7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Europe's "The Platinum Collection" is essentially Rhino's USA 21-Track CD compilation "Down In The Valley - The Best Of" from 1991 but with one more song added on to it ("I Played The Fool"). The new 22-track running order has been shuffled around a bit, it's issued at a budget price and the artwork is different too. But it still has that great Rhino remastered sound.
Part of a large number of collections issued in 2007 to celebrate the label's 60th Anniversary, The Clovers "Platinum Collection" consists of 22 Fifties Rhythm' n' Blues 7" singles - a huge number of which charted between 1951 and 1957. At budget price, the new booklet isn't detailed, so here's a track-by-track breakdown (61:15 minutes):
1. One Mint Julep - 1951 on Atlantic 963 [A]
2. Good Lovin' - 1953 on Atlantic 1000 [A]
3. Ting-A-Ling - 1951 on Atlantic 969 [A]
4. Lovey Dovey - 1954 on Atlantic 1022 [A]
5. Down In The Alley - 1957 on Atlantic 1152 [B-side to "There's No Tomorrow"]
6. Fool, Fool, Fool - 1951 on Atlantic 944 [A]
7. Don't You Know I Love You - 1951 on Atlantic 934 A, debut single]
8. Wonder Where My Baby's Gone - 1951 on Atlantic 969 [B-side to "Ting-A-Ling"]
9. Crawlin' - 1953 on Atlantic 989 [B-side to "Yes It's You"]
10. Hey, Miss Fannie - 1952 on Atlantic 977 [B-side to "I Played The Fool"]
11. Middle Of The Night - 1951 on Atlantic 963 [B-side to "One Mint Julep"]
12. I've Got My Eyes On You - 1954 on Atlantic 1035 [B-side to "Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash"]
13. I Confess - 1954 on Atlantic 1046 [A]
14. Your Cash Ain't Nothin' But Trash - 1954 on Atlantic 1035 [A]
15. Little Mama - 1953 on Atlantic 1022 [B-side to "Lovey Dovey"]
16. Nip Sip - 1955 on Atlantic 1073 [A]
17. Devil Or Angel - 1956 on Atlantic 1083 [A]
18. Blue Velvet - 1955 on Atlantic 1052 [A]
19. In The Morning Time - 1955 on Atlantic 1060 [B-side to "Love Bug"]
20. Love Bug - 1955 on Atlantic 1060 [A]
21. If I Could Be Loved By You - 1955 on Atlantic 1073 [B-side to "Nip Sip"]
22. I Played The Fool - 1952 on Atlantic 977 [A]
The 5-piece Washington DC vocal group had two great leads in John "Buddy" Bailey and later Billy Mitchell and were backed up with killer fun songs from Rudolph "Rudy" Toombs, Jesse Stone and even the label's founder Ahmet Ertegun (often credited with his name spelt backwards as Nugetre). They could handle jump and ballads with ease - and scored a No.1 with their debut single "Don't You Know I Love You" released in June 1951 - pretty much dominating that decade thereafter (the liner notes mentions their biggest hit "Love Potion No.9" from 1959, but it isn't on here because it was on United Artists). Their success allowed the fledgling Atlantic label top class signings like Ruth Brown, LaVern Baker and the wonderful Big Joe Turner - and of course paved the way for so much astonishing music to come.
Highlights include the classic too-many-drinks song "One Mint Julep" (lyrics above), the 'gotta have all your' "Good Lovin'" and jaunty "Love Bug" that would make any heart go 'bippety bam'. In fact listening to these half-century old boppers and smoochers, it's hard not to be grinning from ear-to-ear with admiration at their timeless brilliance. They really are 'so' good...
A fantastic listen then, and at a retail price that is laughable, it's a great place to start your Atlantic Rhythm 'n' Blues journey - and God do I envy you that!
PS: the other Atlantic artists in "The Platinum Collection" series are: LaVern Baker (see REVIEW), Archie Bell & The Drells (see REVIEW), Brook Benton (see REVIEW), Booker T & The M.G.'s, Ruth Brown, Solomon Burke, Clarence Carter (see REVIEW), Arthur Conley (see REVIEW), Don Covay, The Detroit Spinners, Eddie Floyd, King Curtis, Barbara Lewis (see REVIEW), The Mar-Keys, The Persuasions, Sam & Dave, Percy Sledge (see REVIEW), Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, (Big) Joe Turner (see REVIEW) and Betty Wright
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The Clovers are hardly a household name, but they are so in my household and in many homes of taste!
They were Atlantic records first big male vocal group, pre-dating The Coasters and even The Drifters. Their first Atlantic record 'Don't You Know I Love You' hit No 1 on the R&B chart in the summer of 1951, and was the start of a phenominal run of a score of huge R&B hits over the next five years.
'Don't...' is one of the contenders for the first Rock 'n Roll record. The subject is always keenly debated amongst R&B and Rock lovers. All I will say is that if you think it was 'Rock Around The Clock', you are on the wrong page.
Along with Ruth Brown, The Clovers helped the fledgling independant record company to grow and to punch above it's weight. Their harmonies are tight and edgy, and the music, lollops along nicely. I love the honking saxes and rhythmic piano and bass riffs.
In case you are in any doubt, these are the original Atlantic recordings. There are some re-recordings around, but this disc is the real thing. I never blame any artist (or at least one member of the original group) for re-recording their stuff. We all have to eat and pay the bills. Then again I try to avoid re-recordings as much as possible.
If I have any gripes with this disc (certainly not the price!), it would be that there seems no rhyme or reason to the track order. I would prefer it in date order. Their biggest hit 'Love Potion Number 9' from 1959 which made No 23 pop in the US, is not on here, but that one was on United Artists.
A good collection from one of the biggest acts of early '50s rhythm and blues.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2009
There was a awful lot more to The Clovers than their 1959 chart hit "Love Potion no.9", written as a one-off for the then flagging group by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They were really on the top of their game in the early 1950's when they made a large number of tasteful, quality doo-wop records which still sound excellent today. Songs like "One Mint Julep", Ting A Ling", "Lovey Dovey" and "Devil Or Angel" were later made with some success by predominently white artists, but here you have the original Clovers' versions. There is hardly a bad track on this fine collection of their Atlantic material. Usually featuring Buddy Bailey as the lead singer, all the uptempo numbers swing like mad and are very catchy but for me the highlight track is "Blue Velvet", performed as a sultry ballad with cool-cool tenor sax riffs. Bobby Vinton, eat your heart out ! The lack of informative sleeve notes and a rather chronologically jumbled seqnence of the tracks, does little to take away the pure enjoyment of a fine group who - if justice were really to be done - need to be brought back into the limelight once again. Help start the process by buying the record. It won't disappoint.