The Deram Records Singles Collection

The Deram Records Singles Collection

by White Plains


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White Plains weren't a band, not in the commonly accepted sense of the word. They didn't grow up together and they didn't gig: they were shepherded by producer John Carter, who took three leftovers from the Flower Pot Men -- Tony Burrows, Pete Nelson, and Robert Shaw -- to sing songs he wrote with collaborator Roger Cook. Tony Burrows sang lead on "My Baby Loves Lovin'," an international AM pop sensation in 1970, as he did on tons of one-hit wonders of the early '70s -- Edison Lighthouse, the First Class, Brotherhood of Man, and the Pipkins, among them -- which had the tendency to make White Plains seem even less a band than they were, a situation not helped much by the group's shifting lineups. Burrows didn't sing lead on the other three big hits by White Plains -- 1970's "I've Got You on My Mind," 1970's "Julie Do You Love Me," and 1971's "When You Are a King" -- which means 7T's 2015 compilation The Deram Records Singles Collection, the first-ever disc to contain all the A- and B-sides the group released on that label, has no real distinct identity. Then again, that amorphous personality is part of the charm of The Deram Records Singles Collection, as its 25 tracks play like a good AM pop radio station in the early '70s. Carter and Cook attempt nearly every popular style of the time -- "I'll Go Blind" is diluted Bowie space rock, "I Can't Stop" and "Look to See" are straight up CSN&Y rip-offs, "Does Anybody Know Where My Baby Is" is groovy old-fashioned rock & roll boogie, "Beachcomber" is a whiter shade of '60s hangover, and there's more than a fair share of Elton John here -- and they usually concoct something sweet and fairly hard to resist. None of it is good for you, but it's not meant to be: it's something to be consumed quickly, and the remarkable thing is, not only does it still provide a sugar rush but now, thanks to the passing years, seems better-constructed than it did in the past.

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