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Complete Liberty Singles

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 26, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Not long after we released our complete collection of Jan & Dean singles last year, the collector community started calling for us to do the same for another great singles act of the 60s, Gary Lewis & the Playboys. And since we are a label and a catalog of, by and for the fine people that make up that very collector community, how could we say no? We even got one of the leaders of that community, Steve Hoffman his online site is one of the most frequented oldies message boards on the internet to oversee the mastering, along with our old friend Ed Osborne to produce and do the liner notes (and do them he did, interviewing producers Snuff Garrett and Bones Howe, drummers Hal Blaine and Jim Keltner, singer and Gary s 'ghost' voice Ron Hicklin, and even Gary himself)! Just as was the case with the J&D set, virtually all of these original mono singles mixes have never appeared on CD; in fact, the master tapes have remained untouched for over 40 years! And man, do they sound good, the way they sounded when they came cracklin out of your radio back then. Some of these songs, especially the B-sides, have never appeared on CD in ANY version, and we ve even dug up a promo-only rarity, 'Way Way Out', to sweeten the deal. It s 45 tracks of classic 60s pop-rock, the COMPLETE Liberty singles of Gary Lewis & the Playboys (many of which are pictured inside the booklet), exclusively from Collectors Choice Music!

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. This Diamond Ring
  2. Hard To Find
  3. Tijuana Wedding
  4. Count Me In
  5. Little Miss Go-Go
  6. Doin' The Flake
  7. Save Your Heart For Me
  8. Without A Word Of Warning
  9. Everybody Loves A Clown
  10. Time Stands Still
  11. She's Just My Style
  12. I Won't Make That Mistake Again
  13. Sure Gonna Miss Her
  14. I Don't Wanna Say Goodnight
  15. Green Grass
  16. I Can Read Between The Lines
  17. My Heart's A Symphony
  18. Tina (I Held You In My Arms)
  19. (You Don't Have To) Paint Me A Picture
  20. Looking For The Stars
  21. Way Way Out
  22. Down On The Sloop John B

Disc: 2

  1. Where Will The Words Come From
  2. May The Best Man Win
  3. The Loser (With A Broken Heart)
  4. Ice Melts In The Sun
  5. Girls In Love
  6. Let's Be More Than Friends
  7. Jill
  8. New In Town
  9. Has She Got The Nicest Eyes
  10. Happiness
  11. Sealed With A Kiss
  12. Sara Jane
  13. Main Street
  14. C.C. Rider
  15. Mister Memory
  16. Every Day I Have To Cry Some
  17. Rhythm of the Rain
  18. Hayride
  19. Gary's Groove
  20. Something Is Wrong
  21. I Saw Elvis Presley Last Night
  22. I'm On The Right Road Now
  23. Great Balls Of Fire

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 26, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Collector's Choice
  • ASIN: B0021TVYIA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #405,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
For a more thorough review of this first-rate CD compilation, please read hyperbolium's entry here. If that doesn't make you want to order your copy today, nothing will.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
Despite major commercial success in 1965 and 1966, including a chart-topping debut, five top-five and ten top-twenty singles, Gary Lewis' music career was all but over two years after it began. His 1967 induction into the army left his label to release stockpiled tracks and record Lewis on occasional leaves; by the time of his discharge a phalanx of bubblegum bands had taken his place in the hearts and minds of young listeners. Though Lewis' initial connections may have been eased by the fame of his actor/comedian father, Jerry Lewis, it was an inviting personality and a dream team of writers, arrangers and producers that made his vocals the center of an incredibly compelling string of singles.

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.
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Format: Audio CD
As A&R man at Liberty Records in the early 60's, Thomas "Snuff" Garrett was behind a string of successful hits with the likes of Gene McDaniels, Johnny Burnette and Bobby Vee. In 1965, teaming up Jerry Lewis's son with a song originally intended as an r'n'b tune for the Drifters, Garrett launched Gary Lewis' pop music career with the chart-topping "This Diamond Ring". Lewis, with Garrett as producer, went on to have an uninterrupted string of top-20 hits for the next two years. But almost as quickly, due to a break with Garrett, induction into the army and with the fickle and ever-changing music-buying public, Lewis' chart successes diminished and by the end of 1969, he was gone from the top-100 forever. Before it was all over though, Gary Lewis and his Playboy band racked up an impressive 15 top-100 hits, half of which made the top 10.

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.
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