CD Listen! [Gary Lewis & the Playboys] (CD 6976160),
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Listen! [Gary Lewis & the Playboys]
Gary Lewis & the Playboys
2. Don't Make Promises
3. She'd Rather Be with Me
4. Look, Here Comes the Sun
6. Bring the Whole Family
7. Reason to Believe
8. New Day
9. Small Talk
10. Angel on the Corner
11. Six O'Clock
12. Young and Carefree
13. Jill - (mono)
14. Don't Make Promises - (mono)
15. She'd Rather Be with Me - (mono)
16. Look, Here Comes the Sun - (mono)
17. Happiness - (mono)
18. Bring the Whole Family - (mono)
19. Reason to Believe - (mono)
20. New Day - (mono)
21. Small Talk - (mono)
22. Angel on the Corner - (mono)
23. Six O'Clock - (mono)
24. Young and Carefree - (mono)
25. Jill - (mono)
26. New in Town - (mono)
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 20
Gary Klein; Andrew Sandoval; Steve Stanley
Personnel: Mike Deasy, Russ Titelman, Al Casey (guitar); Darrel Terwilliger, Norman Botnick, Irving Geller, Irving Lipschultz, Emil Briano, John Peter Devoogdt, Joseph Quadri (strings); Gene Cipriano, Jack Nimitz, Jau Migliori, Bud Shank (saxophone); Roy Caton (trumpet); John Vidusich, Louis Blackburn (trombone); Don Randi, Michael Lang (piano, keyboards); Toxey Sewell (drums); Curry Tjader, John Baker, John Clauder (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Andrew Sandoval.
Recording information: Western Recorders, Studio 1.
Arranger: Jack Nitzsche.
Charlie Koppelman and Don Rubin splash the name Gary Lewis on the cover of 1967's Listen album, his band the Playboys only referenced on the label of the LP. Though the singer had a couple of Top 40 hits that year, they aren't on this collection; meanwhile, Richard Oliver's liner notes ramble insipidly on an album jacket with no musician credits to speak of. The material is all culled from publisher Chardon Music, BMI, which probably stood for Charlie/Don (as in Koppelman/Rubin), with one John Sebastian and two Tim Hardin songs under Faithful Virtue Music Co., also administered through BMI. Listen is interesting because the son of Jerry Lewis actually sings better than on previous recordings -- his vocal proficiency as a frontman serving him well decades later and his chops making him one of the more consistent performers on the oldies circuit. But here he appears in a photo on the album alone, a Gary Lewis solo album of sorts, with pretty melodies and the usual solid arrangements. Where the album misses the mark is that there is no one song that hits it out of the park la "Count Me In" or "She's Just My Style." With four Gary Bonner/Alan Gordon compositions (including the Turtles' "She'd Rather Be With Me") and songs by John Boylan and Terence Boylan, there's not the magic of the Al Capps/Leon Russell/Snuff Garrett collaborations, the material that was sublime beyond all sublime. Sebastian's "Six O'Clock" is a great tune (going Top 20 in May of 1967), and though Lewis' version is good, it still reaches only runner-up status when competing against the Lovin' Spoonful's original (same with "She'd Rather Be With Me" and "Reason to Believe"). Hardin's masterpiece may have inspired the title of the album, Listen, but producer Gary Klein fails to find the inspiration that made Rod Stewart's rendition four years later such a stunning breakthrough. The material is all decent, and Gary Lewis has more confidence, but there's just no sparkling moment like on his biggest hits. Not a bad disc for background music, though, and certainly proof that the singer was getting serious about his work. ~ Joe Viglione
Record Collector (magazine) (p.101) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[T]he record does contain a few standout pop-psych cuts such as 'Bring The Whole Family.'"
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