Not far behind is Elvis Presley’s 1957 reading of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas.”  It’s hard to believe that this classic was once controversial; Berlin initially felt the pelvis-swinging rock-and-roller was mocking his holiday standard with his loose cover.  Today, it seems positively tame!

Also featured are recent Kennedy Center Honoree Neil Diamond (“The Little Drummer Boy”), bluegrass veteran Alison Krauss (the saucy “Shimmy Down The Chimney (Fill Up My Stocking”) and sultry chanteuse Julie London (the seductive “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”).  The classic A Christmas Gift to You from Philles Records has been raided for The Ronettes’ boisterous “Sleigh Ride,” while the same album is represented in a cover version of Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” performed by Death Cab for Cutie.  A pre-Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin appears via her gently swinging 1964 take of “Winter Wonderland.”

Hit the jump for more, including an order link and the full track listing with discographical annotation! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 7, 2011 at 10:29

Review: Phil Spector, “The Philles Album Collection” and “The Essential Phil Spector”

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Whoa-oh, a-whoa-oh-oh-oh!

Think of The Ronettes’ wail, every bit as iconic a cry as a-whop-bop-a-loo-a-whop-bam-boom.  Doesn’t rock and roll have a way of elevating onomatopoeia to poetry?  And no label made sweeter poetry in the first half of the 1960s than Philles Records.  The voices of Ronnie Spector, Darlene Love, La La Brooks, Barbara Alston and the rest spoke directly to America’s teenagers.  These women, alternately vulnerable and defiant, were little more than girls when they began putting their voices to the “little symphonies” being crafted by producer Phil Spector and his house arrangers, most notably Jack Nitzsche.  Tom Wolfe once famously deemed Spector “America’s first teen-age tycoon.”  Why?  Spector recognized the paradigm shift in the late 1950s, when teenagers began accruing disposable income and exercising newfound spending power.  He tapped into uncharted territory.  Cole Porter and Irving Berlin weren’t writing songs about teenagers.  Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil were.  Like Spector, they were barely out of their teen years themselves.  The songs they created at Philles remain both of a distinct time, and timeless.  It’s those songs that are celebrated on Legacy Recordings’ 7-CD box set The Philles Album Collection (Phil Spector Records/Legacy 88697 92782-2).

So why an album collection, when the producer famously derided albums in favor of singles?  These albums do little to dissuade the notion that Spector was a great, perhaps the great, singles producer.  He reportedly paid little attention to the long-players bearing his imprint.  But if an album is viewed as a collection of great songs, it’s impossible to argue with the success of these platters.  There’s little doubt, too, that the producer’s ethos was on-the-money, viewed from the present music climate which has shifted back to an emphasis on singles.  The Philles Album Collection marks the very first time that any of its six albums have been released on CD in their original configurations, and for that alone, it would be noteworthy.  Each album is housed in an attractive, sturdy mini-LP jacket.  Its seventh disc is even more exotic, though: a bonus disc of offbeat, B-side instrumentals that accompanied some of these songs for single release.  Spector took the art of recycling tracks, album-to-album, to a new level; there’s frequent repetition among these discs that doesn’t make for ideal consecutive listening and may be frustrating for some.  But Spector and co. could have had little idea that, nearly fifty years later, listeners would be revisiting these long-players in one sitting.

Phil Spector was still producing outside artists when he launched Philles with Lester Sill; in 1962 he produced the hit “Second Hand Love” for Connie Francis at MGM after a string of hit recordings for Gene Pitney, Ray Peterson, Curtis Lee, the Paris Sisters and other notables.  The Philles Album Collection begins, appropriately enough, with the girl group that graced the label’s first album and single, The Crystals, led by Barbara Alston.

Hit the jump, and it’s 1962!   You’ve just put The Crystals Twist Uptown onto your new turntable! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2011 at 12:58

Release Round-Up: Week of October 24/25

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It’s Tuesday, but most of the new music this week has already been out for a day. But assuming you were too busy to get out to the shops, here’s a look at what’s new. And there’s quite a bit!

Various Artists, Phil Spector Presents The Philles Album Collection (Phil Spector Records/Legacy)

Six of the first seven Philles albums presented in mono, along with a bonus disc of those delightfully out-there instrumental B-sides. Seriously, have you heard any of them? They’re crazy. In a good way, that is.

Diana Ross & The Supremes, The 50th Anniversary Collection 1961-1969 / The Temptations, The 50th Anniversary Collection 1961-1971 (Hip-o Select/Motown)

Two new triple-disc sets capture two of Motown’s greatest groups at their peak, with every A- and B-side from the listed periods contained therein.

Paul Simon, One Trick Pony / Hearts and Bones / Graceland / The Rhythm of the Saints / Songwriter (Legacy)

The first four are the 2004 Rhino reissues in jewel cases instead of digipaks (although Graceland is re-remastered), the last is a two-disc compilation handpicked by Simon himself with a big thick booklet for your persual. (Have you read Joe’s great review? You really should.)

Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam 20 (Sony Music Video)

Cameron Crowe’s celebratory documentary, now available for home viewing.

Various Artists, The Bridge School Concerts: 25th Anniversary Edition (Reprise)

Two new sets – a 3-disc DVD box and a double-disc CD set – capture 25 years of one of the best known (and, let’s face it, best) benefit concert series of all time. Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Bob Dylan, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Paul McCartney, Sonic Youth and a host of other rock luminaries appear.

Howlin’ Wolf, Smokestack Lightnin’: The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 (Hip-o Select/Chess)

Four CDs of vintage blues goodness from The Wolf – including some tracks making their Stateside debut.

Mumford & Sons, Sigh No More: Deluxe Edition (Glassnote)

The great British roots-rockers’ major label debut, expanded with a bonus track, a live disc and a DVD documentary.

The Monkees, Head (Rhino)

A shiny new vinyl reissue of the cult classic album.

The Mamas and The Papas, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears / Strawberry Alarm Clock, Incense and Peppermints (Sundazed)

The original, classic albums in mono, on CD! (There are a few other notables coming from Sundazed for you ’60s fans, too.)

Yes, 9012Live: The Solos – Expanded Edition (Friday Music)

The first-ever domestic CD release of Yes’ overlooked live album/side project, with two live bonus tracks for good measure.

Deftones, The Vinyl Collection 1995-2011 (Reprise)

A limited edition collection of the alternative band’s studio albums, plus an album of non-album covers, previously only available as a Record Store Day exclusive. (It’s sold out online, but I’m sure it’s still up for grabs here and there.)

Nirvana, Nevermind: Super Deluxe Edition (Geffen/UMe)

Previously a Best Buy exclusive, it’s worth noting that this title is now available everywhere. Hooray!

Springsteen, U2, Queen, Joel, McCartney, Taylor Featured On “Rock Hall of Fame” Live Box Set

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Since its formation on April 20, 1983, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has inducted a slate of accomplished musicians into its ranks on a yearly basis, causing excitement, consternation and everything in between.  Though the worthiness of nominees and inductees is hotly debated with each “class” and a number of distinguished artists continue to be ignored year after year, one thing can be agreed upon: a lot of great music has been played for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  It continues to host performances at its Cleveland home, which opened its doors in 1995.  Each year, inducted musicians take the stage in Cleveland and at a New York induction ceremony, often with old colleagues or young musicians whom they have influenced.  Hence, Eddie Vedder joined the remaining Doors for “Break On Through,” Bruce Springsteen teamed with Mick Jagger on “Satisfaction,” Dhani Harrison accompanied two Wilburys, Steve Winwood and Prince for his late father George’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” and the Allman Brothers partnered with Sheryl Crow for “Midnight Rider.”

In past years, only one major album came from The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s vast archives, a 1996 release collecting performances from the 1995 concert that inaugurated the actual museum.  In 2009 and 2010, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame teamed with Time-Life for a series of DVDs (available as a box set and individually) bringing together highlights from those often-controversial induction ceremonies, as well as CD and DVD releases of 2010’s 25th Anniversary concerts, held at New York’s Madison Square Garden.

The Time-Life association will continue this fall with the release of Best of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum Live, a 3-disc box set bringing many of these blazing performances to CD for the very first time.  Longtime Hall supporter Bruce Springsteen appears no fewer than six times on the box, joined by performers like Chuck Berry, Wilson Pickett, Mick Jagger and U2.  It’s a guitar-lover’s dream when a team of axemen including Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Flea and Metallica take on “The Train Kept A-Rollin’,” and when Cream reunites on “Sunshine of Your Love” for the first time in over two decades.  Other highlights include James Taylor’s solo performance of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” as interpreted by the supergroup of Billy Joel, Joan Jett, John Fogerty and John Mellencamp, and Green Day paying homage to the Ramones with “Blitzkrieg Bop.”  The Righteous Brothers and The Ronettes celebrate the heyday of Philles Records, and the definitive line-up of rock legends also includes Paul McCartney (“Let It Be”) and The Who (“Won’t Get Fooled Again”).

Hit the jump for more, including the full track listing! Read the rest of this entry »

FINAL UPDATE 8/4: “Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection” and “Essential Phil Spector” Due From Legacy

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Well, get a load of that!  This is the photo I’ve been waiting for – and if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been waiting with bated breath, too!  As of August 4, we have official confirmation that Legacy’s Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection is, indeed, coming on October 18, along with a two-disc retrospective as part of the label’s long-running Essential series.

Most purchasers of Legacy’s first wave of Philles Records reissues last February took immediate notice of a full-color insert which promised a most exciting June release sure to grab everyone’s attention: Phil Spector Presents the Philles Album Collection.  Though the June release date came and went, the box was far from the back burner.  The Philles Album Collection features six original albums, none of which have ever appeared on CD before.  All have been newly remastered, and they represent six of the first seven LPs released on the label. (Philles 4005, of course, is A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, which has already seen release in Legacy’s new Philles program.) A seventh bonus disc is entitled Phil’s Flipsides, and compiles seventeen in-demand, long-unheard instrumental B-sides by “The Phil Spector Wall of Sound Orchestra,” meaning the Los Angeles “Wrecking Crew” at their finest!  Many of Spector’s collaborators are even name-checked as the titles to these wild instrumentals: Sonny Bono, Larry Levine, Hal Blaine and Nino Tempo are just a few.

The six original titles are The Crystals’ Twist Uptown (Philles 4000) and He’s a Rebel (Philles 4001), Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans’ Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah (Philles 4002), The Crystals’ Sing the Greatest Hits Volume One (Philles 4003), the various artists compilation Today’s Hits (Philles 4004) and Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (Philles 4006). Many of the songs on these LPs have never appeared legitimately on CD, and songwriters include Brill Building legends like Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, Gene Pitney, Doc Pomus and Spector himself. The “Wrecking Crew” worked their magic instrumentally on the Gold Star-recorded tracks (some of the earliest Crystals tracks were actually cut in New York’s Mira Sound Studios), and among the vocalists featured are Darlene Love, Bobby Sheen, La La Brooks, Fanita James and Ronnie Spector. This is truly the crème de la crème. Hit the jump for more, including all track listings! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 4, 2011 at 14:20