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The Very Best Of Gary U.S. Bonds

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 11, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

This is the first Bonds "best-of" available in the States in years. The hits are here- Quarter to Three; School Is Out; New Orleans; Dear Lady Twist; Twist, Twist Senora; Seven Day Weekend; School Is In -along with Not Me; Shine on Lover's Moon , and more. 16 tracks.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. New Orleans
  2. Not Me
  3. Shine On Lover's Moon
  4. Quarter To Three
  5. School Is Out
  6. School Is In
  7. Dear Lady Twist
  8. Havin' So Much
  9. Twist, Twist Senora
  10. Seven Day Weekend
  11. Gettin' A Groove
  12. Copy Cat
  13. I Dig This Station
  14. Where Did The Naughty Little Girl Go
  15. I Wanta Holler (But The Town's Too Small)
  16. Take Me Back To New Orleans


Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 11, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Varese Sarabande
  • ASIN: B000009QKX
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,434 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Joseph J. Pasko on December 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Just want to add this to the review posted by "a music fan", who is asking who the sax player was on these classic US Bonds tracks. The sax player was Gene Barge, a/k/a "Daddy G". That's why Bonds shouts "Blow Daddy!" on so many of these recordings, and why the lyrics to "Quarter to Three" include the line "dance with Daddy G". Daddy G was the leader of the Chuch Street Five, the house band for Legrand Records, who backed up US Bonds, as well as Jimmy Soul (eg, "If You Wanna Be Happy"). They also recorded many hot instrumentals on their own, which bascially sound like US Bonds records with the vocals removed. Gene Barge went on to work for Chess Records in Chicago, and can be heard on many recordings, such as "Rescue Me" by Fontella Bass. There...now you know!
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Format: Audio CD
This album gets five stars for the great hits that seem to have been unjustly forgotten. That's too bad, these records have a very defined sound that sets it apart from any other recorded music. For my money, no two songs have more party power than "New Orleans" or "Quarter to Three." Though Gary put out some quite good stuff in the 80's, with help from Bruce Springsteen, this original stuff from the early 60's is even more unique. I don't know who played the sax on these tunes, but it is rock n roll hall of fame quality. Need to party? Put on Gary "U.S. Bonds!"
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Format: Audio CD
Bought solely to replace a copy of LeGrand #202 " I dig this station" purchased on my first ever visit to the States, I was amazed and delighted to rediscover all those other hits that had slipped from my consciousness. Of course remastering has done nothing to the sound quality, all the early material was recorded on a monaural Ampex, with overdubs simply appearing on top of what had appeared on the last take. What still shines through is the sheer power and delight that each of the sessions must have had. It was, apparently, much aided by the intake of alcohol, Bonds admitting in an interview in the 80"s that they were "steaming...absolutely bombed" when they recorded the early stuff.As well as the wailing sax which marked out all the hits, it's also worth mentioning the double bass drum sound that underpinned it all, Emmett Shields did the drum duities on the early hits. These records were for dancing to, not anlysing, and although I like the very big hits, I like the lesser known stuff as well; "Seven day weekend" in particular.Thankfully "I dig this station" has also stood up well! This was revolutionary stuff when we first heard it in the UK (courtesy of a deal done with Top Rank records) and when he toured with Tony Orlando and Gene McDaniels, his primitive sound absolutely stole the show. Don't think about it - get those legs out there doing it. A fine, fine reissue!
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Gary Bonds is from my home town and I remember when he hit the radio with Quarter To Three. Back then I wondered why the quality (I was about 10) was so "grainy". Not until I read the jacket that comes with this CD did I lean that sound was produced to be unique. All Gary's songs are upbeat and lively and fun to listen to. They have a good beat, good words and I give them a 10 for being what they are. Seven Day Weekend, Twist Twist Senora, New Orleans, and Dear Lady Twist take me back to those days listening on the local AM station on a transistor radio. They are great to hear again. If you are a collector, this one should be on your shelf.
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Format: Audio CD
Gary "US" Bonds got a second life thanks to Bruce Springsteen. At the start of his career Springsteen revived Quarter to Three as his show stopper. Because of the more serious nature of Springsteen's own work Quarter was often one of the most delightful and exiting moments in his show. During the eighties Springsteen returned the favor by donating some songs to the Little Steven van Zandt produced comeback albums, Dedication and On the Line. This comeback spawned a series of compilations of Gary's earlier singles of which this one is the most accomplished.

Bonds is an artist who makes you wonder if a full disc of material is justified. During his career he only hit a handful of times, seldom major. Follow up singles were often in the same vein as the hit and therefore often uninteresting. Yet compiled on one disc Gary hold up just fine. There is of course a lot of filler here. Gary did too many dance craze singles that are just not to convincing these days. Fun as they are they didn't really stand up to the test of time.

The singles that do stand up save this compilation with a vengeance. Of course his biggest hits are here, such as Quarter to Three and New Orleans but some other notable material as well. I Wanta Holler (But the Town's Too Small) is one of the most exiting R&R singles written, Where Did the Naughty Little Girl Go is no small feat either. Gary's voice is one of R&B's most distinct. It is raw, emotional, passionate and filled with excitement. If his career would've been better managed Gary could have been among the top. As it is now we get an overview of a promise lost.
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On one of the liner notes written for a cd or LP, Frank Guida (LeGrand's owner) actually went on and on taking up most of the space for liner notes about what great revolutionary sound quality he achieved and quoted a number of people claiming that he [Guida] was a sound genius. The sound quality was in reality the result of the limitations of the LeGrand 'Studios' (one author says the 'studio' was in the back of his record store and another says you can hear a train on a track--although I amnot sure of the latter and cannot verify that). Guida said it was exactly the sound that he wanted! And he went on to write the self-congratulatory liner notes about his being a recording sound genius The City of Norfolk's website notes: "the sound was born out of Guida’s need to compensate for less than state-of-the-art recording conditions in his Church Street and Sewells Point Road studios.[more correctly 408 W. Princess Anne Road]" It then goes on to discuss how he layered on layer the music and double-tracked the vocals. The atmosphere of the sessions might result from that they were literally over-modulated and as one writer notes Guida "compressed the hell out them." I am surprised that he even had multitrack capability which he obviously did as some of these tracks are multitrack (stereo). Since these cuts were multitracked layer over layer with significant compression into the final mono mix, it is not realistic to think that they could be cleaned up to any noticeable extent. Admission: am an audiophile, and usually prefer stereo over mono when there is a decent choice. After noting these limitations, I must say that the end results are quite listenable--maybe they would be less so, and less enjoyable if they were recorded in a 24 track studio which had accoustic engineering in the building. Perhaps the primitive nature of the studio actually added something!
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