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Ad Libs & Friends
Ad Libs
Ad Libs & Friends
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Ad Libs
Title: Ad Libs & Friends
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Collectables
Release Date: 8/27/1996
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
Styles: Oldies, Soul, Oldies & Retro
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 090431574225

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CD Reviews

WHAT?!@#@...NO... "GIVING UP!!"
southcentraldiva | LOS (SOUTH CENTRAL) ANGELES | 12/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

Another Group That Couldn't Deal With The British Invasion
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Hugh Harris, Danny Austin, John Alan, David Allen Watt, Jr. and James Wright began, like many vocal groups back then all over the U.S., singing on the street corners of Bayonne, New Jersey, calling themseles The Arabians. Very early in 1962, now named The Creators, they recorded I'll Never Do It Again b/w Boy, He's Got It for the tiny T-Kay label out of Brooklyn (T-Kay 110), and later that year, for the much larger Philips company, they recorded Yeah, He's Got It which had an instrumental version of Boy, He's Got It as the flip (Philips 40058), and for the Christmas season they did I Stayed Home (New Year's Eve) b/w Shoom Ba Da (Philips 40063). None of these made any major charts.

It was also in that period that Watts was drafted, his replacement being bass Chris Coles who had experience with a group called The Roamers who had cut some sides for Savoy. In 1964, with Watts back from service and Norman Donegan also added, they came across Mary Ann Thomas, then singing with another gathering, and brought her in as their new lead, at the same time changing their name to The Ad Libs.

A new contract with the Red Bird subsidiary, Blue Cat, owned by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller and George Goldner, led to the late 1964 recording of the smash hit, The Boy From New York City, which hit # 6 R&B/# 8 Billboard Pop Hot 100 in Jan/Feb 1965 b/w Kicked Around on Blue Cat 102. Which was remarkable for a North American group and a relatively small label in the face of the full-fledged Brith Invasion which, by then, owned most of the air time and juke box play.

Unfortunately, that caught up to them with the follow-up He Ain't No Angel, which barely made it into the Hot 100 at # 100 in May 1965 b/w Ask Anybody on Blue Cat 114. Still, that was better than the next two releases, On The Corner b/w Oo-Wee Oh Mee Oh My (Blue Cat 119 in August) and Johnny Is My Boy b/w I'm Just A Down Home Girl (Blue Cat 123 early in 1966), which were shut out on both the Hot 100 and R&B charts.

Later in 1966, and with personnel changes galore starting to come into effect, they turned up at A.G.P. Records where their cover of the Tommy Hunt hit, Human, b/w with the wonderful New York In The Dark on A.G.P. 100 failed to chart anywhere, as did Every Boy And Girl b/w Think Of Me later that year on Karen 1527, with newcomer Irene Baker singing lead. In May 1967, Philips released You're In Love b/w Don't Ever Leave me on Philips 40461 to no avail.

By 1968 they were with Share Records and producer Van McCoy, with their first release there being You're Just A Rolling Stone b/w Show A Little Appreciation on Share 101. It went nowhere, but late that year they recorded Giving Up which at least got them back onto one chart when it hit # 34 R&B in March 1969 b/w Appreciation on Share 104. But then Nothing Worse Than Being Alone b/w If She Wants Him on Share 106 a bit later became just another failed single.

Even so, one of the giants, Capitol, took a chance on them late in 1970 with Love Me b/w Know All About You on Capitol 2944 - but when it too failed to register they pretty much faded from the scene. Until 1982 when a revamped group tried their luck with a small operation named Passion, but when most of the copies made of I Don't Need No Fortune Teller b/w Spring And Summer on Passion 1 were printed with the labels reversed and had to be destroyed it became just a memory.

An Ad Libs group tried again in 1988 with yet another small independent operation named Johnnie Boy, but none among the 4 sides cut there could get them back into the spotlight: I Stayed Home b/w an acapella version of the same song (Johnnie Boy 1), The Tide Has Turned by with an instrumental version of the A-side (Johnnie Boy 2), Close to Me by an instrumental version of the A-side (Johnnie Boy 3), and I Stayed Home b/w Santa's On His Way (Johnnie Boy 4).

Collectables provides all four sides of their two Hot 100 hits here, along with some of the other failed single releases they had, but unfortunately omit Giving Up. As for the "Friends" portion of the CD, the best obviously are the hit tracks [15-17] by The Dixie Cups, but these are generally available in any number of compilations, not to mention a couple of very good Dixie Cups volumes.

Also, not only should the "Butterflies" have been shown above as The Butterflys (actually Ellie Greenwich), but her only hit under that name (she had one under her own name and five as part of The Raindrops) for Red Bird was the # 51 Hot 100 Good Night Baby in 1964. The Poets (She Blew A Good Thing - # 2 R&B/#45 Hot 100 in late spring 1966), Charmettes (Please Don't Kiss Me Again - # 100 Hot 100/R&B in November 1963), and Roddie Joy (Come Back Baby - # 21 R&B/# 86 Hot 100 in April 1965) were each one-hit wonders. The problem is, not one of those hits is here!

Just another notch on a very wobbly Collectables chain of releases."