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The Complete Blue Cat Recordings

The Ad-Libs Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $17.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 23 Songs, 2012 $11.99  
Audio CD, 2012 $17.98  

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The Complete Blue Cat Recordings + The Red Bird Girls Very First Time in True Stereo
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 1, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real Gone Music
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,950 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Boy From New York City
2. Kicked Around
3. He Ain't No Angel
4. Ask Anybody
5. On The Corner
6. Oo-Wee Oh Me Oh My
7. I'm Just a Down Home Girl
8. Johnny My Boy
9. The Slime
10. You'll Always Be In Style (Unreleased)
11. The Boy From New York City A Cappella Demo (Unreleased)
12. Kicked Around A Cappella Demo (Unreleased)
13. OO-Wee Oh Me Oh My A Cappella Demo (Unreleased)
14. The Tide has Turned A Cappella Demo (Unreleased)
15. Strange Things A Cappella Demo (Unreleased)
16. Come On And Help Me A Cappella Demo (Unreleased)
17. Santa's On His Way A Cappella Demo (Unreleased)
18. The Boy From New York City Alternate Version 1 (Unreleased)
19. Kicked Around Alternate Version (Unreleased)
20. Ask Anybody Alternate Version (Unreleased)
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

On the heels of Real Gone's well-received Red Bird Girls: Very First Time in True Stereo 1964-1966 comes another incredible find for doo wop and girl group fans: the first-ever legitimate album devoted to the classic Blue Cat recordings by the legendary vocal group The Ad-Libs, featuring 23 tracks taken by producers Ron Furmanek and Ash Wells straight from the original master session tapes (again, another first) including five unreleased songs and nine unreleased alternate versions! And among those unreleased alternate versions are a full three newly-discovered versions of their big hit The Boy from New York City, highlighted by an a cappella demo version that must be heard! Most tracks make their true stereo debut, while the 12-page booklet boasts great liner notes by James Moniz offering insights from original Ad-Lib Norman Donegan, plus a foreword from Manhattan Transfer member Tim Hauser (not only did Manhattan Transfer have a hit with The Boy from New York City, but the Ad-Libs' jazzy mixture of male and female voices was a big influence on them). The Ad-Libs' complete (and then some) Blue Cat Recordings!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
A few months ago I got - and reviewed here on Amazon - a fabulous reissue compilation titled "The Red Bird Girls" on the newly formed Real Gone label. It was loaded with some rare tracks from this New York-based 1960s label (and its sister label Blue Cat) and contained not only nearly 20 minutes of studio chatter, but a great little booklet of well-researched liner notes and rare photos.

One of the groups on Blue Cat was a quintet (four guys and a gal) named The Ad Libs. from Northern New Jersey. You're definitely familiar with this mega hit singer "The Boy From New York City" which went on to be a hit again when The Manhattan Transfer released it later - based on the Ad Libs version. (As you'll learn - as I did - from the liner notes, that also cover the group's post-Blue Cat recordings that are not on this disc, The BFNYC session included the legendary Bernard Purdie on drums and "Phillt Sound" creator Leon Huff on piano.)

None of the other Ad libs sides made the top of the charts but they still had amazing sounds. So the folks at Real Gone released this CD which is as high in quality as the Red Bird album but - for reasons I'll mention in a moment - not as much fun to listen to often.

There are 23 songs on this 79-minute CD, only nine of where were released. The balance consists of previously unreleased demos or alternate versions. The "hit" - TBFNYC - appears here FOUR times and, while there's a great stripped-down a cappella version included, the song does get repetitious when playing the album all the way through.

Like the Red Bird CD, there are bonus tracks of studio chat that run nearly 22 minutes. After the first pas, you'll probably hit the stop button after track 23. But it's great that this material is seeing the light of day.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Blue Cat was a subsidiary of the Red Bird label started in 1964 by legendary Brill Building songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The parent label cashed in on the girl group craze with the Dixie Cups and Shangri-Las, but Blue Cat also cracked the Top 10 with the label's second single, "The Boy from New York City." Written by saxophonist John T. Taylor, the song had a jazzy swing that gave the then-recently rechristened Ad Libs a distinct sound. The New Jersey quintet featured Mary Ann Thomas singing lead and a smooth male quartet providing backing vocals. A second single, "He Ain't No Angel," was penned by Red Bird's house team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich (and previously waxed by the Lovejoys for Tiger), but label turmoil stalled the single on the bottom rungs of the Top 100. Two more singles, "On the Corner" and "I'm Just a Down Home Girl," fared even worse and led to the group's departure from Blue Cat.

Judging solely by the charts, the Ad Libs were a four-single, one-hit wonder; but as this twenty-three track collection shows, there was a lot more to their catalog than found broad public acclaim. In addition to the group's four A's and B's, Real Gone's gathered a clutch of unreleased tracks, alternate versions and a cappella demos that give full testimony to the group's vocal talent and their production team's ability to craft memorable melodic and instrumental hooks. The B-sides are anything but throwaways, with "Kicked Around" sporting an incredible jazz bass line, sly organ bed and maddeningly memorable triangle figure behind Thomas' thirsty flower vocal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impeccable sound - a real slice of pop history. November 27, 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album is the first that I've heard from the Real Gone label that actually lives up to its stated raison d'être and has packaging that is not an eye sore. Beautiful remastering of the original hits and official Blue Cat releases by Ron Furmanek with an abundance of unreleased material although some of it like the Boy from NYC without the lead vocal is a bit too complete. "Oo-wee Oh Me Oh My" is a great lost track - this and the Boy from NYC are worth the price of the CD. If you are going to be described as a one hit wonder - these two tracks are worth being rember for.
In the spirit of Ron's extensive work on the 1990s EMI Legendary Masters series, there are session chats - although in this instance - they are far more lengthy than the brief 20 secs included intermittently on the various Bobby Vee, Crickets, Ricky Nelson compilations and the sound is several generations better. Fascinating listening to the tapes rolling as the various recordings were being set up - although once through is probably enough.
As Real Gone appears to have established a relationship with Sun Entertainment to access the Red Bird/Blue Cat catalog, a boxed set - mastered by Ron Furmanek - of that label would be a welcome replacement for the Charly 4 CD set with its limited dynamic mastering.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loving it! August 10, 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The lady on the cover is my beloved Nana. Some of these songs I had never heard before; so this collection far exceeded my expectations.
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