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I Can Hear Music: The Ellie Greenwich Collection

4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

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Like fellow critically feted '60s pop songwriter Burt Bacharach, Ellie Greenwich didn't see why her artists should have all the fun. Hence this collection of songs made popular by acts such as the Ronettes, the Crystals, Tina Turner, and Elkie Brooks, sung in Greenwich's own distinctively cool style. Unlike Bacharach, Greenwich started off in her own act--proto-girl-group the Raindrops, whose perky Top 20 hit, "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget," is included here. Among other lost gems is a haunting solo, "You Don't Know," plus string-laden, piano-saturated versions of Phil Spector collaborations ("Be My Baby," "River Deep, Mountain High," "Then He Kissed Me") that obviously lack the emotional intensity of their better-known hit versions but have a real lounge-lizard charm of their own. --Everett True

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. This Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget
  2. Doo Doo Ron Ron
  3. Hanky Panky
  4. You Don't Know
  5. I Want You To Be My Baby
  6. Goodnight, Goodnight (What's So Good About It?)
  7. Sunshine After The Rain
  8. Maybe I Know
  9. Wait 'Til My Bobby Gets Home
  10. Today I Met The Boy I'm Gonna Marry
  11. Then He Kissed Me
  12. If You Loved Me Once
  13. Be My Baby
  14. Chapel Of Love
  15. I Can Hear Music
  16. Medley: Goodnight Baby/Baby I Love You
  17. River Deep, Mountain High


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Razor & Tie
  • ASIN: B00000I9AP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #209,216 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
My mother had these songs playing in our house when I was growing up. I fell in love with them all again last summer when I was doing as production of Leader of the Pack. If you know the show or the orginal arrangements you need to be prepared. Most of the songs (track 8 on )are redone and rearranged very 70's like. I have found that if you give them a chance, for the most part, you come to enjoy them this way as well. If you are looking for the Phil Spector kick drum and loud beat it is not there. This is Ellie and all Ellie all grown up with idea's and feeling of her own, free of the expectations that seemed to be pushed upon her so many years ago. I have but one concern. Has Ellie learned her lesson? Jeff wanted more than just the music, and went on to have a life that held more for him. Has Ellie found that balance? I don't think so. The last line in the linernotes interview with her she states that "Music is her best friend", as someone who had the chance to play her I can't say that I am surprised. No matter what, her heart and soul went into everything she has ever done, this album is no exception.
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Format: Audio CD
One of the key songwriters in the "Brill Building" pre-Beatles pop factory, Ellie Greenwich didn't necessarily have the uncanny composing skill of Carole King, but she did create some of the perkiest pop tunes of the early '60s. Included on this collection are early recordings of the Raindrops, the "band" that she and partner Jeff Barry used to demo various tunes. One of these, "The Kind Of Boy You Can't Forget" is completely irresistable teenpop. Also included are their versions of "Doo Doo Ron Ron" and "Hanky Panky", previously available only on a British import... From these early roots, this disc tracks Greenwich's recording career through other classics such as "Then He Kissed Me" and "Be My Baby", and on into early '70s material with production which is almost outlandishly baroque. Of course it was other artists, such as Lesley Gore, Tommy James and the Ronettes, who popularized these songs, but there is something special about hearing a songwriter cover their own material. Greenwich never made the leap into Carole King/Carly Simon singer-songwriter fame, but she sure did make some magical moments.
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Format: Audio CD
Ellie Greenwich needs no introduction as one of the finest songwriters from the last 50 years. As a performer, however, she isn't nearly as well known. Which is a shame really, since at her very best she could give the best of 'em (Dusty, Dusty, Dusty) a run for their money. The majestic "You Don't Know" and the Raindrops' "The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget" prove that amply enough. This disc, though, isn't all - umm - sunshine, lollipos, and rainbows. The first half of it ticks along pleasantly enough until we get to some highly dubious early '70s re-workings of the classics; from the sugary string arrangement of "Be My Baby" to "I Can Hear Music" which sounds like it was done with the bloody Carpenters on backing vocals! It's not all that bad, though. "Today I Met the Boy I'm Gonna Marry" is truly glorious in an almost over-the-top sorta way, and even tops the orginial in my book - sorry Darlene. But it is a mixed bag nonetheless, and as such it should be approached with extreme caution, not too high hopes and a very, very open mind.
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Format: Audio CD
Unlike Brill Building contemporaries such as Carole King and Neil Sedaka, Greenwich never crossed the divide between hit songwriter and hit singer. Her compositions became signature hits for groups like The Ronettes, Crystals, and Ike & Tina Turner, while her own sporadic recordings languished in obscurity.
This release collects several of Greenwich's 1963 sides as The Raindrops, a few mid-60s solo efforts and nine tracks from her early-70s Tapestry-esque LP, Let it Be Written, Let it Be Sung. The earliest cuts include the superb original of "Hanky Panky," lightly Latinized, and showing none of the lasciviousness of Tommy James' subsequent hit. "You Don't Know" (produced by Shangri-Las mastermind Shadow Morton) perfectly combines the balladry of Dusty Springfield with an edge of vulnerability.
Greenwich's latter-day reinterpretations rarely break free of their iconic legacy. Re-workings of "Then He Kissed Me" "Be My Baby" and "River Deep, Mountain High" suffer in comparison to the hits, and struggle with the 60s-70s transposition. As a singer, she is better inaugurating her songs than she is struggling against the definitive genius of producers like Phil Spector
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