Tuesday, 28 April 2009

“The Platinum Collection” by ARCHIE BELL and THE DRELLS. A Review of the 2007 Warners/Rhino CD Compilation.

“….Here I Go Again…Thinking With My Heart…”

Celebrating 60 years of Atlantic Records, this 2007 Warner/Rhino set is part of a large series of budget-priced compilations offering generous amounts of classic music for peanuts money.

With all 20 tracks remastered to great sound throughout, "Platinum" gives you 16 soul songs from their 3 albums on the label along with 4 rare non-album 7" single sides. The inlay is basic and lacking in details at this price, so here's a breakdown of what's on what (52:35 minutes)....

USA Albums:
"Tighten Up", May 1968 Stereo LP on Atlantic SD-8181
(CD Tracks 1, 15, 18 and 20)
"I Can't Stop Dancing", 1968 Stereo LP on Atlantic SD-8204
(CD Tracks 2, 3, 4, 5, 13 and 19)
"There's Gonna Be A Showdown", August 1969 Stereo LP on Atlantic SD-8226
(CD Tracks 6, 7, 8, 9, 14 and 16)

USA 7" Singles:
Track 10 is "A World Without Music", 1970 on Atlantic 2693 [A, Non-Album Track]
("Here I Go Again" was it's B-side - but it was also issued as an A in the UK on Atlantic K 10210 in September 1972 and charted at number 11)
Track 11 is "Don't Let The Music Slip Away", 1970 on Atlantic 2721 [A, Non-Album Track]
Track 12 is "Wrap It Up", December 1970 on Atlantic 2768 [A, Non-Album Track]
Track 17 is "Dog Eat Dog", April 1968 on Atlantic 2478 [Non-Album Track, B-side to "Tighten Up"]

Forgotten gems include "Here I Go Again" and "Wrap It Up" - both are sort of Chi-Lites meets Motown dancers - really excellent. "Do The Choo Choo" is awful - a poor attempt at a dance craze after the number one success of "Tighten Up" on both sides of the pond. "Dog Eat Dog" - the rare non-LP B-side of their first British 45 "Tighten Up" on Atlantic 584 185 (May 1968) - is a welcome addition to CD - great 60ts soul. "When You Left Heartache Began" has been on Northern Soul compilations as a track to rediscover too.

Rare tracks, decent sound - this budget-priced remastered compilation is stunning value for money and makes available music that is increasingly hard to find now on original vinyl.

Recommended.

PS: the other Atlantic artists in "The Platinum Collection" series are: LaVern Baker, Brook Benton (see REVIEW), Booker T & The M.G.'s, Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke, Clarence Carter, The Clovers, Arthur Conley (see REVIEW), Don Covay, The Detroit Spinners, Eddie Floyd, King Curtis, Barbara Lewis (see REVIEW), The Mar-Keys, The Persuasions, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge (see REVIEW), Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, (Big) Joe Turner and Betty Wright

-----Archie Bell & The Drells – Atlantic LP Discography------

“Tighten Up!”
Atlantic SD-8181, May 1968 USA Stereo LP
Side 1: Tighten Up (Part 1 and 2)/I Don't Wanna Be A Playboy/You're Mine/Knock On Wood
Side 2: Give Me Time/In the Midnight Hour/When You Left Heartache Began/A Thousand Wonders/A Soldier's Prayer, 1967

“I Can’t Stop Dancing”
Atlantic SD-8204, 1968 USA Stereo LP
Side 1: I Can't Stop Dancing/(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay/Do The Choo Choo/You're Such A Beautiful Child/Monkey Time
Side 2: Do You Feel It? /I've Been Trying/Jammin' In Houston/Love Will Rain On You/Sometimes I Wonder

“There’s Gonna Be A Showdown”
Atlantic SD-8226, August 1969 USA Stereo LP
Side 1: I Love My Baby/Houston, Texas/(There's Gonna Be A) Showdown/Giving Up Dancing/Girl You're Too Young/Mama Didn't Teach Me That Way
Side 2: Do The Hand Jive/My Balloon's Going Up/Here I Go Again/Go For What You Know/Green Power/Just A Little Closer

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Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

Spines of Exceptional CD Remasters

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