Quality: Mp3 (CBR320/Stereo) | Size: 693 Mb (incl 5%) | Time: 03:42:56
Genre: RB, Philly Soul, Smooth Soul, Disco
Collection includes: Pick Of The Litter (1975); Dancin And Lovin (1979); 2LP-in-1CD From Here To Eternally (1979)/Love Trippin (1980); 2LP-in-1CD Yesterday, Today Tomorrow (1977)/Labor Of Love (1981).
The Spinners were the greatest soul group of the early 70s, creating a body of work that defined the lush, seductive sound of Philly soul. Ironically, the bands roots lay in Detroit, where they formed as a doo wop group during the late 50s. Throughout the 60s, The Spinners tried to land a hit by adapting to the shifting fashions of RB and pop. By the mid-60s, they had signed with Motown Records, but the label never gave the group much consideration. Its a Shame became a hit in 1970, but the label continued to ignore the group, and dropped the band two years later. Unsigned and featuring new lead singer Phillipe Wynne, The Spinners seemed destined to never break into the big leagues, but they managed to sign with Atlantic Records, where they began working with producer Thom Bell. With his assistance, The Spinners developed a distinctive sound, one that relied on Wynnes breathtaking falsetto and the groups intricate vocal harmonies. Bell provided the group with an appropriately detailed production, creating a detailed web of horns, strings, backing vocals, and lightly funky rhythms. Between 1972 and 1977, The Spinners and Bell recorded a number of soul classics, including Ill Be Around, Could It Be Im Fallin in Love, Mighty Love, Ghetto Child, Then Came You, Games People Play, and The Rubberband Man. Wynne left in 1977 and The Spinners had hits for a few years after his departure, but the group will always be remembered for its classic mid-70s work.
Originally, called the Domingoes, The Spinners formed when the quintet were high school students in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale in 1957. At the time, the group featured Bobbie Smith, Pervis Jackson, George W. Dixon, Billy Henderson, and Henry Fambrough. Four years later, they came to the attention of producer Harvey Fuqua, who began recording the group -- who were now called The Spinners -- for his Tri-Phi Records. The bands first single, Thats What Girls Are Made For, became a Top Ten RB hit upon its 1961 release and featured Smith on vocals. Following its release, Dixon was replaced by Edgar Chico Edwards. Over the next few years, the group released a series of failed singles, and when Tri-Phi was bought out by Motown in the mid-60s, The Spinners became part of the larger companys roster. By that time, Edwards had been replaced by G.C. Cameron.
Though The Spinners had some RB hits at Motown during the late 60s, including Ill Always Love You and Truly Yours, they didnt have a genuine crossover success until 1970, when Stevie Wonder gave the group Its a Shame. Motown never concentrated on The Spinners, and they let the group go in 1972. Before the band signed with Atlantic Records, Phillipe Wynne replaced Cameron as the groups lead vocalist. Wynne had previously sung with Catfish and Bootsy Collins.
At Atlantic Records, The Spinners worked with producer Thom Bell, who gave the group a lush, seductive sound, complete with sighing strings, a tight rhythm section, sultry horns, and a slight funk underpinning. Wynne quickly emerged as a first-rate soul singer, and the combination of the groups harmonies, Wynnes soaring leads, and Bells meticulous production made The Spinners the most popular soul group of the 70s. Once the group signed with Atlantic, they became a veritable hit machine, topping the RB and pop charts with songs like Ill Be Around, Could It Be Im Falling in Love, One of a Kind (Love Affair), Ghetto Child, Rubberband Man, and Youre Throwing a Good Love Away. Not only were their singles hits, but their albums constantly went gold and charted in the Top 20.
Wynne left the band to pursue a solo career in 1977; he was replaced by John Edwards. Though none of Wynnes solo records were big hits, his tours with Parliament-Funkadelic were well-received, as were his solo concerts. In October 1984, he died of a heart attack during a concert in Oakland, CA. The Spinners, meanwhile, had a number of minor hits in the late 70s, highlighted by their disco covers of Working My Way Back to You and the medley Cupid/Ive Loved You for a Long Time. During the early 80s, they had several minor hits before fading away from the charts and entering the oldies circuit, reprising their earlier material for 1999s new studio effort At Their Best.
Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Allmusic.com
Pick Of The Litter (1975) Reissue 1995
For their fourth Atlantic Records outing, the Spinners -- Henry Fambrough (baritone vocal), Billy Henderson (tenor vocal), Pervis Jackson (bass vocal), Bobbie Smith (tenor vocal) and Philippe Wynne (tenor vocal) -- cook up another sizable serving of Philly Soul under the care of producer/arranger Thom Bell. Following on the heels of three sequential gold records, it is not particularly surprising that they would continue in the same vein. The danceable RB grooves -- especially the undeniably memorable They Just Cant Stop It (The Games People Play) -- not to mention the soulful slow jams, were ultimately a factor in making Pick of the Litter (1975) the Spinners most successful long-player. Although the entire affair clocks in at just over half-an-hour, they pack a great deal into the effort, commencing with the dynamic mid-tempo Honest I Do. The four-on-the-floor tempo and compact string arrangement are part and parcel of what made their sound so instantly discernible among concurrent copycat combos. They likewise had Wynnes versatile vocals in their arsenal, which was no doubt a significant component in their second 7 side, the compelling Love or Leave. Instrumentally, the distinctive distorted guitar and refined brass accompaniment are all courtesy of Bells singular musical vision, and faultlessly executed by the equally unmistakable MFSB Orchestra. All That Glitters Aint Gold is a catchy number sporting a brisk propelling rhythm and score foreshadowing Bells work with Elton John on Mama Cant Buy You Love. The batch of ballads on Pick of the Litter are proportionately excellent as well, highlighted by Dionne Warwicks second guest appearance. Fambroughs debut as a solo lead demonstrates a gentle and supple intonation, perfectly matched to Warwicks agile and affective style. The albums primary focus track was the aforementioned They Just Cant Stop It (The Games People Play). The slightly, albeit judiciously edited version became a crossover smash, landing in the upper reaches of the Pop Singles survey and topping the RB countdown in July of 1975. Trading vocals with Wynne and Jackson -- whose resonant 12:45 interjection became a hallmark of the song -- is backing session singer Barbara Ingram. Because the group was touring at the time, Fambrough was unavailable to put the finishing touches on the recording. Bell was under the gun to complete the production, so he chose Ingram to step in, and in doing so lent a whole new dimension to the lyrical banter. Those seeking a thoroughly solid effort Philly Soul are encouraged to spin the appropriately named Pick of the Litter.
Review by Lindsay Planer, Allmusic.com
01. Honest I Do (4:04)
02. I Dont Want To Lose You (3:45)
03. Love Or Leave (5:01)
04. Sweet Love Of Mine (4:23)
05. All That Glitters Aint Gold (3:51)
06. You Made A Promise To Me (3:59)
07. Games People Play (4:44)
08. Just As Long As We Have Love (4:06)
EAC log CD
Dancin And Lovin (1979) Reissue 1992
While soul purists recoiled in horror, the Spinners climbed off the ropes and soared back into the spotlight by recasting themselves as a modified dance/crossover band with soul/RB influences. It worked in the short run, as their remake of the Four Seasons Working My Way Back to You, mixed with their own wailer, Forgive Me Girl, made a nice sandwich at number two pop and number six RB. It took nearly a year, but they were revived. While they wore the formula out with a similar follow-up, it gave them a fresh start and the necessary credibility to eventually return to their customary sophisticated soul.
Review by Ron Wynn, Allmusic.com
01. Disco Ride (6:25)
02. Body Language (6:26)
03. Lets Boogie, Lets Dance (5:57)
04. Medley: Working My Way Back To You / Forgive Me, Girl (6:05)
05. With My Eyes (6:43)
06. One, One, Two, Two, Boogie Woogie Avenue (Home Of The Boogie, House Of The Funk) (5:05)
EAC log CD
From Here to Eternally/Love Trippin (1998) 2 LPs on one CD
Only three singles sprang from the release of From Here to Eternally (1979) and Love Trippin (1980) combined, so this two-fer is hardly a musical powerball. Its not remotely close to their early-70s LPs, with the unpredictable Philippe Wynne leading the charge and producer Thom Bell in a zone. Wynnes gone; his replacement, John Edwards, a seasoned soul singer, does an admirable job. Cupid/I Loved You For a Long Time was the Spinners last significant hit before becoming pop Top 40 nonfactors. A second single, Now That Youre Mine Again, went unnoticed, and the third, I Just Want to Fall in Love, gets more plays via Internet Real Audio and Window Media than it did when Atlantic Records released it. Bell relies on Bobbie Smiths light tenor and Henry Fambroughs pleasant but colorless tenor for too many leads; after too many doses of them you welcome Edwards biting, expressive full-bodied vocals with open ears. Other than the previously mentioned singles and Streetwise, Love Trippin, and Split Decision (on which Pervis Jacksons bass is unleashed), theres nothing else among the 18 tracks youll want to hear twice.
Review by Andrew Hamilton, Allmusic.com
01. Its A Natural Affair (4:04)
02. Dont Let The Man Get You (5:11)
03. (A) Plain And Simple Love Song (5:22)
04. Are You Ready For Love (5:21)
05. I Love The Music (5:23)
06. One Man Wonderful Band (3:06)
07. If You Wanna Do A Dance (All Night) (7:07)
08. Once You Fall In Love (4:25)
09. Love Trippin (4:10)
10. Heavy On Sunshine (3:40)
11. Medley: Cupid / Ive Loved You For A Long Time (5:34)
12. I Just Want To Be With You (3:25)
13. Streetwise (3:38)
14. I Just Want To Fall In Love (3:51)
15. Now That Youre Mine Again (4:23)
16. Split Decision (3:31)
17. Im Takin You Back (3:18)
18. Pipedream (3:12)
EAC log CD
Yesterday Today Tomorrow/Labor of Love (1998) 2 LPs on one CD
If not for Youre Throwing a Good Love Away, a romping excursion transformed into a mini-revival by the Spinners, this would be a throwaway. The material is pleasant, but nothing else here compels you to listen. In most cases, the titles are better then the songs. Im Riding Your Shadow (Down to Love) is the exception to that; the title is confusing, but the tune is a pleasant, lightweight ballad done in the Spinners imitable style. The others are unmemorable even after repeated spins. Either producer Thom Bell dusted off some rejects, or his Midas touch with the Spinners had worn thin.
Review by Andrew Hamilton, Allmusic.com
01. Me And My Music (4:26)
02. I Found Love (When I Found You) (5:11)
03. Im Riding Your Shadow (Down To Love) (4:15)
04. Youre The Love Of My Life (4:15)
05. I Must Be Living For A Broken Heart (4:55)
06. Honey, Im In Love With You (5:44)
07. Just To Be With You (8:22)
08. Youre Throwing A Good Love Away (8:38)
09. Medley: Yesterday Once More / Nothing Reamins The Same (7:32)
10. Almost All The Way To Love (4:08)
11. The Winter Of Our Love (3:52)
12. Be My Love (4:07)
13. Give Your Lady What She Wants (3:18)
14. Long Live Soul Music (4:58)