From hector@21:1/5 to All on Sun Jul 15 17:48:07 2018
With Amazon ceasing sending to Australia in July, I thought it was time
to complement my non existent Gary Lewis collection. It turns out Gary
Lewis and the Playboys were the highest selling American group in
America in 1965, or something like that.
I heard the first album on Spotify and found it entertaining enough. So
this was the sound of 1965.
I have the twofer of the third and fourth albums which are eminently
listenable (waiting on the first two). It's really a production
exercise with 'Snuff' Garrett.
Lots of covers but it doesn't really matter. Unfortunately the fifth
album isn't available on CD, probably the last of the first run with
that sound. Entertaining in stereo, don't believe what anyone says.
Then the wheels fall off a bit. 'Snuff' Garrett didn't want to work
with Gary any more by 1967. Then along comes Jack Nitzsche. One album
is done with a mixture of arrangers called New Directions which is alright. Then as Gary wants something done with his looming Vietnam draft, Jack
Nitsche is given more control for the album Listen.
I found a comment on the web that this is probably the most complete
Jack Nitzsche album. The sound is at times captivating. She'd Rather
Be With Me has some kind of revolving keyboard in the right channel that
seems to cause the song to transcend in the second half. Happiness is a
song that sounds a lot like Phil Spector, who had Nitzsche as his
favourite arranger. The stand out song is Jill, which seems to always
get high praise in any review. A Leslie speaker is used on the vocal in
parts. This can be heard on earlier albums too I notice. I notice a
keyboard riff resembling the song One.
The Gary Lewis sound was really a double tracked vocal with vocal
assistance by someone else who received a cheque for $25 from Jerry
Lewis for his work on This Diamond Ring. Happy keyboard sounds seem to
be placed here and there.
You might have trouble finding Listen on Amazon now. It looked like I
got the last copy on Amazon, which was second hand. I think it's on Amazon.co.uk at a higher price.