Sophisticated Boom Boom: The Shadow Morton Story

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Shadow Morton is one of the legendary cult figures of rock & roll, a mad genius who existed in, well, the shadows. He was one of the great girl group producers, best known for his cinematic work for the Shangri-Las, and he was one of the only Brill Building-related musicians to successfully transition from pop to psychedelia and acid rock, helming Janis Ian's breakthrough 1966 single "Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking) before producing heavy hits for Vanilla Fudge ("You Keep Me Hanging On") and Iron Butterfly ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"). The curtain on Shadow's golden era closed with Too Much Too Soon, the second album by the New York Dolls, the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Shadow Morton is one of the legendary cult figures of rock & roll, a mad genius who existed in, well, the shadows. He was one of the great girl group producers, best known for his cinematic work for the Shangri-Las, and he was one of the only Brill Building-related musicians to successfully transition from pop to psychedelia and acid rock, helming Janis Ian's breakthrough 1966 single "Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking) before producing heavy hits for Vanilla Fudge ("You Keep Me Hanging On") and Iron Butterfly ("In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"). The curtain on Shadow's golden era closed with Too Much Too Soon, the second album by the New York Dolls, the melodramatic proto-punkers who were destined to work with Morton (they lifted the opening of the Shangri-Las' "Give Him a Great Big Kiss" for "Looking for a Kiss," after all), after which he returned to the murky shadows from whence he came. Sophisticated Boom Boom: The Shadow Morton Story, a 2013 compilation that's part of Ace's ongoing Producers series and arrives, sadly, just a few months after Morton's death, shines a light on those shadows, both from his '60s peak and in the decades afterward. Mick Patrick's excellent liner notes reveal the extent to which alcohol was responsible for the long gaps of silence at his commercial peak and his retirement, with Morton himself frankly admitting to his reliance on the bottle, but much of his mysteriousness was a witty contrivance: Billy Joel, who played piano on Morton's career-making "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)," recalls Shadow "wearing this big cape and dark glasses...he's waving his arms in the air saying, 'Give me more purple!'" This love of the dramatic infused all of Shadow Morton's work, whether he was cobbling together "I Saw Her Standing There" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" for a Fab Four cash-in called "Only Seventeen" by the Beattle-ettes, or barely restraining the chaos of a Mott the Hoople session. All this and more is evident on Sophisticated Boom Boom, but that doesn't mean that it has everything of note Morton did. Most egregiously, "Leader of the Pack" has been left behind, as have several other mini-masterworks Morton made for the Shangri-Las, but it's a testament to the strength of his vision, as well as the work of compiler Patrick, that the 24-track compilation tells a vivid, compelling story anyway. Cut over the course of 16 years, this collection begins with Morton as a Hicksville hustler, knocking out hot rod knock-offs before blagging his way into the Brill Building, where he reunited with old school friend Ellie Greenwich and then carved out his own histrionic, theatrical sound within the confines of the Brill Building. His showmanship served him well whether he was shepherding the sensitive Ian, expanding the horizons of the Blues Project, or delving into the heavy, acid-fried rock of Vanilla Fudge and the Vagrants. In this context, the New York Dolls do seem like a career-capping masterwork, drawing upon everything else Morton tried in the previous decade and a half, but Sophisticated Boom Boom shows that in between the Shangri-Las and the Dolls, Morton created a wild, wooly, visionary body of work that retains its mystique to this very day.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/2/2013
  • Label: Ace Records Import
  • UPC: 029667054621
  • Catalog Number: 6705462
  • Sales rank: 71,726

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hot Rod - George "Shadow" Morton (2:23)
  2. 2 I Want My Girl - The Lonely Ones (2:19)
  3. 3 Only Seventeen - The Beattle-ettes (1:56)
  4. 4 Remember (Walkin' In the Sand) - The Shangri-Las (2:55)
  5. 5 Give Him a Great Big Kiss - The Shangri-Las (2:14)
  6. 6 Sophisticated Boom Boom - Goodies (2:00)
  7. 7 Baby - Ellie Greenwich (2:43)
  8. 8 You Don't Know - Ellie Greenwich (3:07)
  9. 9 Past, Present and Future - The Shangri-Las (2:41)
  10. 10 Society's Child (Baby I've Been Thinking) - Janis Ian (3:13)
  11. 11 So Soft, So Warm - The Nu-Luvs (2:54)
  12. 12 Take My Advice - The Nu-Luvs (2:01)
  13. 13 Lost In the Shuffle - The Blues Project (2:55)
  14. 14 Stop the Clock - The Shaggy Boys (2:17)
  15. 15 I'll Never Learn - The Shangri-Las (2:41)
  16. 16 Too Old To Go 'Way Little Girl - Janis Ian (3:11)
  17. 17 You Keep Me Hangin' On - Vanilla Fudge (6:48)
  18. 18 And When It's Over - The Vagrants (2:16)
  19. 19 Season of the Witch, Pt. 2 - Vanilla Fudge (3:14)
  20. 20 In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly (2:53)
  21. 21 Midnight Lady - Mott the Hoople (3:29)
  22. 22 Puss 'N' Boots - New York Dolls (3:08)
  23. 23 Stranded In the Jungle - New York Dolls (4:06)
  24. 24 Dressed In Black - Shadow Morton (2:53)
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Album Credits

Technical Credits
Leonard Bernstein Source Material
Ian Hunter Composer
Janis Ian Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes
Billy Joel Liner Notes, Source Material
David Johansen Composer, Liner Notes, Source Material
Ellie Greenwich Composer, Liner Notes, Source Material
Jerry Leiber Composer, Liner Notes, Source Material
Genya Ravan Source Material
Bert Sommer Composer
Sylvain Sylvain Composer
Jeff Barry Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Source Material
Alan Betrock Source Material
Artie Butler Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes, Source Material
Lamont Dozier Composer
Vinny Gormann Composer, Producer
Eddie Holland Composer
Brian Holland Composer
Doug Ingle Composer
Lenny Kaye Source Material
Vince Martell Liner Notes, Source Material
Tony Michaels Arranger, Composer, Producer
George "Shadow" Morton Composer, Producer
Paul Nelson Liner Notes, Source Material
Mick Ralphs Composer
Artie Ripp Producer
Nick Robbins Mastering
Sandy Robertson Source Material
Joel O'Brien Composer
Bob Goodman Source Material
Jud Cost Source Material
Mary Weiss Liner Notes, Source Material
Rob Finnis Memorabilia
Peter Gibbon Memorabilia
Artie Kaplan Arranger
Mick Patrick Liner Notes, Memorabilia, Source Material
Ernestine Smith Composer
Al Curry Composer
Mitch Cohen References
Eddie Heller Producer
James Johnson Composer
George Schowerer Cover Photo
Donovan Leitch Composer
Timothy White Source Material
Joe Monaco Composer
Morgan Neville Source Material
Charlotte Greig Source Material
Eric Charge Memorabilia
Shadow Morton Arranger, Director, Producer
Jack McDuffy Composer
Gloria Palmisano Composer
Erin Amar References
Ralph M. Newman Source Material
David Simons Source Material
The Guys Arranger
David Kamp References
Rich Arfin Source Material
Tom Hibbert Source Material
Sandy Hurwitz Composer
OWB References
Dan Corley References
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