• Gary Lewis, Listen and Jack Nitzsche

    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.

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