Complete Liberty Singles
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Top Customer Reviews
I simply want to share this with you: We're well into the digital age now, and I'm always updating my collection with better-sounding (i.e., thoughtfully remastered) CDs. Over the years I've purchased two or three GL&TP compilations, including EMI's single-disc "Legendary Masters Series" comp released in 1990. Until now, that CD pretty much remained the benchmark in terms of overall sound quality and track selection. This new double-disc set blows that one and every other GL&TP compilation out of the water.
Look, I know some music junkies out there have an aversion to mono mixes, particularly if those folks did not first hear a particular song over AM radio back in the day or buy 45-rpm singles to pop onto their record players. (And I will admit to preferring stereo over mono in a general sense, at least when I listen to music through headphones -- which isn't very often.) But the remastering on this compilation is SO good that I would imagine even the most diehard stereo fans would have to believe their ears. These songs -- so many of them bona fide Top 40 classics -- jump right out of the speakers and fill the room. The musicianship, arrangements, and production values on these tracks are second to none.
Add in the excellent liner notes (featuring insightful quotes from many of the principals involved in these recordings, as well as several full-color 45 picture sleeves reproduced for the booklet), songwriter credits, and Billboard chart positions, and this GL&TP compilation is the one to own and enjoy. (And please, crank up the volume! Yeah, I know it'll send your dogs and cats running for cover, but your speakers need exercise.)
As someone who heard these songs the first time around more than 40 years ago, I can safely say this compilation does them justice.
The Playboys began public life in 1963 with a summer gig at Disneyland. Lewis initially played drums and rhythm guitarist Dave Walker handled lead vocals. But once in the studio with producer Snuff Garrett, Lewis found himself up front singing the group's first single, "This Diamond Ring." Co-written by Al Kooper, the song was originally released as a low-charting R&B single by Sammy Ambrose, but re-imagined by Garrett it became an unforgettable dollop of earnest pop, with Lewis' vocal thickened by double-tracking and dramatized by Hal Blaine's tympani. The double-tracked vocals would become a group trademark, with the second voice often provided by session singer Ron Hicklin.
Lewis, Garrett and arranger Leon Russell became a hit-making machine throughout 1965 and into 1966 as they reeled off "Count Me In" (written by post-Holly Cricket Glen D.Read more ›
Gary Lewis and the Playboys compilation CD's run the gamut from skimpy, budget pieces to comprehensive, career-spanning collections, the best of which has been EMI's "Legendary Master Series" CD. Here from Collectors' Choice however, is a complete singles collection, a feat heretofore not achieved. This two-disc set also distinguishes itself by presenting all the original mono mixes, many of which have not ever been available on CD. The degree of appeal of this set rests somewhat on the mono-purist, stereo soundstage debate but, for those demanding the original AM mix, this is the place to look.
The two discs with a total of 45 tracks contain all the a- and b-sides of Lewis' top-100 singles. Also included are a few intended-as-singles unreleased tunes, alternate b-sides and Lewis' remaining non-charting singles.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gary Lewis, son of a clown, and his band made a dozen hit singles, which were surprisingly good. They are contained in this two-disc set, along with many other good songs. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Keith W. Jordan
What a nice recording. This is all the best stuff they did. You don't need any other cd of their's
if you have this.
Excellent collection with outstanding sound in mono. Package is a first class production complete with detailed history of hits. Read morePublished on July 7, 2014 by James B.
This set was exactly what I wanted. Took me back many years..Published on July 3, 2014 by echo heart
Let me preface this by saying that if you are a fan of Gary Lewis and the Playboys, then this is indeed a five-star release. Read morePublished on March 7, 2014 by M.R.