Similarly Requested CDs
The right stuff
Yaakov (James) Mosher | Connecticut, USA | 10/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Produced at a time when walls (Berlin) were coming down, the Righteous Brothers remind us that a wall can also unite. 1991 saw blue-eyed soul's dynamic duo again throw up Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, reminding us that such are the only walls really worth having.
The final song on "Reunion" is the Timeless Love version of "Unchained Melody." The piece encircles its two preceding songs - the other worldly contentment of "Ebb Tide" and the sensuality of "My Babe." Included on "Unchained Melody" (Timeless Love) are sounds that evoke the wind-swept sands of time. The sounds rewind fans to the early 1960s debut of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield as the Righteous Brothers and fast-forward us to Hatfield's 2003 death. The device is akin to the whirlwind of the Beatles' "A Day in The Life," a song inspired by T.S. Eliot's poem "The Waste Land." Among Eliot's enduring ideas are that past and present are part of the eternal future and that to G-d there really is no past or future, just the eternal present (for more on this see Rabbi Gedaliah Schorr's comments on the "song" of Moses in Deuteronomy, Chapter 32). Perhaps among these concepts lies the reason why G-d continues to love and nourish His seemingly (to us) flawed creation.
The Righteous Brothers were certainly aware that love, even frustrated love, makes the world go round. "Reunion" stands the sadness of "Just Once in My Life" and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' "next to the contentment of "Unchained Melody" (originally released in 1965 as a "B" side to "Hung on You." Henceforth, it shall be called The Mother of All "B" Sides!) and "Ebb Tide." "Try to Find Another Woman" is Dear Abby (Hatfield's admonishment of the TV watcher is laugh-out-loud funny) to the forlorn of "Just Once in My Life." Those looking for a round-tripper in a single song can consult my favorite - "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration." This piece reminds us that present love is to be cherished but that memory of past love can inspire future love.
"Little Latin Lupe Lu," the duo's first hit, is reprised on "Reunion." Its initial release had Medley picking up Latin rock's fallen baton following the death of fellow Californian Ritchie Valens. Hispanic rockers of today owe at least a small one to the "Righteous Gringos."
"Rock & Roll Heaven" is updated from its 1974 original to include the passings of Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Marvin Gaye, and others. Again the Righteous Brothers blend the eternal with the here-and-now sensual - "If you believe in forever then life is just a one-night stand..." Medley also needs to revise the song to reflect Hatfield's induction into Heaven's "hell of a band."
Also, "Fannie Mae," which went to No. 117 in the U.S. in 1965, ought to be recast into a song about the Great Recession/financial services nationalization of 2008. Good luck with this one, Bill.
The U.S./globalist economy may be flat and out of gas but the music of the Righteous Brothers never will be. Buy "Reunion" and some cheap wine and hunker down with somebody for the recession with your love-making inspired by a rising and powerful sound that never gets old.