"…Could It Be I’m Falling in Love…”
Aping the success of Sony's similarly packaged 5CD box sets, WEA/Rhino has released over FORTY x 5CD "Original Album Series" mini box sets of their own. Issued in the UK and Europe only, the artists featured stretch from rhythm 'n' blues icons of the 1950s (Ray Charles and Clyde McPhatter with The Drifters) all the way through to Metal And Indie bands of the 2000s (Dokken and Echo & The Bunnymen). For those interested, I've compiled a full listing of titles in the series in the 'comment' section attached to this review (some are superb, some are not).
Here's the fine-detail for THE DETROIT SPINNERS set - released Monday 1 March 2010 in the UK on Atlantic/Rhino 8122 79837 8, "Original Album Series" 5CD box set breaks down as follows:
Disc 1 is "Spinners", 10-tracks, released April 1973 on Atlantic SD 7256 in the USA and Atlantic K 40477 in the UK (40:54 minutes)
Disc 2 is "Mighty Love", 8-tracks, released March 1974 on Atlantic SD 7296 in the USA and Atlantic K 50030 in the UK (37:33 minutes)
Disc 3 is "New And Improved", 8-tracks, released December 1974 on Atlantic SD 18118 in the USA and Atlantic K 50102 in the UK (35:17 minutes)
Disc 4 is "Pick Of The Litter", 8-tracks, released August 1975 on Atlantic SD 18141 in the USA and Atlantic K 50155 in the UK (40:45 minutes)
Disc 5 is "Spinners Live!" a 12-track 2LP set released December 1975 on Atlantic SD 2- 910 in the USA and Atlantic K 60110 in the UK (66:21 minutes)
[The CD is 11 tracks, “Love Don’t Love Nobody” was spread across two sides of the original vinyl album; here it’s segued into one long nine-minute plus track]
[Note: on original release ALL of the ‘US’ albums were credited to SPINNERS – the ‘UK’ issues however were credited to THE DETROIT SPINNERS - over the years it is this longer name that the soul vocal group are more commonly known by. None of the discs contain bonus tracks and legendary producer THOM BELL helmed all the albums.]
The five single card sleeves reflect the 'original' front and rear US LP artwork - the split ‘envelope’ sleeve of “Pick Of The Litter” and the gatefold of "Spinners Live!" are not reproduced – “New And Improved” had a blue coloured sleeve in the UK and reversed the artwork – live picture on the front sleeve, with baby photos on the rear. Each front sleeve is also now 'bordered' with a colour and the label on the CD then reflects that colour code (so no original label artwork reproduced). The outer card box is lightweight and therefore a little bit flimsy (unlike the glossy hard-card Sony issues), but having said that, the card sleeves themselves still look great once out of the box.
Unlike many other titles in this series (repackaging of crappy Eighties titles that have been in the marketplace for years) these titles ARE the Atlantic/Rhino remasters of old and therefore their sound is just GORGEOUS – really lovely to listen to.
Musically this is ‘soft’ soul and may not be to everyone’s tastes, but I love it – smooth and sweet (even if the screaming girls of the live set may test your patience). This little box set is a gem – a great way of acquiring 6 top-notch Seventies soul albums for not a whole lot of money.
Recommended – yeah baby.
PS: With regard to sound - so far the Little Feat, Bread, Los Lobos, Chris Rea, Dr. John, Echo & The Bunnymen, Little Feat and Rickie Lee Jones sets are disappointingly reported as NON REMASTERS. Rhino have been contacted about this – they are simply repackaging of discs that are already out there.
PPS: I’ve also done The Cars, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Little Feat sets in this series – see separate reviews.