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Best Of The Crystals

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 22, 1992
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Editorial Reviews

19 of the Crystals Top Hits - All Selections produced by Phil Spector

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. There's No Other Like My Baby
  2. Oh, Yeah, Maybe, Baby
  3. Uptown
  4. What A Nice Way To Turn 17
  5. He Hit Me (It Felt Like A Kiss)
  6. No One Ever Tells You
  7. He's A Rebel
  8. I Love You Eddie
  9. Another Country - Another World
  10. Please Hurt Me
  11. He's Sure The Boy I Love
  12. Look In My Eyes
  13. Da Doo Ron Ron
  14. Heartbreaker
  15. Then He Kissed Me
  16. I Wonder
  17. Little Boy
  18. Girls Can Tell
  19. All Grown Up


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 22, 1992)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Abkco
  • ASIN: B000003BDS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #167,529 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This 19-track set is the only widely-available Crystals collection, which is, to me, a crime. A crime becuase the music is so good, but also a crime because it sounds so horrible (resulting in only a 4-star rating). "Digitally remastered by Phil Spector" seems promising, but in the end, just doesn't cut it.
First of all, I was very pleased by the track selection as presented here. All of the group's major hits ("Da Doo Ron Ron", "Then He Kissed Me", the gorgeous "Uptown", and "He's A Rebel") are present, along with standards such as "There's No Other Like My Baby". However, the disc might have been augmented by including The Crystals' contributions to Phil Spector's classic "A Christmas Gift For You" as well as their novelty records such as the long lost "Let's Dance (The Screw)" or "The Frankenstein Twist". Also, where are the smaller hits like "In The Morning" and "When The Right Boy Comes Along"? Considering the length of a compact disc, these extra tracks would have easily fit, and would have rendered this collection definitive.
I was disappointed, however, in the transfer of the music. I'm an admitted audiophile, and this is one of the most problematic discs I've heard (along with "The Best Of The Ronettes" and the "Back To Mono" box set; such low standards seem to be a common occurence on ABCKO collections). The company claims these tracks were digitally remastered by Phil Spector himself, so why does it sound like someone remastered them in a bathroom somewhere? The songs are muffled and much too quiet ("Girls Can Tell" sounds absolutely awful...nothing like it did on the original 45 in 1962), and, yes (sigh), presented in mono.
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Format: Audio CD
Even with its pink cover "The Best of the Crystals" is the best compilation of songs by the girl group from the 1960s (not to be confused with the doo-wop group from the 1950s). The cover refers to "The Original Phil Spector Hits" and the voices of Lala Brooks, Barbara Alston and Darlene Love. Each of those ladies was the lead vocalist for the Crystals at different times (as were others, such as Patricia Wright on "Oh, Yeah, Maybe, Baby"), and under decidedly different situations because Spectator was not only the group's producer, he owned the name. This explains why the group's biggest hit, "He's a Rebel," which spent 18 weeks on the chart and hit #1, was recorded by Darlene Love and the Blossoms in Los Angeles under the Crystals name while the Crystals themselves were sitting back in New York. But even with their strange history the Crystals remain one of the greatest of the girl groups and a key part of what the American music scene was like in the early 1960s before the British Invasion changed everything forever.

With 19 tracks laid out in chronological order this collection is able to cover all of the bases. In terms of songs that made it to the Billboard Top 100 Pop Singles you get "There's No Other (Like My Baby)" (#20), "Uptown" (#13), "Da Doo Ron (When He Walked Me Home)" (#3), "He's Sure the Boy I Love" (#11), "Then He Kissed Me" (#6), "All Grown Up" (#98) and "Little Boy" (#92). The last two songs were released as singles in 1964 so you can see what impact the Beatles were having on girl groups, even great R&B artists like the Crystals. But as you would expect there are some pretty good songs that never made it to the charts in this collection, such as "What a Nice Way to Turn 17," "Another Country - Another World," "Look in My Eyes," and "I Wonder.
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Format: Audio CD
In a perfect world the three albums the Crystals made for Phil Spector and the four extra A-sides would all be available on CD. They would probably all fit onto one disc, as the second album, He's A Rebel, was a disguised re-issue of the first, Uptown Twist, but with three new tracks replacing two; while the third, The Crystals Sing Their Greatest Hits (Vol. 1), recycled yet again some of their older hits, as you would expect, but added five previously unreleased covers of recent dance hits including the Chantels' Look In My Eyes.

Instead we have the next best thing, The Best Of The Crystals, compiled by Phil Spector in 1992, which collects the A-sides and B-sides they recorded for Philles Records, beginning with the dreamy There's No Other Like My Baby and the socially conscious second single Uptown, and adds 3 album tracks and 2 tracks unreleased at the time. It includes the original version of I Wonder (later recorded by the Ronettes), which was a single only in the UK, coupled with Little Boy, but unfortunately excludes the withdrawn two-part single (Let's Dance) The Screw.

It was through the Crystals, initially led by Barbara Alston, that Spector made his mark and created the famous Wall Of Sound, when He's A Rebel hit number 1 in America. Ironically, none of the Crystals sang on their first big hit, as the Gene Pitney song was recorded in haste in Hollywood to beat a rival version by Vikki Carr, and none of the Crystals was able to fly from New York for the sessions. Instead a session group led by the unknown Darlene Love (then Darlene Wright) and called the Blossoms were hired to be the Crystals for a day, and they soon became Spector regulars.
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