Category: The Spinners

The Spinners – The Very Best of the Spinners, Vol. 2

ARTIST: The Spinners 

TITLE: The Very Best of the Spinners, Vol. 2

YEAR RELEASED: Compliation

CHART ACTION:  None

SINGLES: Top 20:  Love or Leave (#36 US, #8 R&B), Wake Up Susan (#56 US, #11 R&B, #29 UK), You’re Throwing a Good Love Away (#43 US, #5 R&B), If You Wanna Do a Dance (#49 US, #17 R&B)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not

LINEUP: Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, Billy Henderson, Bobby Smith. Most of the hits were with Philippe Wynne, and later hits with John Edwards. MFSB did the backing, and the Sigma Sweethearts did backing vocals too.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A second collection from the Spinners in the Thom Bell area picks up the leftover hits and deeper cuts.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: It could be expected that the Spinners’ second volume of hits would be a bit of a downslide from the greatness of their first collection. And yes, this isn’t as packed full of goodness as Volume 1.

But there’s still a lot to like and admire here. The vocals are spot on, and the arrangements by Thom Bell and MFSB are tight. Just listening to them will give you a groove. The Spinners had better deep cuts than most every other vocal group (especially the Stylistics and Four Tops) of the era and they showed their versatility.

While this isn’t a must have, nor will you play it every day, it’s still a good supplemental collection to have for your 70’s R&B needs.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: In the UK they still had to be listed as the Detroit Spinners due to a group over there that had the name.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: B: Good collection of secondary tracks.

The Spinners – The Very Best of the Spinners

ARTIST: The Spinners

TITLE: The Very Best of the Spinners

YEAR RELEASED: Compliation

CHART ACTION:  None

SINGLES: The whole album is packed with hits!

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: The whole album is packed with hits!

LINEUP: Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, Billy Henderson, Bobby Smith. Most of the hits were with Philippe Wynne, and later hits with John Edwards. MFSB did the backing, and the Sigma Sweethearts did backing vocals too.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The Spinners were the kings of Thom Bell’s production line, and they had an impeccable chart run in the 70’s.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Spinners had 16 Top 10 R&B hits between 1972 and 1980 and this collects 14 of them. (One track, the original A-side to “I’ll Be Around” charted at a measly #14). Backed by MFSB, they could do no wrong for about five years, and then made a comeback as the decade turned.

Their first album on Atlantic (which I reviewed) was excellent, but as time went on they went toward more hit-oriented records (and you really can’t out-do five excellent singles out of ten tracks), so this compilation seems more the way to go for the rest of the tracks.

While newcomer Philippe Wynne handled many of the lead vocals, they were spread around based on the song, and that kept the sound fresh and allowed Thom Bell to give them tracks that were varied since each singer could handle a lead.

No 70’s R&B or soul collection would be complete without some Spinners in it, and this is the best intro to that fantastic band.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was some controversy on “They Just Can’t Stop It (The Games People Play) as some said that Sigma Sweetheart Evette Benton did the high solo parts, while others say it was Henry Fambrough sped up a bit.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

 GRADE: A: These songs hold up today as examples of the funky fresh 70’s.

The Spinners – The Best of the Spinners

ARTIST: The Spinners                    9000000407909

TITLE: The Best of the Spinners

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: #124, #37 R&B

SINGLES: I’ll Always Love You (#35 US, #8 R&B), Truly Yours (#111 US, #16 R&B), It’s a Shame (#14 US, #4 R&B, #20 UK), We’ll Have It Made (#89 US, #20 R&B), Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music (#91)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not, not by them at least

LINEUP: Billy Henderson, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson, Bobby Smith, G. C. Cameron. Chico Edwards was the lead singer (instead of Cameron) early in their Motown run.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Motown “best” picks and chooses from their scant output in their Motown tenure. best of the spinners

 

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: The Spinners were a group that Motown inherited in 1964 after they bought Tri-Phi records from Harvey Fuqua, They lasted on the label for seven years, but the company only released two albums and eight singles in all that time.

They were an afterthought for the company until they hit it big in 1972, and then all of a sudden Motown decided to throw out this collection of tracks, and with it another single (that was a B-side before).

It does sound like a crass money-grab, as some of the cuts sound like the master was buried in sad for a while. The Spinners weren’t served well by Motown, and made their bones when they switched labels.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Because of their lack of work at Motown, they had to take second jobs, including chauffeuring other Motown stars aroumd.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: C: If Motown perceived you as a scond tier band, you get the scraps. These are the scraps.

The Spinners – Mighty Love

Spinnersmighty ARTIST: The Spinners
TITLE: Mighty Love
YEAR RELEASED: 1974
CHART ACTION: #16, #1 R&B
SINGLES: Mighty Love (#20, #1 R&B), I’m Coming Home (#18, #3 R&B), Love Don’t Love Nobody (#15, #4 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably not.
LINEUP: Billy Henderson, Bobby Smith, Phillipe Wynne, Henry Fambrough, Pervis Jackson + MFSB
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Vocal group eases into their second Philly Soul album with three hits and pleasing deep cuts.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After a long, somewhat fruitless career, then a hit album, the Spinners made sure that the momentum would keep up.

This second record, made with the same MFSB backing crew and producer Thom Bell, broke no new ground, but solidified their place in the R&B / Soul / Pop markets. It’s a nice album, containing a couple of decent hits and a definite slow jam classic in “Love Don’t Love Nobody”.

If you are a fan, grab this, since oldies radio doesn’t seem to touch this album (though it did very well).

NOTES & MINUTIAE: All of the songs were written by Charles Simmons and Joseph Jefferson, with Bruce Hawes collaborating on all but one. The songwriters all worked for Bell in Philly.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, some outtakes that don’t add much at all to the album.

GRADE: B: It’s good – nothing special. Fans of the Philly Sound should check it out.

 

The Spinners – Spinners

ARTIST: The Spinners 220px-Spinners_cover
TITLE: Spinners
YEAR RELEASED: 1973
CHART ACTION: #14, #1 R&B
SINGLES: How Could I Let You Get Away (#77, #14 R&B), I’ll Be Around (#3, #1 R&B), Could It Be I’m Falling in Love (#4, #1 R&B, #11 UK), One of a Kind (Love Affair) (#11, #1 R&B), Ghetto Child (#29, #4 R&B)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Half the album were singles, for good reason.
LINEUP: Billy Henderson, Bobby Smith, Phillippe Wynne, Henry Famrbrough, Pervis Jackson with Thom Bell’s session players (MFSB).
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Soul vocal group leaves Motown after several years of getting the leftovers from all the groups on that label, and strikes it big with Thom Bell and his Philly sound combining soul with orchestral arrangements.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Motown was a tough place for artists who weren’t on the favored lists. The Spinners were one of those unlucky ones. While they had talent, they couldn’t break through. They had just two top 10 R&B hits from 1965-1971, getting maybe one or two releases a year, and making just two albums (none in print – a compilation will be reviewed later).

Signing with Atlantic and working with Bell, they had five R&B smashes, including the brilliant “I’ll Be Around”, which was originally just a B-side.

When that song was flipped, the group took off. They became stars, and this album climbed the charts. It’s quite worthy of its place. All 10 cuts work, from the slow pleaders to the more uptempo cuts. The backing by MFSB is very soulful, yet works well with Bell’s orchestration. Vocally, the Spinners also fit quite well in this style. They finally found a home with Bell.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: There was a bit of a kerfuffle about lyrics on “One of a Kind (Love Affair)”. While it’s a very smooth soul song with lead vocals by Wynne and Smith, some people ‘heard’ the word ‘fuck’instead of ‘hug’ so Atlantic re-issued the single cutting out that line. The version streaming is the original version – and it’s plain that it’s “hug.”

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.

GRADE: A-: It’s one of the best R&B albums of the era, and a great introduction to the Philly sound.