Today 01:59 PM

Stoned Love backing vocals

There has been a lot of debate on this forum about who is or who is not singing the backing vocals on various DRATS recordings, but has it been established who the backing singers are on Stoned Love. To my ears, it sounds like there are more singers than just Mary and Cindy, particularly on the 'tell it like it is' lines.
Today 06:14 PM

Sylvia Robinson Recordings

A neighbor just popped by with a few Sugarhill vinyls and I was wondering if anyone knew if there was some sort of "compilation" album on Ms. Robinson's recordings on her label.
Today 07:23 PM

The Marvelettes: Don't Mess With Bill - Instrumental

Here's a GREAT example of how great the Funk Brothers were as musicians right here........

08-17-2019 11:15 PM

"the phil spector thread"

Welcome To The "PHIL SPECTOR" Thread! By popular demand, I am presenting a Spector Biography (below) which will be followed by:

A - Complete Philles 45 Discography
B - Complete Philles LP Discography
C - The Unreleased Masters

(B & C will be coming soon!) Here's hoping you'll all enjoy and comment on the legendary masterpieces of Phil Spector and Philles Records.


Phil Spector was born in NYC on December 26, 1940. As a life-long music lover, he went on to write and produce many number one songs in the US and UK while developing his signature "Wall of Sound" of which many attempted to copy but few succeeded.

Phil's first hit record in 1958 was The Teddy Bear's "To Know Him Is To Love Him" on which he wrote, produced, and performed, sending it to #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.
L-R: Marshall Lieb, Annette Kleinbard, Phil Spector)

After acting as a freelance writer/producer at various record labels, it was in 1961 that Phil Spector formed a business partnership with Lester Sill by setting up his own record label, Philles Records (PHIL + LESter = Philles). [NOTE: Although the spelling suggests a pronunciation like the female name 'Phyllis', everyone I've ever known pronounces it Phillies, like the baseball team, which also explains why many often misspell Philles Records by adding the letter 'i' to the es.]

Phil Spector recorded his famous Philles recordings with The Wrecking Crew session musicians at Gold Star studio in L.A. Phil's band included 5 or 6 guitars, three pianos, tenor saxes and an army of baritone saxes, two or three bass players, Hal Blaine's thunderous drums and Earl Palmer's trap set, and a myriad of percussion including castanets, maracas, shakers, bells, chimes, woodblock, temple blocks, sleigh bells, handclaps, and an array of back-up singers including Darlene Love & The Blossoms, Sonny Bono, Cher, Nino Tempo, and any sound effect that the song-at-hand required -- all squeezed into that tiny little Gold Star studio with its low ceilings and famous echo chamber! Phil typically spent 3 hours just setting up the mics positioned at each musician's chair. By the time he was satisfied and ready to start the tape rolling, the guitar players' fingers would be bleeding. But the Wrecking Crew all loved working with Phil because they knew that what they'd end up with at the end of the all-day session would be a magnificent masterpiece they would all be proud to be a part of!

To achieve the Wall Of Sound, Phil would record the successful take on a mono tape recorder. He would then have his recording engineer, Larry Levine, copy that tape onto another recorder. From the 2nd recorder, he would dub that copy back over onto the first recorder so that every time he dubbed (overdubbed), the sound would double. (This process was known as "Sound-On-Sound".) The original 5 guitars would become 10 guitars, 3 pianos became 6, the saxes became an army of tenor and and baritone saxes, and Hal Blaine's drum fills became gloriously thunderous, as did the percussion instruments. The back-up singers went from a back-up chorus of 6 or 7 to a choir of 12 or 14. Phil would keep overdubbing and again doubling the sound until he heard what he wanted. Larry Levine would warn Phil, "Jeez, Phil, you can't do that! The VU meter is already up into the Red Zone", and Phil would reply, "I don't care. The sound is exactly how I want it.", and Larry, of course, would abide. Each time Phil overdubbed, the echo effect would increase. Add to that Gold Star's famous built-in echo chamber and you've got the Spector "Wall-Of-Sound" which proved to be revolutionary, thus paving the way for overdubbing in the world of Popular music.

[See NOTE below (in "Complete Philles 45 Discography" immediately following the Philles 111 entry) regarding the exit of Lester Sill from Philles Records.)

It's also important to note that from 1961-1967, Philles released a total of only 37 singles and 13 albums. The reason is that, while many record companies released several records at one time, throwing a handful of them to the wind, hoping that one might hit big, Phil Spector concentrated on producing just one recording at a time -- taking great care that each and every note in his 3-minute "Little Symphonies" were absolutely perfect and worthy of Philles release. Whereas other record companies would typically record 4 songs within a timed, Union-controlled recording session, Phil would book session time at Gold Star for the entire day to perfect and record just that one song. And he paid his Wrecking Crew musicians handsomely, too. It has been reported that Tina Turner's recording of "River Deep - Mountain High" required a total of 5 recording sessions to complete, costing Phil an incredible $22,000.00 which was unheard of back in the day, yet he felt that "River Deep" was his crowning achievement and was willing to pay whatever it cost to achieve it. Sadly, "River Deep" stalled at #88 on the U.S. Pop chart, causing a discouraged and defeated Phil Spector to close Philles' doors in 1967.
For me, it started with The Crystal's "He's A Rebel" 45 in October '62 (when I was 11). After getting The Crystals' "He's A Rebel" LP for my 12th birthday in March '63, Philles soon became my very first favorite record label, and Phil Spector became my first favorite producer. The hits continued into 1963 with more Crystals, Bob B. Sox & The Blue Jeans, and Darlene Love gems, as well as the newest stars on the Philles roster, The Ronettes. 1963 represented Philles' peak year which also included the 6-week, all-night-long, marathin Gold Star recording sessions for the iconic Christmas album, "A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records." Hits continued throughout 1964 with more of the same and also adding the Righteous Brothers to the roster through 1965 until Philles hits and successes started waning. Phil refused to bribe the radio DJ's with Payola. He figured his track record of hits should be enough for the radio DJs to crave each of his new releases, which they did, until the older DJ's retired and were replaced by a new crop of wise-ass, "entitled" D.J.'s who figured, "Who does Spector think he is -- expecting us to play his records without compensating us for it?" Phil also should have been signing new groups in order to keep up with the times and the latest trends, but he didn't. Philles slowly went down the tubes -- partly because of that, and partly because the British Invasion knocked the Philles girl groups off the charts. It's sad that Philles died out, while Motown grew up hand in hand with The Beatles and the other British groups.
Today 04:36 PM

Gladys Knight Rocks Charlottesville

Last week marked the two-year anniversary of the ugly events in normally-peaceful Charlottesville that forever stained the city. But on this one night, a diverse crowd of all ages, colors, genders and backgrounds put all of that out of their minds and came together for one unified purpose...to enjoy the talents of a true musical icon, and Miss Gladys most definitely did not disappoint.

Looking radiant and quite youthful in a shimmering black pantsuit, she commanded the stage for an 80 minute set that took us through all of her major hits but also some interwoven ones that were hits for other diverse artists.

She opened with I've Got To Use My Imagination and kept the tempo up for the next couple to make sure the crowd matched her energy as she continued with The Nitty Gritty, Love Overboard, and of course I Heard it Through the Grapevine.

Save the Overtime for Me and Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me were also featured and in the latter you could have heard a pin drop as she made us wait eagerly for that final "meeeeee," a note she nailed impeccably. To say she was in fine voice tonight would be an understatement.

The middle third of the show was devoted to remembering some friends of hers who were no longer with us, as she told her stories and sang One Hundred Ways (James Ingram), On and On and The Makings of You in a tribute to Curtis Mayfield, and she involved her back-up singers in portions of Natural Woman and Luther's classic Never Too Much.

She also included renditions of Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" and the country classic "I Hope You Dance" intended of course to encourage the audience to reach for your dreams, a message she drove home several times tonight during her spoken interludes.

She then closed the show with three songs that you knew she just HAD to do.........The Way We Were, Neither One of Us, and of course Midnight Train to Georgia.

All things considered, this was one of the better shows I have seen in Charlottesville (I have also reported before on Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross and Patti Labelle), but in all fairness to those legends, my enjoyment of tonight's show could be more about the fact that it is freshest in my memory, since I would certainly go back to see any of the four if they visit us again.

Any way you slice it, we are lucky to have some of our favorites from the good old days still out there helping us re-live our formative years and let's hope they are all around for many more years to come!
Today 04:54 PM

Jackie Wilson "Gold" budget 3CD compilation (Crimson UK) 9/20/2019

Crimson Productions presents Jackie Wilson 'Gold', the only Jackie Wilson compilation you'll ever need. From the mid-'50s through to the early '70s, Jackie Wilson was a consistent hit-maker and master showman, known as one of the most dynamic singers in American R&B. Amongst his dazzling record of 54 US Hot 100 and 49 R&B singles chart entries, he is best known for '(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher' which has gone on to become a soul anthem. In recent years, his legacy has continued to grow with Rolling Stone Magazine ranking Wilson as #69 on its list of the '100 Greatest Artists Of All Time'. With 60 tracks, this new 'Gold' title features a comprehensive overview of Jackie Wilson's career across 3CDs, packed full of hits and fan favourites including '(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher', 'The Sweetest Feeling' and the UK number one single, 'Reet Petite'.


Amazon USA
Available for pre-order soon:

Amazon UK


Ralph Terrana

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