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Very Best of 1964-1967


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Audio CD, March 23, 2004
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 23, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B0001JXQDS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #187,133 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. I Hear Trumpets Blow
2. Laugh
3. Breezy
4. Remember Last Summer
5. A Girl Named Arlene
6. Swing
7. He's In Town
8. The Water Is Over My Head
9. Don't Cry, Sing Along With Music
10. Oh Kathy
11. Nobody But You
12. Green Plant
13. Greatest Moments In A Girl's Life
14. You're My Girl
15. I Could See Me Dancin' With You
16. Life Is Groovy
17. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
18. Tonight I Fell In Love
19. Pan-Am Commercial
20. Action Gum Commercial
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Most anthologies focus on the RCA hits of this legendary vocal group, neglecting the '60s hits on their own B.T. Puppy label. This one rounds up those: He's in Town; I Hear the Trumpets Blow ; the soft-pop gem Life Is Groovy (with the Kirby Stone Four), and more. 22 in all!

Customer Reviews

Brings back memories!!
Connie L Arcuri
Not only are most only in mono, but even the few stereo exceptions such as "I Hear Trumpets' have an undeniably 'tinny' sound.
M. Forman
The song is great, an unknown classic that folks in the NY Metro area went nuts for in 1964.
"gbtreacy"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By hyperbolium on April 29, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Though technically a two-hit wonder - their first single was the top-20 charting "Tonight I Fell in Love" - the Tokens are popularly known for 1961's chart-topping "The Lion Sleeps Tonight." Much like other one hit wonders that were real groups (rather than temporary concoctions of a record producer), there was some great music that followed their brief intersection with commercial fortune. Perhaps their larger chart impact (and an idea in search of a compilation CD) is their production and background vocal work for groups like The Chiffons, Randy & The Rainbows, The Happenings, and Tony Orlando & Dawn.
What's featured here is the group's "second act." Having left RCA (where they scored with "The Lion Sleeps Tonight"), they embarked on an interesting series of recordings for their own B.T. Puppy label, combining their Brooklyn doo-wop roots with Brill Building pop and the burgeoning sunshine sounds of the 1960s. The group wrote a significant portion of their own material, with highlights including the falsetto-driven "Breezy," the discothèque rock of "Swing," and the pop psychedelia of 1967's "Green Plant."
The group was also connected to several of the era's top songwriters, and availed itself of exceptional songs like Carole King's "He's in Town" and Al Kooper's "The Water is Over My Head." Sadly, neither of these created made as big an impact on the U.S. charts as The Rockin' Berries' (not very dissimilar) versions made in the UK. The Tokens take of Barry & Greenwich's obscure "Nobody But You" had the makings of a hit (that never was), combining their doo-wop harmonies with catchy vocal accents and a sweet acoustic guitar hook.
Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "gbtreacy" on April 10, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This is the CD I've been hoping would be issued for a very long time; these great tracks seemed like a long-shot for reissue, but here they are, in muddy-decent mono("A Girl Named Arlene") ranging to pretty glorious stereo ("I Hear Trumpets Blow"). The bulk of the CD is devoted to The Tokens' best work for their own record label (pioneering for a band at that time, to say the least), B.T. Puppy records (with the cocker spaniel - or is it a Cavalier? - lovingly reproduced on the disc). None of these tunes ever cracked the Billboard Top 20, though most deserved to (something to do with British Invasion groups). Almost exactly 40 years ago to the day, my ever-generous Dad let me buy a 69-cent copy of the 45 of "Swing" b/w "A Girl Named Arlene," one of the very first acquisitions of what has become a truly vast collection (I was 12 at the time, and since have insanely brought together roughly 45,000 LPs, 5,000 45s, and, more recently, a huge number of CDs - but this early purchase, along with the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" on the yellow Tollie label [what ever happened to that label?], is still among my very favorites. I had just awakened to pop music, and "Swing" had reached about #17 on the WMCA (Murray the "K") charts in NY (it peaked out at #105 on the Billboard "Bubbling Under" charts). "Swing" is a super-"up" Latin-flavored cut that features the soaring falsetto of the truly great Jay Siegel. The stereo is on the crude side (listen for the tape splices when the "crowd" joins in, center channel, midway through the song -- production almost as clunky as U.S. Bonds' Legrand records, but (like them) it doesn't matter in the least. The song is great, an unknown classic that folks in the NY Metro area went nuts for in 1964.Read more ›
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Forman on April 14, 2004
Format: Audio CD
VareseVintage is to be commended for their attempt to rescue this lesser-known segment of the Tokens' sixties recordings. Indeed there are some obscure Brill-building gems here, including "He's in Town' and it's catchy follow-up 'You're My Girl', as well as their own 'I Hear Trumpets Blow' (one of the only stereo cuts on here). For some reason, though, Varese found it more appropriate to limit the number of original B.T.Puppy cuts to a paltry 16 and instead include 4 commercial snippets which have no obvious musical value whatsoever; meanwhile, 30 minutes of space are leftover, where an unknown gem from those years, Randy Newman's 'Just One Smile', could have easily fit along with several others. But my BIGGEST caveat here is the SOUND: while I'm sure Varese did the best mastering job they could with what they had to work with, the original B.T.Puppy masters were always abysmal-sounding, and remain so here. Not only are most only in mono, but even the few stereo exceptions such as "I Hear Trumpets' have an undeniably 'tinny' sound. It's too bad the Tokens had left RCA prior to forming this, their own homegrown budget-label, because their previous RCA masters are all in pristine stereo and sound remarkably good even today. Tokens fans are advised to pick up the individual B.T.Puppy singles as desired, and check out the BMG 'Best of' (RCA cuts) cd, which, though far from comprehensive, sounds so glorious you'll feel as if you are there during the original early '60's recording sessions.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2004
Format: Audio CD
It is wonderful to finally have these tunes available on CD. With lost classics like Breezy this collection illustrated again the superior breadth of the Tokens talent. My only criticism is that too many other excellent cuts were omitted ... hopefully they will appear in a future release. I strongly recommend this collection of songs from this truly great group.
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