Sunday, 2 January 2011

“Dream Of A Lifetime 1953-1959” by THE FLAMINGOS. A Review Of The 2010 Jasmine Label 2CD Compilation.

"…My Love Must Be A Kind Of Blind Love…I Can’t See Anyone But You…"

Offering up a generous 50-tracks, this 2CD set covers a large part of the 45" single output for the American Doo Wop/Vocal group The Flamingos on the Chance, Parrot, Checker and End labels between 1953 and 1959.

Released in the UK/Europe in March 2010, here's a breakdown of Jasmine JASCD 554...

Disc: 1
1. SOME DAY SOMEWAY
2. IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU
3. HURRY HOME BABY
4. THAT'S MY DESIRE
5. GOLDEN TEARDROPS
6. CARRIED A WAY
7. PLAN FOR LOVE
8. YOU AIN'T READY
9. CROSS OVER THE BRIDGE
10. LISTEN TO MY PLEA
11. BLUES IN A LETTER
12. JUMP CHILDREN
13. SEPTEMBER SONG
14. DREAM OF A LIFETIME
15. ON MY MERRY WAY
16. GET WITH IT
17. I REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW
18. I'M YOURS
19. KO KO MO
20. IF I COULD LOVE YOU
21. I FOUND A NEW BABY
22. THAT'S MY BABY (CHICK A BOOM)
23. WHEN
24. I WANT TO LOVE YOU
25. PLEASE COME BACK HOME

Disc: 2
1. NEED YOUR LOVE
2. I'LL BE HOME
3. A KISS FROM YOUR LIPS
4. GET WITH IT
5. SHILLY DILLY
6. THE VOW
7. JUST FOR A KICK
8. WOULD I BE CRYING (IF I WERE LYING TO YOU)
9. DREAM OF A LIFETIME
10. WHISPERING STARS
11. I'LL BE HOME
12. CHICKIE UM BAH
13. CRY
14. STOLEN LOVE
15. NOBODY'S LOVE
16. WHEN
17. THE LADDER OF LOVE
18. LOVERS NEVER SAY GOODBYE
19. THAT LOVE IS YOU
20. BUT NOT FOR ME
21. I SHED A TEAR AT YOUR WEDDING
22. LOVE WALKED IN
23. AT THE PROM
24. GOODNIGHT SWEETHEART
25. I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU

Disc 1 (70:19 minutes):
1 and 2 are Chance 1133 (March 1953)
3 and 4 are Chance 1140 (June 1953)
5 and 6 are Chance 1145 (September 1953)
7 and 8 are Chance 1149 (October 1953)
9 and 10 are Chance 1154 (March 1954)
11 and 12 are Chance 1162 (October 1954)
13 is on “The Moonglows Meet The Flamingos On The Dusty Road To Hits”, 1962 USA LP on Vee Jay LP-1052
14 and 15 are Parrot 808 (August 1954)
16 and 17 are Parrot 811 (December 1954)
18 and 19 are Parrot 812 (January 1955)
20 and 21 are on “The Flamingos”, 1976 USA LP on Chess ACRR-702
22 and 23 are Checker 815 (April 1955)
24 and 25 are Checker 821 (July 1955)

Disc 2 (69:06 minutes):
1 and 2 are Checker 830 (January 1956)
3 and 4 are Checker 837 (April 1956)
5 and 6 are Checker 846 (August 1956)
7 and 8 are Checker 853 (November 1956)
9 and 10 are Checker 915 ((January 1959)
11 is PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
12 is from “The Flamingos”, 1959 USA LP on End Records LP-1433
13 is PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED (recorded 28 March 1956)
14 and 15 are from “Chess Rock & Rhythm Series – The Flamingos”, 1984 USA LP on Chess CH-9177
16 is a PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED Alternate Take of “When”
17 is the A-side of Decca 30335 (May 1957)
18 and 19 are End 1035 (October 1958)
20 and 21 are End 1040 (February 1959)
22 and 23 are End 1044 (March 1959)
24 and 25 are End 1046 (April 1959)
[Notes: 20, 22, 24 and 25 are in STEREO]

The compilation and annotation have been put together by BOB FISHER (small liner notes in the fold-out inlay) with the CD Mastering done by TALL ORDER of the UK. Of their 40 or so 7” singles, this budget-priced set offers you up nearly 75% of them in rough sequential order.

Hailing from Chicago, The Flamingos have long been considered by collectors as ‘the’ class act of Doo Wop and Harmony Vocals. Their slow atmosphere-drenched ballads practically defined dancefloor smooching in the Fifties. And they had a dizzying array of great Lead vocalists throughout – Sollie McElroy, Johnny Carter, Tommy Hunt, Paul Wilson and Nate Wilson.

Their cherished End label albums have been on CD in the States for years, but this rather nicely lined-up 2CD set concentrates on what you heard on the Radio during the period – their superb singles.
And given the vintage, the sound varies from very good (the early Chance label stuff) to superb (the Nate Nelson lead vocals of “I Only Have Eyes For You” in glorious Stereo – lyrics above).

So - lots of tracks, very good sound and at six quid for a 2CD set - it's cheap too. Until Bear Family does a more comprehensive box set one day covering their entire output - this is a rather lovely release to be getting on with.

Recommended.

PS: Jasmine have also done a May 2010 2CD set for "The Five Keys" – see separate review

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