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Spectropop V#0128

  • From: The Spectropop Group
  • Date: 08/07/98

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       Volume #0128                       August 7, 1998   
                      Tomorrow's Sound-Today               
    Subject:     Darlene vs. Aretha, Marginal Records, Flirtations, 
                 and Rag Dolls
    Sent:        08/06/98 8:44 am
    Received:    08/07/98 7:05 am
    From:        WILLIAM STOS,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    [Darlene Love] Puts Aretha to shame (uh, oh, that's gonna start 
    Well, I agree that Darlene is better, put Aretha isn't exactly put
    to shame by her. When you listen to tracks like "Sweet Sweet Baby 
    (Since You've Been Gone)" "I Say A Little Prayer For You," and 
    Ain't No Way," you must agree that if she isn't the Queen of Soul,
    she is at least a member of the royal family. Darlene had it too, 
    but she also had Spector to back her up. "Christmas (Baby Please 
    Come Home)" has got to be one of the best Spector/girl group 
    records ever. When I first heard it I had to sit down. I couldn't 
    believe something that big could come out of a speaker without 
    blowing it up!
    One thing that helps both these singers is their back-up. The 
    Blossoms and the Sweet Inspirations were some of the best back-up 
    I've ever heard! I haven't found a comp featuring the Blossoms, 
    but if you have the chances, pick up The Best Of The Sweet 
    Inspirations. It's on Soul Classics. That's a cd you can never get
    tired of.
    >I have the Ronettes' The Ultimate Collection on Marginal (MAR 050)
    >and I think the sound is much better than the Spector box or the 
    >individual ABKCO Ronettes CD. I suspect the Marginal disc was 
    >mastered from vinyl using the Cedar noise reduction system, but 
    >the sound is so warm. 
    Does anyone have a complete catalogue of the Marginal stuff with 
    track listings? I have their Complete Dixie Cups Collection and 
    it's great. Both albums are on there and all the singles. No liner
    notes (which is a major drawback), but the sound is great!
    I've heard they've put out a cd by the Flirtations. Does anyone 
    have it, or has heard it?
    One last thing. I've been listening to some Rag Dolls cuts and 
    they're pretty good, even for a group which didn't really exist. 
    How many records did they make? Any of their stuff on cd?
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     Ellie Greenwich
    Sent:        08/06/98 10:27 pm
    Received:    08/07/98 7:05 am
    From:        Kieron Tyler,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Hello there everyone. Can any of you tell me what Ellie 
    Greenwich's 1967 single of 'I Want You To be My Baby' sounds like.
    I wonder how similar it is to Billie Davis' 1968 UK hit version. 
    Thanks in advance...
    All the best, Kieron Tyler.
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     performers whose voices I love
    Sent:        08/06/98 9:31 am
    Received:    08/07/98 7:05 am
    From:        David Feldman,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Mark opined:
    >But, for a true all-around, hard-driving rock & roll
    >female singer, Darlene has been delivering for over 30 years. She 
    >is THE best! Puts Aretha to shame (uh, oh, that's gonna start 
    >something) - From "He's A Rebel " to "Christmas (Baby, Please Come
    >Home)" to "Lord, If You're a Woman" and beyond, she is in a class 
    >by herself.
    Here are my pantheon of singers in the rock era:  Sam Cooke; 
    Marvin Gaye; Aretha; Darlene Love; Dionne Warwick.
    There are several just a teensy bit below that:  Al Green; Gladys 
    Knight; Carl Wilson; Stevie Wonder; Levi Stubbs.
    And then there are many more performers whose voices I love but 
    who I think are a tiny notch below those:  Darryl Hall; Tommy Hunt; 
    Otis Redding; Laura Nyro; and Brian Wilson come to mind.
    I'm sure I'm missing a few but these who come to my mind. As I 
    look at this list, I realize that of all these performers, with 
    the possible exception of Gladys Knight, Darlene Love has the 
    *least* distinctive voice. I think this has a lot to do with her 
    success as a session singer. (Gee, I didn't know that was HER on 
    "Surfin Hootenanny -- I LOVE that song). Her lack of defect is an 
    asset for session work.
    Aretha is just too big in every way for me to compare to DL. One 
    way I often evaluate a singer is by how well her covers compare to
    other performances. To me, Arethas's versions of "You Send Me" and 
    "Oh No, Not My Baby" are nothing less than sensational, wondrous, 
    original remaking of songs that I adored in their original 
    version. And some, to me, are near-travesties:  Eleanor Rigby 
    comes to mind. But you have to suffer the Eleanor Rigby's to get 
    the "Oh No's," and for me it's worth it. Darlene Love and Gladys 
    Knight are the only two who sometimes, to me, disappear in a song.
    The others impose their huge personalities on their material, 
    usually for the best. But of all these performers above, DL might 
    be the most versatile -- I'm not sure there's anything she can't 
    DL has an innate dignity and tastefulness in everything she does. 
    Sometimes, it seems to work to her detriment. After "Leader of the
    Pack," she wasted much of her heat with her extended foray into MOR
    music. In live performances, she joked about the old material while
    putting her effort into a bunch of dreck. It was dispiriting for me
    to see her then, when she had her best chance at stardom (Gladys 
    Knight, on the other hand, seems to shine even while singing 
    similar MOR stuff) -- frankly, I'd rather listen to Dan Hill's 
    version of "Sometimes When We Touch" than DL's.
    As for my biggest Spectropop visceral moment, it's definitely in "
    He's Sure the Boy I Love" during "When he holds me t i i i i g h t
    , Everything's r i i i i ght."  Brings up the goose bumps every 
    time. I love the chord progression, the arrangement, and the 
    Dave Feldman
    CD of the Month: It's a tie!
       Belle & Sebastian: "If You're Feeling Sinister"
       Billy Bragg & Wilco: "Mermaid Ave."
    Coolest Car Name of the Week:  "Integra"
    Movie of the Week [Again]:  "There's Something About Mary"
    Best Time Killer of the 90's:  Filling out the UPDATED gender survey at
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     The Supreme Florence
    Sent:        08/06/98 9:05 am
    Received:    08/07/98 7:05 am
    From:        CLAUDIA CUNNINGHAM,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    It's funny how a singer like Darlene Love can be overlooked for 
    ages then all of a sudden, we notice her. Darlene's thunderous 
    voice reminds me of another singer who has been totally overlooked
    as a solo singer, and I do mean Florence Ballard of the Supremes.
    According to Mary Wilson's excellent and historic book on the 
    Supremes and Motown, (Dream Girls), Florence, by far, had the best
    voice in the group. When the Supremes finally got a hit with "Baby 
    Love" after ages of being no-hit wonders at Motown, Diana Ross' 
    voice was perfect for the song with Mary and Flo singing their 
    "baby, baby's" in the background. When it became clear that the 
    former Primettes, now known as the Supremes, were going to be 
    Motown's flagship act, Barry Gordy promised Flo and Mary that they
    would get their chance to sing lead on future songs, so they waited.
    The girls were promised by Barry Gordy that they would all get a 
    chance to sing lead, but as Diana and Barry became romantically 
    linked and Barry wanted to feature his lady friend as the lead 
    singer in preparation for launching her solo career, hopes faded 
    for Flo and Mary and they were to be relegated to the "baby, 
    baby's" forevermore. A war broke out and as we all know, Flo left 
    the group and was replaced by Cindy Birdsong, formerly of Patty 
    LaBelle and the Bluebells ("I Sold My Heart to the Junk Man"). 
    Word is that Florence has a high soprano voice that will rock your
    sox off. If you listed very carefully, you can hear her ever so 
    faintly on some of the songs and detect the power behind the voice.
    She recorded an album or two before her death which went nowhere 
    because it wasn't publicized. However, there is a song out there 
    recorded by the early Supremes before they hit it large, and Flo 
    sings "Buttered Popcorn" with the other girls as lead.
    It is probably a very rare item to find, but as Mary Wilson fondly 
    says of her late and lamented pal, "Flo was the one with the real 
    talent." And we are the poorer for missing the chance to hear her 
    perform on some of those Supreme hits.....
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     The Platters (?)
    Sent:        08/07/98 11:18 am
    Received:    08/07/98 11:46 am
    From:        Richard Globman,
    To:          Spectropop List,
    Today I went to local record store to buy the new Squirrel Nut 
    Zippers CD and while there I found a 2-CD set of the Platters' 
    Greatest Hits for $6.99 in the bargain bin.
    I bought it because it had my 5 favorite Platters songs on it..."
    With This Ring", "Washed Ashore", "Sweet Sweet Lovin'", "I Love 
    You 1000 Times", and "Doesn't It Ring A Bell."
    Now, fortunately all 5 of these were the original version with 
    Sonny Turner on lead. However, I noticed that the familiar 
    Platters yawners ("Harbor Lights", "The Great Pretender", etc.) 
    were very definitely NOT the original versions.
    The CD was Platinum Disc Corporation (La Crose, Wisconsin) #09352.
    Anyone know what gives?
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------
    Subject:     ronnie spector sweet as nectar
    Sent:        08/07/98 8:18 am
    Received:    08/07/98 11:46 am
    From:        john rausch, jXXXX@XXXnet
    To:          Spectropop List,
    what a great topic guys
    i agree that ronnie has her own unique style of singing and 
    darlene has the thunderous voice. i remember ellie greenwich saying
    on the ggs, story of a sound video that darlene was more "schooled"
    in her singing, meaning more "professional" but ronnie has the more
    unique style that usually only works when a song is written 
    directly for her, and then she shines like gold but darlene can 
    belt out anything thrown her way. i remember talking with mark 
    landwehr about listening to some promo philles 45s i acquired 
    recently that i never realized how great those "little symphonies"
    sound in their original 45 mono format, a case in point is the 
    crystals doing "all grown up", i have always dismissed this cut on
    all the cd comps, preferring to listen to the "hits" but when i 
    actually "played" this 45, the hugeness of the sound just blew me 
    away. i also have the ultimate ronettes on marginal cd and i also 
    agree that it was taken directly from a very clean stereo lp, 
    although the immense wall of sound is "watered down" in stereo, i
    still enjoy listening to it. the stereo separation is fun to hear 
    and the echo is double fold in stereo, but loses its impact a bit 
    with all the percussion etc...crammed into one channel, but boy 
    when ronnie starts singing, it really is killer stuff.
    thanks to everyone for starting this thread. we could go on for 
    days on this.
    i remember roberto telling me once that phil destroyed the masters
    at one time and now we will never hear the stereo ronettes 
    digitally remastered from the original source tapes, so for now 
    the marginal cd from a clean lp is all we will have ....unless 
    someone, somewhere uncovers something. roberto also mentioned once 
    that there is a different "longer" version of walking in the rain 
    on one of the ronettes lps from the 9lp box set from the u.k. and 
    i'm dying to hear that!!
    thanks again to all my spector collector friends.
    Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes at:
    --------------------[ archived by Spectropop ]--------------------

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