Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Vintage Instrumentals, Vol. 5
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Rock
And The Beat Goes On (And ALL Are Original Hit Singles)
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As I point out in my reviews of the first four volumes in this 6-part series, all are original hit single renditions, the sound quality is excellent, there are track-by-track liner notes, and the selections cover both a wide period and instrumental styles from R&R to pure pop to jazz.
This opens with a 1958 selection that, for my money anyway, was one of the best instrumental R&R hits ever - Hard Times (The Slop) by Noble "Thin Man" Watts & His Rhythm Sparks. Originally titled The Slop, it was changed after DJs objected to playing a tune with that name (the unctuous phony Dick Clark wouldn't play it period). Led by Watts' wailing sax, and with one of the best opening licks ever, it reached a respectable # 44 Billboard Yop 100 in January 1958, but you have to think that, had it been handled by a major label rather than Baton, and treated fairly by the DJs, it would have ranged much higher.
Other R&R instrumentals here [some of them exceedingly hard to find on CD] include: Tall Cool One by The Wailers [# 36 Hot 100 in 1959 and which charted again in 1964 at # 38 Hot 100]; You Can't Sit Down (Parts 1 & 2) by The Phil Upchurch Combo, their only hit and a # 29 Hot 100 in 1961; Quite A Party by The Fireballs [their fourth and last pure instrumental - # 27 Hot 100 in 1961); Back Beat No. 1 by The Rondels [the only hit for this Boston band and # 66 Hot 100 in 1961); Happy Organ by Dave "Baby" Cortez [his first hit and his only # 1 Hot 100 - coming in 1959]; Memphis by Lonnie Mack (his first of four hits and a # 5 Hot 100 in 1963); and Wiggle Woggle by Les Cooper & The Soul Rockers [a # 12 R&B/# 22 Hot 100 in early 1963 and the only hit for the group that included the former lead singer with The Charts, Joe Grier, on sax].
Special mention has to be made too to Soul Twist by King Curtis [# 1 R&B/# 17 Hot 100 in 1962]. This was the first of what would be 15 Hot 100 singles for this ace saxophonist who was in demand by EVERYBODY at that time, including Brook Benton, Bobby Darin, Nat "King" Cole, The McGuire Sisters, Aretha Franklin, Andy Williams, The Coasters, and The Shirelles - to name only a prominent few.
On the pop side are: the Martin Denny version of Enchanted Sea (# 28 Hot 100 in 1959) is here while The Islanders' rendition is in Volume 3; The Ernie Fields Orchestra's 1959 cover of Glenn Miller's In The Mood (# 4 Hot 100/# 7 R&B); the 1959 cover of The Platters' Only You (And You Alone) by Franck Pourcel's French Fiddles (# 9 Hot 100/# 18 R&B); Jay-Dee's Boogie Woogie, the flipside of June Night in 1957 and both cut five days after Jimmy Dorsey's death that June. In August, this tribute to brother Tommy's Boogie Woogie reached # 77 Billboard Top 100.
One you won't easily find anywhere else is Velvet Waters by The Megatrons, a studio group led by John Summers. Their only hit, it reached # 51 Hot 100 in 1959 for the Acousticon label and, like Hard Times (The Slop), would have fared better with the backing of a major label. Joining that in the hard-to-find category is the jazz-tinged Topsy II by Cozy Cole, a one-time drummer with Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong [among others]. The B-side, heard here, ranked higher at # 1 R&B (for SIX weeks)/# 3 Hot 100 in late 1958, but Topsy I did reach # 27 Hot 100. Unfortunately it never seems to be included in these compilations.
The last five tracks, which range from 1969's Soulful Strut to 1976's A Fifth Of Beethoven, are available on other compilations, but each has something unique about it. Young-Holt Unlimited, featuring bassist Elder Young and drummer Isaac "Red" Holt - both former members of The Ramsey Lewis Trio - had a # 3 Hot 100 and R&B with Soulful Strut early in 1969. Several months later Barbara Acklin would use the exact same instrumental track for Am I The Same Girl, which reached # 33 R&B/# 79 Hot 100.
Joy, a # 2 Adult Contemporary (AC)/# 6 Hot 100 in 1972 by Apollo 100, is based upon Bach's Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring, while Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is the basis for Walter Murphy & The Big Apple Band's A Fifth Of Beethoven [# 1 Hot 100/# 10 R&B/# 13 AC in 1976]. Rhythm Heritage made a career out of doing themes, with the one heard here coming from the ABC=TV series S.W.A.T. [# 1 Hot 100, # 6 AC and # 11 R&B in late 1975]. Producer and composer Mike Post also relied heavily on themes, with The Rockford Files being a # 10 Hot 100/# 16 AC in 1975 from the series starring James Garner.
I just cannot recommend this series highly enough, and here I have to respond to the other review for this volume which alloted 1 star simply because "the version (of Theme From S.W.A.T.) on this disc is NOT the full-length version that was released as a single." These reviews are supposed to reflect an overall review of the CD and not have the rating based on one track. Besides, the version here IS the original single, 2:47 in length, released on ABC 12135. What he wants is the LP version."
Looking for the unedited Theme From S.W.A.T.
Brian Huck | Sacramento CA | 10/04/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"When I ordered this CD, there was a review here that said that the songs on this disc are the "original full-length" versions. That review is no longer here, I see. I am looking for the full-length version of the Theme From S.W.A.T. which I have on a vinyl 45. I have a few other CDs with this song on them, but they all use an edited version with the bridge butchered, and this CD is no different. The version on this disc is NOT the full-length version that was released as a single.
Amazon needs to post track times with the list of songs on a CD. With all of the different versions of songs being put onto CD these days, it would help to have a clue to what you might be getting."