Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Must-Have Collection For Sixties Music Lovers!
Jay Paul | San Francisco CA, USA | 10/09/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This collection is a well-put together selection (based upon a special TV series) of great '60s tunes, with valuable liner notes and photos. If you haven't seen the documentary, "The Hitmakers," the liner notes will tell you the story, supplemented by these classic songs. If you have seen the documentary, then just sit back and enjoy the tunes all over again..."
Original Price - Buy It Now - USED? Your Call
KC | Northern CA | 11/27/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At the original IN PRINT price, it's an amazing box set of an amazing time - to think of how cool it would've been to be there in a building to watch your scribblings become tunes and then become hit records right before your eyes - and to be there with fellow writers (not to mention the singers) - those days are definitely over.
If you're just starting out and you love the late 50's & early 1960's shimmering pop wall of sound (along with Phil Spector), this is an amazing 4-CD set with over 80 of the greatest pop rock tracks of all time - again staggering that these all came out of that time, era and literally - one building - definitely get this CD.
If you already have an extensive CD collection of that time, you might want to review the tracks to make sure you're not duplicating them. This set does NOT contain any demos or alt takes.
Or if you find the USED print a bit steep, here are some things to keep in mind. If you're a real big fan, you're probably better off piecing together the greatest hits packages of: Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, The Drifters, Chiffons, Shirelles, The Righteous Brothers, Shangrai-La's etc ... since their tracks in this box are just sprinkled throughout and not complete (except for maybe Neil Sedaka's early stuff) or you'll pretty much sweep through and collect virtually all the tracks with a handful of hits of the 50's and 60's compilations. You'd be hard pressed not to swing a compilation CD of that era and get Little Eva or Ben E. King, etc ... as for the sound quality, the more recent greatest hits releases match or beat the sound quality of this box set. The only exception are the Sedaka tracks they sound better here than my NEIL SEDAKA'S ALL TIME GREATEST HITS CD but mine might be an older compilation anyway.
The only relatively rare tracks are from the Cookies or the Girlfriends and frankly, they are pretty much minor league stuff and really more for competitsts - but then I don't really need to talk you into this box set. So, really, 100% of the best tracks are all available elsewhere and also the best artists are not complete here so you'll probably want to buy their greatest hots or anthology set of that particular artist anyway.
This is not to be dismissive of the Brill Sound box set, it's a great sampling and a great set but perhaps not at the USED price as it stands now - at its original price, there's no question you should click BUY IT NOW."
Jersey Kid | Katy, Texas, America! | 12/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You are buying an extremely complete retrospective of the so-called Brill Building Sound that addresses the output of a number of writing collectives. These writers/producers all worked at one time or another within yards of each other in Manhattan. In a coincidence that would be laughable in a novel or movie, many of them grew up in the same area of Brooklyn.
The songs they wrote in this synergistic/antagonistic environment were invariably hits for a stable of artists associated with them. But, so fundamentally good were the lyrics, arrangements and ambiance that the songs were a key component of The British Invasion bands' repertoires and are often still covered. 'Live at the BBC' has several of these songs - including 'Don't Ever Change,' orginally done by The Crickets and Little Eva's 'Keep Your Hands Off My Baby' - being played live by The Beatles. And, speaking of Little Eva - fabulously mentioned as Goffin and King's babysitter who was given another song to sing ('The Locomotion') subsequently covered by Grand Funk Railroad.
I would also argue that the process used in creating these three minute expositions on being a teenager in the early 1960s also served as the model for other production families. Berry Gordy - whether by serendipity or deliberate calculation - followed the same model of a coterie of superb writers, musicians and producers that generated material for an equally talented set of performers. This pattern also appears almost due south of Detroit with the marvelous pieces created by the Stax/Volt label. An last but certainly not least, were the efforts of someone who functioned in the background at the Brill Building but nevertheless took excellent notes. The output of Phil Spector is best appreciated and comparable with this set on the 'Back to Mono' boxset. There is but one fault to be found. The version of 'Leader of the Pack' by the Shangri-Las has a section missing! It's the lyric "One day my dad said find someone new." One could write this off to thiss et being a K-Tel production, but the same version of the song can be found on at least one other compendium.
After all the praises given to the songwriters, the musicians, the producers and the performers, there is still one more thing of almost inestimable value in this collection. You are - in point of fact - buying entry into another world; one where ambiguity does not exist. Instead you find yourself in a universe where love, trust, sincerity, loyalty, honesty and scores of other virtues are given and received and experienced in naïve purity. In these songs, in these "three minute operettas," as I believe Spector called them is found a truth about life and love and all that is important.
Yeah, I know that world wasn't real then any more than it is now. As we first heard these profoundly beautiful songs the world was moving ever more rapidly towards Vietnam; the killing fields of Cambodia; repeated genocides in Europe, Asia and Africa; AIDS; regional famine and the near total destruction of politics as anything more than something akin to what the money lenders were doing in The Temple when Jesus came upon them.
So - perhaps as self-delusion, but more as relief and succor - listen to what is arguably one of the best compendiums produced. Understand too, that part of its transcendence is that while a compendium, its value is enhanced by the diversity of the genres contained within these four CDs.