The Soul Survivors, When The Whistle Blows Anything Goes, Crimson CR-502, 1967
For record #365, I’ve chosen a semi-rare album from a semi-on hit wonder. The Soul Survivors were a New York band fronted by a pair of brothers, Charles and Richard Ingui. According to the liner notes on their one Crimson release, on March 19, 1966 two cars had an accident on the New Jersey Turnpike. Both were bands on their way to gigs, and they decided to form a Soul band together. Clever as they were, The Soul Survivors were born.
Frankly, the charts in the Spring of 1966 were dominated by two records, The Righteous Brothers (You’re My) Soul & Inspiration, and The Young Rascals Good Lovin’. This album sounds like it was performed by both of those groups. The #4 smash Expressway To Your Heart is absolutely the best Rascals song not performed by The Rascals. They do a note for note cover of The Rascals cover of The Marvelttes’ Too Many Fish In The Sea. The Album closes with The Rydle, a/k/a I Gave My Love A Cherry, done with a clear nod to the the Righteous way Bobby Hatfield sang standards like Unchained Melody and Ebb Tide.
Crimson is also a one hit wonder of sorts. This record represents half of their entire output as a label, with Crimson 501 being a bizarre DJ concept album with no artist or song credits that was designed as a quiz for people curious enough to buy. Needless to say, this was the only Crimson album to chart. Despite the bizarre Philadelphia based company background, The Soul Survivors project was the first hit for the production team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff. They went on to start Philadelphia International Records which surpassed Motown as the premiere creative Black label in the 70s. Not a bad way to end a blog…
Cost: $10, $1 Remaining
$191 Spent, $6.16 per record
The Righteous Brothers, You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, Philles 4007, 1965
People that like listening to records tend to get a certain thrill from dropping a need onto a new (to them in my case) record for the first time. It’s such an analog, tactile experience because there are the sounds of the needle hitting the vinyl and searching for the groove. You never know when after hearing those when the music will begin, and even if you know the song that’s about to play, there is a moment where everything is quiet except the white noise of the vinyl. The lead song from this album breaks that moment of anticipation better than almost any other record I know.
Yes, The Righteous Brothers found out quickly that Phil Spector was, to be generous, a bit odd. Not every producer names his own record label after himself and put is picture on his artists’ work. But one listen of You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling on vinyl will at least validate the talent it took to make such a record. It’s hard for me to believe I could find this record for $2, but such is the nature of looking at a lot of records. A seller with 10 of these on hand in Portland sells something for $2 that would sell for $25 in New York. Anything on Philles Records is very collectible, and good copies of albums by The Crystals and The Ronettes usually trade for over $100. Why The Righteous Brothers two Philles Records don’t also is a bit odd, but I’m not complaining.
Purists are that Phil Spector’s productions sound best in Mono, making this rarer Stereo copy less desirable, but now having both on my shelf, I lean towards the stereo version with one “Brother” having his own side of the wall of sound coming from the speakers. This particular copy has the rare “Seen Weekly On Shindig” sticker on the intact 52 year old shrink wrap, which means this is not a second pressing. The record plays flawlessly and even if Feeling is by far the best track on the record, it’s still a great listen.
Cost: $2, $148 Remaining