Dark End of the Street 1963-1969: The Operatic Soul of Roy Hamilton

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Possessor of the most majestic voice in '50s pop, Roy Hamilton was perfectly poised to score on the charts during the Eisenhower Era, with a flair for high melodrama but also a subtle sense of R&B and swing to appeal to pop audiences. His versions of "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Unchained Melody" were full-throated bravura performances, while he seemed to transition well to the teenaged world with his 1961 hit, "You Can Have Her." Still, his hits dried up that year, and he moved from MGM to RCA to small independent labels before his untimely death from a stroke in 1969. The Raven disc Dark End of the Street compiles his last six years, hitless as they were, portraying a...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
Possessor of the most majestic voice in '50s pop, Roy Hamilton was perfectly poised to score on the charts during the Eisenhower Era, with a flair for high melodrama but also a subtle sense of R&B and swing to appeal to pop audiences. His versions of "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "Unchained Melody" were full-throated bravura performances, while he seemed to transition well to the teenaged world with his 1961 hit, "You Can Have Her." Still, his hits dried up that year, and he moved from MGM to RCA to small independent labels before his untimely death from a stroke in 1969. The Raven disc Dark End of the Street compiles his last six years, hitless as they were, portraying a great voice with great intentions who was perpetually the victim of misguided label intentions most of them predicated on exposing him to the widest variety of record buyers. Although Hamilton's style of singing was going against the grain of rock music in the '60s, it was suited well for the quickly maturing sound of soul and pop, led by a raft of Brill Building eggheads like Burt Bacharach, Phil Spector, and Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller. Indeed, Hamilton's first sessions for MGM paired him with Leiber & Stoller, and produced the sophisticated pop of "Let Go" and "Midnight Town -- Daybreak City." Meanwhile, other sessions were pointed toward the LP-buying public, and included the familiar songs "For Your Precious Love," "Crying in the Chapel," "Answer Me, My Love," and a remake of his first hit, "You'll Never Walk Alone." His songs for RCA were also a mixed bag, but the best of them are certainly worth hearing, including a remake of the Hank Ballard hit "Tore Up Over You" and a bewitching version of the contemporary Bacharach hit "Reach Out for Me." No chart entries were forthcoming, and Hamilton drifted into independent contracts. One of them, however, found him working with Chips Moman at American Studios in Memphis, and the results of these sessions -- quiet brilliance embodied by a great reading of the oft-covered "The Dark End of the Street," "100 Years," and more stirring drama in "Angelica" one of two Hamilton songs later covered by Scott Walker -- were up to the standards of his earlier successes. Even fans of Roy Hamilton might think they can safely skip everything from this period, but Dark End of the Street 1963-1969: The Operatic Soul of Roy Hamilton makes the case for Hamilton's greatness -- despite constant label miscues -- right up to his death.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/7/2009
  • Label: Raven [australia]
  • UPC: 612657029428
  • Catalog Number: 294
  • Sales rank: 106,380

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Roy Hamilton Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Conway Twitty Composer
Hank Ballard Composer
Brook Benton Composer
Roy Hamilton Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Burt Bacharach Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Barry Mann Composer
Jimmy Wisner Arranger
Dan Penn Composer
Sid Bass Arranger
Billie Holiday Composer
Rube Bloom Composer
Joe Darion Composer
Hal David Composer
Oscar Hammerstein II Composer
Arthur Herzog Jr. Composer
Bert Keyes Arranger
Mitch Leigh Composer
Chips Moman Composer
Jack Nance Composer
Clyde Otis Composer
Mike Stoller Composer
Cynthia Weil Composer
Artie Glenn Composer
Sammy Lowe Arranger
Warren Barnett Mastering
Ted Koehler Composer
Sylvia Dee Composer
Arthur Kent Composer
Rezsö Seress Composer
A. Brooks Composer
Herb Ryals Composer
John Dowler Liner Notes, Concept
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