Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Colpix-Dimension Story
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, R&B, Rock
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Nice comp of obscure label that had some big hits
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 03/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A stellar 2-CD compilation of some rather obscure gems from an equally obscure pair of labels.The few Colpix/Dimension smashes are here, including The Marcels' "Blue Moon", Shelley Fabares' "Johnny Angel", Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion", The Cookies "Chains" and "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)", Freddie Scott's "Hey, Girl", and others. Well, maybe with that lineup of hits I should take back the comment about the labels being obscure. On the other hand, if you'd asked me what label any of these were on, I wouldn't have known.One thing that I really like about a label compilation such as this, is the way that the iconic hit oldies are juxtaposed with their lesser known labelmates. Songs like "The Loco-Motion", which you don't even *hear* as a song anymore (just a little iconic blip of sound), suddenly spring forward as great pieces of pop music. Played against other songs of the era that you haven't heard before, you find your ear *listening* again. Quite a treat.Similarly, hearing the Cookies' version of "Chains" (which, sadly, those of us reared in the 60s probably more closely associate with the Beatles) is a revelation, as are all the Cookies' tracks (ooh, that piano riff on "Don't Say nothin' Bad (About My Baby)" and the great lead vocal!).In addition to the hits, this generous compilation (40 tracks on 2 discs) includes a wealth of impossible-to-find tracks, some that should've been in the lexicon of every oldies radio station (but for whatever reason didn't reach their chart potential in their day), and a number of fun novelties.Great tracks I hadn't caught before include the Marcels' "Heartaches" (more of the great nonsense bass singing that you hear in "Bluemoon"), a couple of early Carole King tracks (her version of "It Might as Well Rain Until September" and the folky "He's a Bad Boy"), Big Dee Irwin's loping soulful take on "Swinging On a Star" (think they heard Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans' version of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah"?), with great counterpoint vocals from Little Eva, and Big Dee's novelty "Happy Being Fat".Bread's David Gates supplies the song and the Spectorish Wall of Sound on the Girlfriends' "My One and Only, Jimmy Boy". Followed closely on disk 2 by the *exceptional* girlgroup single "Baby, Baby (I Still Love You)" by the Cinderellas. Wow! More soul from unknown Henry Alston's "Hey Everybody" keeps disk 2 swinging right along. And even more great pop soul follows from the completely unknown Jewels "Opportunity".I'm also very partial to the swinging London sounds of Jackie & The Raindrops "Down Our Street", and the Chip Taylor folkgroup Just Us' "I Can't Grow Peaches on a Cherry Tree". A bit lesser interesting is the organ-based garage sounds of The Princetons covering the Critters "Georgianna".Earl-Jean's original version of "I'm Into Somethin' Good" does nothing to catch the exuberance of the Herman's Hermits hit single, but a good song is a good song is a good song, hm?A couple of the Paul Peterson tracks are surprisingly interesting. "Keep Your Love Locked (Deep In Your Heart)" has a great Fleetwoods-esque vocal, and "My Dad" seems like the sort of ode Brian Wilson could have imagined up if only Murry Wilson not been such a complete and total heel.Also included are early tracks from Monkee Davy Jones (a very schmaltzy showtune-like "What Are We Going to Do?"), and Mike Nesmith (recording as Michael Blessing). Nesmith's track, the "protest" song "The New Recruit" is a real gem. Now where are the *rest* of those Michael Blessing tracks?Some of the novelties wear thin pretty quickly. And even a few that probably weren't intended as novelties aren't the sort of thing I want to hear every time I listen to this disc. The James Darren sides ("Goodbye Cruel World" "Her Royal Majesty" "Conscience") are cute, but not the sort of great top-40 singles I need to hear over and over. They'll be useful for radio play, dropping them in here and there.Sonny Curtis' bandwagon jumper "The Beatle I Want To Be" is, well, a gas. (Hard to believe he was (1) a Cricket, (2) songwriter of "I Fought the Law" "Walk Right Back" and the theme song from the Mary Tyler Moore Show!). Lou Christies' "Guitars and Bongos" is a lot of fun, and has less to do with guitars and bongos than with Christies' great falsetto singing.Some of the other tracks are a bit schmaltzy for my taste. Sandy Stewart's "My Coloring Book" and Teddy Randazzo's "Big Wide World" for example. Ask me again another day and I'll probably have warmed up to them, but not on the first couple of passes.Some cool instrumentals, including the wavery guitar of The Wildwoods' "Here Comes Big Ed", and the twangy strings of Duane Eddy's version of "House of the Rising Sun".The digital clarity of this transfer, by the way, pretty much proves that there had to have been a conspiracy that kept Shelley Fabares from being the mega-super singing star that "Johnny Angel" shows she so rightfully should have been. Did Fabares wrong someone in the mob or the government or something? Sure, she had a followup with "Johnny Loves Me", but we all know that there is a wealth of incredible material buried in the vaults. One track from her mid-'66 collaboration with Toejam Jawallaby has been reproduced several times on boots (and *no* Fabares and Joanie Snotpuck are *not* one and the same!), but where are all the Kingfisher sides? Probably burned and buried by now. Robbery!Oh-- sorry.Good liner notes on each label, and comments on each track. Release and chart information is also included.Overall, a fantastic compilation of a much-ignored pair of labels. Not necessarily a solid play, but with a little programming of the CD player, the couple of clunkers can easily disappear."