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This Magic Moment: Sound Of Brill Building (2CDs): 64 songs, many top hits + rare gems; good sound; good value; lots of memories
on 20 February 2016
The Brill Building is an 11-story office block, built in the classic Art Deco style, situated at 1619 Broadway, on 49th Street in Manhattan, where the songwriters who shaped 50s and 60s R&B and Pop music congregated. 1619 was named after the Brill Brothers, whose clothing and haberdashery store had originally occupied the ground floor, and who later bought the building. By common consensus, the Brill Building “First Team” consisted of seven songwriting duos: Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, Gerry Goffin & Carole King, Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman, Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, and Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich. But once again, it is not quite that cut and dried. Virtually all of these writers would ‘break ranks’ and work with one another. There are many other songwriters that they would collaborate with, like Hank Hunter, Ben Raleight, Jack Keller, Helen Miller, Tony Powers, Phil Spector, etc. The publishing team of Kirshner & Al Nevins (main songwriting team including Bobby Darin, Sedaka-Greenfield) also operated out of 1650. As Carole King stated, they operated out of a cubbyhole with just enough room for a piano, a bench and maybe a chair for the lyricist. There was tremendous pressure to produce. Yet from these claustrophobic conditons emanated many classic hits found in this collection.
Jasmine Records, a respectable re-issue label from UK, released this 2 CD set, consisting of 64 songs. To appreciate how good this collection is, I have painstakingly compiled the song listing (with names of songwriters, chart position, year and personal comments), which is as follows:
01 Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles (Goffin, King)(1/1961)
02 This Magic Moment - The Drifters (Pomus, Shuman)(16/1960)
03 Dream Lover – Dion (Darin)(album track, 1961)*to have the original Bobby Darin’s hit would be nice; the latest version sung by Jason Donovan is currently used as a popular line dancing song!
04 Crying In The Rain – The Everly Brothers (Greendfield, King)(6/1962)
05 Run To Him – Bobby Vee (Goffin, King)(2/1961)
06 Sorry But I’m Gonna Have To Pass – The Coasters (Lieber, Stoller)(uncharted b-side, 1958)
07 War Paint – Barry Mann (Mann, Greenfield)(uncharted single, 1960)
08 Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen – Neil Sedaka (Sedaka, Greenfield)(6/1962)
09 (Marie’s The Name) His Latest Flame – Del Shannon (Pomus, Shuman)(album track, 1961)*Elvis Presley made this song a big hit (4/1961)
10 Bless You – Tony Orlando (Mann, Weil)(15/1961)*Tony Orlando’s solo hits before his Dawn era.
11 Yes – Ben E. King (Leiber, Stoller)(b-side to Ecstasy, 1962)
12 The Locomotion – Little Eva (Goffin, King)(1/1962)*discovered by Carole King and Gerry Goffin while she was babysitting their daughter Louise Goffin; other popular versions: Grand Funk Railroad (1/1974); Kylie Minogue (3/1988)
13 Dawning – Jay & The Americans (Barkan, Powers)(b-side to She Cried, 1962)
14 Our Love It Grows – Myrna March (Greenwich)(uncharted single, 1962)*rare gem
15 I Love How You Love Me – The Paris Sisters (Mann, Kolber)(5/1961)
16 Don’t Ever Change – The Crickets (Goffin, King)(uncharted single, 1962)
17 Turn Me Loose – Fabian (Pomus, Shuman)(9/1959)
18 Wear My Ring – Gene Vincent (Darin, Kirshner)(b-side to Lotta Lovin’, 1957)
19 Another Sleepless Night – Jimmy Clanton (Sedaka, Greenfield)(22/1960)
20 Pretty Little Angel Eyes – Curtis Lee (Boyce, Lee)(7/1961)*The Halos, backing vocals.
21 Tell Laura I Love Her – Ray Peterson (Barry, Raleigh)(7/1960)
22 I Love You Eddie – The Crystals (Spector, Hunter)(b-side to He’s A Rebel, 1962)
23 Chains – The Cookies (Goffin, King)(17/1962)
24 Tell Me What She Said – The Playmates (Barry)(uncharted single, 1961)
25 Painting The Town With Teardrops – Vinnie Monte (Mann, Weil)(uncharted single, 1961)*rare gem
26 Teenage Sonata – Sam Cooke (Jeff Barry)(50/1960)
27 I Can’t Hear A Word You Say – Ruth Brown (Leiber, Stoller)(b-side to I Don’t Know, 1959)*rare gem.
28 Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool – Connie Francis (Greenfield, Keller)(1(2)/1960)
29 Early In The Morning – Buddy Holly (Darin, Harris)(32/1958)*The Helen Way Singers, backing vocals.
30 First Taste Of Love – Ben E. King (Pomus, Spector)(53/1961)(b-side to Spanish Harlem)
31 It Might As Well Rain Until September – Carole King (Goffin, King)(22/1962)*her first charted single.
32 Only Love Can Break A Heart – Gene Pitney (Bacharach, David)(2/1962)
01 Where The Boys Are – Connie Francis (Sedaka, Greenfield)(4/1961)
02 Some Kind Of Wonderful – The Drifters (Goffin, King)(32/1961)
03 Teenager In Love – Dion & The Belmonts (Pomus, Shuman)(5/1959)
04 The Answer To Everything – Del Shannon (Bacharach, Hilliard)(b-side to So Long Baby, 1961)
05 Who Put The Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp) – Barry Mann (Mann, Goffin)(7/1961)
06 Charlie Brown – The Coasters (Leiber, Stoller)(2/1959)
07 One Way Ticket (To The Blues) – Neil Sedaka (Keller, Hunter)(b-side to Oh! Carol, 1959)*rare hit not written by Sedaka.
08 Uptown – The Crystals (Mann, Weil)(13/1962)*Barbara Alston, lead vocal
09 Take It Like A Man – Gene Pitney (Leiber, Stoller)(b-side to (The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance, 1962)
10 So Close To Heaven – Ral Donner (Pomus, Shuman)(b-side to You Don’t Know what You’ve Got, 1961)*rare gem
11 This Is It – Jay & The Americans (Greenwich, Powers)(109/1962)
12 Sharing You – Bobby Vee (Goffin, King)(15/1962)
13 Venus In Blue Jeans – Jimmy Clanton (Greenfield, Keller)(7/1962)
14 That’s Old Fashioned – The Everly Brothers (Giant, Baum, Kaye)(9/1962)
15 Halfway To Paradise – Tony Orlando (Goffin, King)(39/1961)*Tony Orlando’s first solo charted hit; later revived by Bobby Vinton (23/1968).
16 Two Fools – Frankie Avalon (Pomus, Shuman)(54/1959)(b-side to Just Ask Your Heart)
17 This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’ – Ruth Brown (Drain, Curtis)(24/1958)
18 How Come – Birdie Green (Barry, Powers)(uncharted single, 1962)*rare gem
19 You Bet I Would – The Ronettes (King, Kaplan)(uncharted b-side, 1962)*rare gem
20 It’s Love That Really Counts – The Shirelles (Bacharach, David)(102/1962)(b-side to Stop The Music)
21 Telephone (Won’t You Ring) – Shelley Fabares (Mann, Weil)(109/1963)
22 What A Nice Way To Turn Seventeen – The Crystals (Keller, Kilber)(b-side to Uptown, 1962)
23 It Started All Over Again – Brenda Lee (Goffin, Keller)(29/1962)
24 Summertime Symphony – Jamie Coe (Darin)(uncharted single, 1959)*rare gem; his other regional hit: The Fool (1963)
25 Kissin’ And Twistin’ – Fabian (Kirshner, Nevins)(91/1960)
26 Dickie Went And Did It – The Delicates (Barry, Raleigh)(uncharted b-side, 1961)*rare gem
27 You Mean Everything To Me – Neil Sedaka (Sedaka, Greenfield)(17/1960)
28 Be My Girl – Ray Peterson (Spector, Sands)(b-side to Corinna, Corrina, 1961)
29 Just Between You And Me – The Chordettes (Keller, Lynn)(8/1957)
30 Breakin’ In A Brand New Heart – Connie Francis (Greenfield, Keller)(7/1961)
31 Please Stay – The Drifters (Bacharach, David)(14/1961)
32 Stand By Me – Ben E. King (King, Leiber, Stoller)(4/1961)
1. The choice of songs is outstanding, with mainly the original artists who made the songs popular.
2. There are a few rare gems too: by Vinnie Monte, Birdie Green and the Delicates. These rare gems are great addition to my collection.
3. These songs are all original versions. (no re-recorded versions)
4. The sound is superb with clear vocal and no hiss. Good remastering job by Jasmine Records.
5. Good value: to have 64 songs in one set. It would be very expensive to find all these songs separately.
6. Nice 8 page booklet, containing a well written essay. Label & number, year were listed.
1. I hope that the chart position for each song is listed too. Here, I obtained the chart positions from Joey Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles Book.
2. I appreciate the colourful lettering on the back cover. But green letters on a red background makes one very difficult to read.
This 2 CD set with 64 songs is a superb compilation, with great varieties and sound. This set puts the songwriters forefront and gave them the respect that they are due. The timeless, flawless, irresistible music captured on this compilation is totally enjoyable, bringing back many happy memories from days gone by. Although I have most of the songs in this set, I am still happy to purchase it because it is nice to have such as nice collection arranged for you in one set. This set is highly recommended.