Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Pop, R&B, Rock
The magic of the Toys was that they managed to take classical melodies that tortured you as a young piano student and turn them into finger-poppin', girl-group masterpieces. Two big hits and a bunch of other toe-tappers... more »
The magic of the Toys was that they managed to take classical melodies that tortured you as a young piano student and turn them into finger-poppin', girl-group masterpieces. Two big hits and a bunch of other toe-tappers nicely collected in one magnificent stab at the heart of Hanon! This Sundazed release includes the bonus tracks 'Baby Toys' and 'May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone'.
How the Girls from the Carolinas became immortal.
yygsgsdrassil | Crossroads America | 01/26/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You know you've heard it. It starts "How gentle is the rain that fa-alls softly on the me-hed-ows.." to the tune of Bach's Minuet in G...evvy schoolkid's basic piano lesson. Two of the three ladies were originally from North Carolina, the third was found in high school in Jamaica, NY...they got together and did the corner vocals and talent show thing til one day they gathered enuff snuff to strut inta the famous Brill Building, the assembly line factory for many a famous songwriters, producers, teenage acts, etc. Essentially it is where Goffin met King and they wrote tunes for the Sherelles, the Chiffons, et al--songwriters like Lieber/Stoller and producers like Phil Spector marketed teenaged angst on vinyl 45s....Anyway, they somehow got with Bob Crewe and "Working My Way Back To You" writers Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell and lickety split, they came up with "A Lovers Concerto", their biggest hit. But, they did a lot of other jams, too--one, "Can't Get Enough Of You Baby", wound up first on Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' original "Working My Way Back To You" LP, and here in recent times it has been done by the neo-alternatives Smash Mouth. "Attack" and "May Your Heart Be Cast Unto Stone" were minor hits with that same bouncy pop production. They are aged well with time. Innocent but not insulting...And I remember "See How They Run" as a local favorite....this is a truly rare and classix album."
Body and Soul
Kevin Killian | San Francisco, CA United States | 03/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We were watching "It's a Bikini World" (1966) on TV, truly one of the 1960s most inspired and subversive youth films. Stephanie Rothman directed a cheapo cast including Bobby Pickett, Tommy Kirk (in two roles, hip and square) and the one and only Deborah Walley, and in true BEACH PARTY fashion the film manages to incorporate many great pop acts of the day. This one has Eric Burdon singing "We've Got to Get Out of This Place," the Castaways with their catchy "Liar Liar" number, and many more, a few of which have cerainly not stood the test of time, yet such is the energy of "It's a Bikini World" that viewers forgive all sins. Anyhow the Toys appeared and my heart went right out the window. I had almost forgotten about them, but when they sang their second hit "Attack" in the film a whole era came back. The lead singer Barbara Harris is, to make a long story short, among the half dozen most distinctive voices of the century.
I can see why, or so it is said, the Supremes felt threatened when "A Lover's Concerto" hit the airwaves in the autumn of 1965, and had their songwriters attempt to imitate the successful Toys formula, which to my ears melds together the falsetto and horns sound of the Four Seasons with a gospel "realness." White America, I suppose, felt reassured at hearing that "A Lover's Concerto" took its melody from a Bach piece, as though to reiterate that in a time of seething social change and anger, black people were appreciating the dead white males and their "timeless" music. Anyhow the Supremes hit right back with "I Hear a Symphony" but if you ask me, it's not half as good as the song it seeked to ape. And when the Toys released "Attack" a few months later they launched one of the strangest and most incandescent pop records of all time.
"All's fair in love and war," sing the Toys, and the real message seems to be, "All's fair in pop." Barbara Harris tries to wrap herself around the lilting, twisty, difficult melody, but she's no perfectionist, for I imagine that to properly sing the octave climbing melody of "Attack" you would have to record it one note at a time, the way Dusty Springfield was said to record. Harris attacks the tune as though her life depended on it, and if her hold on some of the notes seems slippery, it's all the more beautiful because you feel something is at risk. Yes, she's straining, and in "It's a Bikini World" even her miming looks uncomfortable, but if you think Tina Turner sang "River Deep Mountain High" with conviction, you're talking pallid imitation of Barbara Harris in ATTACK! River Deep and Attack also share a similar lyrical mise-en-scene, the singer talking about a love that has lasted through childhood, a love that time has made stronger than time itself, a sinewy vine that simply cannot be severed or cleaved. The other Toys provide suitable support, they're lovely, but really the song belongs body and soul to the lead singer, and eternal star, Barbara Harris (not the white actress whom I also like)."
The Toys: A CD worth having.
3000 | Milwaukee, WI USA | 12/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Toys are a beautiful girl group from the mid-1960's. My favorite one from the Toys is "A Lover's Concerto". I may not had been around when it was hit in late 1965. I recall listening to it as a kid in late 1985 on the radio. I found it a very nice song. I didn't know who they were at all. In late 2000 (by then 15 years later), that's when I found it was the Toys. I bought the Toys CD in late 2001. The only one around in the Milwaukee Metro Area. I'm so glad to have it in the archives. There are no decent girl groups in recent years. Only one for 2006/2007 would be Cherish (Do It To It and Unappreciated). That's it. The Toys and others will do until a good girl group come out."