(I Wanna) Love My Life Away - Gene Pitney, Pitney, Gene
Every Breath I Take - Gene Pitney, Goffin, Gerry
Town Without Pity - Gene Pitney, Tiomkin, Dimitri
(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance - Gene Pitney, Bacharach, Burt
Only Love Can Break a Heart - Gene Pitney, Bacharach, Burt
Half Heaven, Half Heartache - Gene Pitney, Goehring, George
Mecca - Gene Pitney, Gluck, Johnny
True Love Never Runs Smooth - Gene Pitney, Bacharach, Burt
Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa - Gene Pitney, Bacharach, Burt
That Girl Belongs to Yesterday - Gene Pitney, Jagger, Mick
It Hurts to Be in Love - Gene Pitney, Greenfield, Howard
I'm Gonna Be Strong - Gene Pitney, Mann, Barry
Last Chance to Turn Around - Gene Pitney, Bruno, Tony
Looking Through the Eyes of Love - Gene Pitney, Mann, Barry
Just One Smile - Gene Pitney, Newman, Randy
She's a Heartbreaker - Gene Pitney, Foxx, Charles
Although he's been called "a poor man's Roy Orbison" thanks to his uncanny falsettos and flair for the dramatic, Gene Pitney probably hasn't been given his due. A terrific songwriter (Ricky Nelson's "Hello, Mary Lou" and t... more »he Crystals' "He's a Rebel"--the only Phil Spector production without a Spector co-writing credit) who recorded material by others, this "teen idol" worked with the Stones and dated Marianne Faithfull. He also scored a smash with his greatest recording, "It Hurts to Be in Love," smack dab in the middle of the 1964 British Invasion. Rhino does its ever-terrific job here, spanning 16 major and minor hits from 1961 through '68. The only quibble is the dearth of more esoteric tracks such as "Backstage" and "Early in the Morning." --Bill Holdship« less
Although he's been called "a poor man's Roy Orbison" thanks to his uncanny falsettos and flair for the dramatic, Gene Pitney probably hasn't been given his due. A terrific songwriter (Ricky Nelson's "Hello, Mary Lou" and the Crystals' "He's a Rebel"--the only Phil Spector production without a Spector co-writing credit) who recorded material by others, this "teen idol" worked with the Stones and dated Marianne Faithfull. He also scored a smash with his greatest recording, "It Hurts to Be in Love," smack dab in the middle of the 1964 British Invasion. Rhino does its ever-terrific job here, spanning 16 major and minor hits from 1961 through '68. The only quibble is the dearth of more esoteric tracks such as "Backstage" and "Early in the Morning." --Bill Holdship
"Purportedly, a recording engineer once said "...(Gene) Pitney doesn't need microphones. Just open the windows!" For any early rock 'n' roll-era music fan not familiar with Pitney's performing (how can that be?), this disc will show why that statement could easily be true. Even with two dozen charted singles to his credit, Pitney remains one of, if not the most, underrated and underrecognized pop performers of the early 60s. Behind that smooth tenor is a voice, that when the song calls for it, comes roaring out, ripping out every last shred of emotion imaginable. Unlike so many popular singers (then or now) whose idea of creating musical drama is merely louder and louder screaming, Pitney's voice rose with power and pathos to a stunning climax leaving the listener emotionally exhausted yet auditorily unfatigued. While many of his recordings exhibit that ability to create musical melodrama, his reading of Mann and Weil's "I'm Gonna Be Strong" epitomizes that accomplishment. One listen through "...Strong" leaves the listener with goosebumps and chills. Subsequent hearings can lead to tears and the breakdown he so valiantly tries to deny in the song itself. Many of his recordings demonstrate his ability to bring the listener into his world and make you share the emotionally wrenching experience he seems to be enduring. Even in his lighter, cheerier tunes, here is a voice that's serious about what it's doing - there is no fluff, no easy cruising through a melody. An accomplished songwriter himself ("He's A Rebel", "Hello Mary Lou", et al), much of his material came from some of the best tunesmiths of the era - Mann and Weil, Goffin and King, Bacharach and David, Greenfield and Miller to name a few. His magnificent voice and reading of these top-notch compositions lead to some of the most exciting, rewarding and emotionally charged pop to emerge from the 60s, if not the entire rock era. With changing musical tastes and a drying up of suitable material, as with most perfomers, Pitney's string of outstanding songs came to an end and by the late 60s, was mostly forgotten by the music-buying public. Before that though, he left a legacy of magnificent pop performances summarized in this greatest-hits collection. A collection of 16 songs cannot be definitive, but here in this disc are included most of his biggest hits. This piece is from the early days of CDs, but Rhino did a superior job with bringing these recordings to digital. All the tracks were taken from the original mono masters (tracks 1-3,11) or from newly remixed stereo masters where multitracks existed. These remixed tracks have a new life and presence not found in the tracks found in other collections that may have used inferior existing stereo mixdown tapes. Included in the set is an eight-page liner notes booklet with a few pics and backround notes on Pitney's recording career. Pitney's recordings are an absolutely essential part of any early-rock era music fan's collection and this Rhino piece is an excellent centerpiece for Pitney's music on CD."
It hurts to be in love
Johnny Heering | Bethel, CT United States | 05/25/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gene Pitney remains one of the most underrated figures of the sixties (although he was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame). The guy could flat out sing anything. He specialized in dramatic ballads, but he could rock and roll when he had to. This CD contains 16 of his biggest hits. A large percentage of his hits focus on the pain of romance, which his voice was very effective in conveying. He also recorded the first U.S. chart song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, "That Girl Belongs to Yesterday". He was second only to Dionne Warwick as an interpreter of Burt Bacharach/Hal David songs. On this CD, you get a bunch of great songs sung by a great singer. So buy it already!"
A super gem for Pitney fans!!
Deborah MacGillivray | US & UK | 04/18/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay, if you love Gene Pitney you probably already have this, if you don't you should!!Gene was and is one of the most overlooked driving forces in rock music in the 60's working with many of the greats to even playing piano on some Rolling Stone songs. He wrote songs for other singers, but he had his own private corner of the market.I was wee lass when I used to sneak into my older siblings room when they had friends over and listen to their music. Beings they were older, they were already in to Pitney in the early 60's. At first, I sort of turned up my nose as this not being the Beatles, kid that I was. But my uncle gave me a Pitney album and told me to listen to it for a week and I would come away with a Pity-itis. I did and have loved him ever since. This album is some of his biggest hits, the original recordings but so much better sounding on CDs. Since my Pitney albums are in sorry shape I was thrilled to find this one.If you don't know his works, this albums is a really great start to get Pitney-itis!! You might recognise Town Without Pity (a movie Staring Kirk Douglas) or the Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Wayne, Lee Marvin and James Stewart). But it is his soulful rock ballads like It Hurts to be in Love, Looking Through the Eyes of Love and I'm Gonna Be Strong that will truly make you love this underrated singer.Gene Pitney wherever you are I LOVE YOU!!!"
Looking Through the Eyes Of Gene
R. J MOSS | Alice Springs, Australia | 01/30/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This first Wednesday of April, 2006, brings the sad news of Pitney's demise.Its been a long and thrilling ride with Gene, not least last Sunday when my teenage daughter wanted to spin this disc. There are times when our courses run in parallel and I have no hestitation in spreading Gene's voice around the house.In the early 60s,teen angst and excitement ran its predictable, market-driven flight through the airwaves to my bedroom radio. I was too young for the seminal switch-on of Elvis, Jerry Lee or Little Richard. There was the comfort of the many Bobbys(Vinton, Vee & Goldsborough), Brook Benton, McPhatter & the Big O. There would be the companionship of the Beatles. But the electricity burnt me whenever one of Pitney's ballads blasted through the bedroom. The tension was magnificent.The recognition in Pitney's voice of enthrall, loss or betrayal was perfectly anticipated in the drumbeat and strings. Orbison's format ofen paralleled this territory but his paranoia never voiced Pitney's confidence, even when both espoused vunerability.Then the biggest Bob's(Dylan)titanic dimensions blew my collection of Gene 45s out of the water. Until then, the Pitney 'jolt' was interspersed with the rest of the playlist and packaging '25 hits', or whatever, is saturation, one on top of the other.The drama is diluted.The majesty of,'Half Heaven/ Half Heartache,'Gonna Be Strong', 'Tower Tall', 'Seeing Things' still raise the goose bumps. That's my Gene-ology. Thanks Gene."
R. J MOSS | 06/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gene Pitney is, in my opinion, the greatest pre-British Invasion pop and rock singer in history. No other singer could communicate such heartbreak and passion as him. But a lot of people think of him as just another pretty face, a typical teen idol along the lines of a Fabian or Frankie Avalon or Bobby Vee. One listen to this collection, however, will demolish that idea quickly. He wrote a good portion of his own material (although some of his biggest hits were written by such songwriting teams as Bacharach/David and Goffin/King). He could play several different musical instruments - in fact, his very first single "I Wanna Love My Life Away" was actually a demo on which he played every instrument and sang every vocal.
He wrote hits for other artists ("He's A Rebel") and helped launch the career of producer Phil Spector ("Every Breath I Take" is considered his very first Wall Of Sound production).
He hobbnobbed with the Rolling Stones, who wrote "That Girl Belongs To Yesterday" for him (it hit the middle of the American charts six months before the Stones themselves did).
While occasionally his material could get sappy (his biggest hit, "Only Love Can Break Your Heart", veers too close to Bobby Vinton territory for my taste), not even the great Roy Orbison could nail that high note Pitney hits at the close of "I'm Gonna Be Strong". If you want to hear pure pop bliss at its finest, buy this disc."