by The Righteous BrothersThe Righteous Brothers


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The major label Universal Music is the repository for the recordings the Righteous Brothers made in the 1960s, separately and together, for Moonglow, Philles, Verve, and MGM Records. Universal's Gold reissue series, like Sony BMG's Essential series, consists of two-CD compilations of label artists. The Righteous Brothers scored 22 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1963 and 1974, 21 of which are included here. (The exception is a cover of the Jerry Butler hit "He Will Break Your Heart," which spent one week at number 91 as the B-side of the Top 20 hit "He.") Since the set contains 48 tracks in total, that means the format allows plenty of space for non-hits and album tracks. In the Righteous Brothers' case, it also allows for some of the many solo efforts of duo members Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. (They recorded separately in 1963, then split up in 1967, and Hatfield partnered with Jimmy Walker as the Righteous Brothers in 1969 before reuniting with Medley in the '70s.) It's worth noting, therefore, that while Universal has licensed the three comeback hits the Righteous Brothers scored on Haven Records in 1974 (including the chart-topping novelty "Rock and Roll Heaven") from EMI, it has not gone after tracks Medley made for other labels, so his 1987 number-one duet with Jennifer Warnes, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," from the film Dirty Dancing, released by RCA, is not included. Stylistically, that's just as well. Even stretching the collection to 1974 gives a somewhat deceptive sense of this act's popularity; of those 22 chart entries, 14 reached their peaks in 1965 and 1966, when the Righteous Brothers reigned as one of the ten most successful singles artists in the U.S. All their immortal hits -- "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," "Just Once in My Life," "Unchained Melody," "Ebb Tide," and "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" -- came in that two-year period. The big hits were melodramatic ballads, in some cases produced by Phil Spector. Before that period, on their Moonglow recordings, the Righteous Brothers made rough R&B, examples here including Muddy Waters' "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and Ray Charles' "This Little Girl of Mine." After the hits subsided, they tried to re-create their popular sound and find equally memorable songs, sometimes by working again with songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (who had teamed with Spector to write "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"). This material, which makes up most of the second disc, is often interesting (e.g., Medley's recording of Jimmy Webb's "Someone Is Standing Outside"), but rarely impressive for itself. There is more here than the average fans really wants, but it's hard to criticize the set for containing too much. There was room, so why not? (By comparison, Anthology [1962-1974], Rhino Records' 1989 two-disc Righteous Brothers compilation, is 16 tracks and 43-minutes shorter.) It's unlikely there will ever be a three- or four-CD box set on the Righteous Brothers, not only for commercial reasons, but because they don't really deserve one. And absent that, this is likely to be the most extensive collection of their work ever to be attempted.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/10/2006
Label: Polydor / Umgd
UPC: 0602498843826
catalogNumber: 000532902
Rank: 4749

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Righteous Brothers   Primary Artist
Nick DeCaro   Conductor
Ernie Freeman Combo   Conductor
Bill Baker [5]   Conductor

Technical Credits

Buster Brown   Composer
Willie Dixon   Composer
Etta James   Composer
Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Ray Charles   Composer
Chris Kenner   Composer
Bill Medley   Composer,Producer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Barry Mann   Composer,Producer
Gene Page   Arranger
Bobby Hatfield   Composer,Producer
Buck Ram   Composer
Robert Maxwell   Composer
Alan O'Day   Composer
Phil Spector   Composer,Producer
Jimmy Kennedy   Composer
William Best   Composer
Perry Botkin   Arranger
Bill Cook   Composer
Nick DeCaro   Arranger
Ahmet Ertegun   Producer
Todd Everett   Liner Notes
Haven Gillespie   Composer
Dick Glasser   Producer
Alan Gordon   Composer
Don "Sugarcane" Harris   Composer
Walter Kent   Composer
James Kirkland   Composer
Dennis Lambert   Composer,Producer
Leonard Lee   Composer
Alex North   Composer
Michael Omartian   Arranger
Brian Potter   Composer,Producer
Barry Rillera   Arranger,Producer
Carl Sigman   Composer
Harry Beasley Smith   Composer
John Stevenson   Composer
Deek Watson   Composer
Cynthia Weil   Composer
Hy Zaret   Composer
Stuart Gorrell   Composer
W.S. Stevenson   Composer
Jack Richards   Composer
Gerhard Winkler   Composer
Pearl Woods   Composer
Georges Boulanger   Composer
Nat Burton   Composer
Jimmy Walker   Arranger,Producer
Ernie Freeman Combo   Arranger
Ray Maxwell   Producer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Fred Rauch   Composer
Ande Rand   Composer
Richard Mullan   Composer
Bill Baker [5]   Arranger

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