Spinners – 1973 – S/T / 1975 – Pick Of The Litter

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Spinners – 1973 – Spinners

One of the best soul albums of the ’70s owes its success to two men. First, there’s Philippe Wynne, the sweet-voiced lead tenor who joined the Spinners not long before the album was recorded in 1972. And second, there’s Thom Bell, the songwriter, producer, and arranger who, at Philly International, had already worked with the O’Jays and the Blue Notes. This historic teaming resulted in the soul-pop smashes “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” and “Ghetto Child,” each of them matching Wynne’s sweet leads with Bell’s lush and delicate, but always deep-in-the-groove, arrangements.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Atlantic LP including covers.

Tracks
A1   Just Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind (3:42)
A2   Just You And Me Baby (2:56)
A3   Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You (4:01)
A4   I Could Never (Repay Your Love) (6:56)
A5   I’ll Be Around (3:10)
B1   One Of A Kind (Love Affair) (3:31)
B2   We Belong Together (4:12)
B3   Ghetto Child (3:47)
B4   How Could I Let You Get Away (3:46)
B5   Could It Be I’m Falling In Love (4:13)

Review by Groovy Emmanuel

When The Spinners signed to Atlantic in 1972 coming from Mo-Town, they were no newcomers to the world of music business. In fact they had been around for almost a decade doing fine but no commercial potential songs. That long but unsuccessful run came to an end in that year, when they were put under the magic hands of Thom Bell. Lush arrangements were about to fall. That and a flow of gold dust. And that happened almost by an accident.

Thom after his own successful run of hits with the Delfonics came to an agreement with Atlantic and he was given a list of potential artists to work with (Aretha, Roberta, Donny.), but instead he chose the Spinners at the bottom of that list, who Atlantic were about to drop! He insisted he wanted to do an album with them, but the label hesitated at first and finally gave him a short session just to record a single. But what a single proved that to be! The million seller «I’ll Be Around» with Bobbie Smith’s fine lead singing, though originally it was the flip to «How Could I Let You Get Away». «I’ll Be Around» was kinda experiment in just 3 chords, one of Thom’s first really uptempo songs. Yes, accidents can really happen, sometimes. «Could It Be I’m Falling In Love» followed. Another excellent production that was done real quick, in just a period of 10 days, without even rehearsing it, due to lack of time and money… Spinners were already masters in delivering fine vocals, and Thom was absolutely sure in what he was to expect from the group. Bobbie Smith leads a magnificent singing yet again. It was stated above, necessity is the mother of invention!

Atlantic Records guys couldn’t be happier, they demanded an album. Spinners self titled Atlantic 1973 debut stands as one of Thom Bell‘s stellar and complete lps. A great interplay of the three main Spinners leaders, in Bobbie Smith‘s laid back vocals, Henry Famborough’s sensual baritone falsetto and Philippe Wynne‘s windy tenor delivery in «One Of A Kind (Love Affair)» and « Ghetto Child ». Philippe was unique in opening tracks like «Could It Be I’m Falling In Love». Anyway, one can hardly find some weak moments in that Atlantic debut album.

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Spinners – 1975 – Pick Of The Litter

Under the steady hand of producer, arranger, and composer Thom Bell, the Spinners hit their stride in the mid-1970s, when Phillipe Wynne’s mellifluous tenor led them to the pinnacle of luxurious Philly soul. This 1975 album celebrates love found, laments love lost, and pledges love again while the smooth vocals and rich orchestrations punctuate the message. “Games People Play” became a huge hit with its poetic lyrics and a female “character” answering Wynne’s queries. The defiant “Love or Leave” and “All That Glitters Ain’t Gold” add elements of funk and disco, providing contrast to the sweeter, string-heavy ballads.

This is a @320 vinyl rip of the original Atlantic LP including covers.

Tracks
A1   Honest I Do (4:00)
A2  I Don’t Want To Lose You (3:42)
A3  Love Or Leave (4:59)
A4  Sweet Love Of Mine (4:20)
B1  All That Glitters Ain’t Gold (3:47)
B2   You Made A Promise To Me (3:56)
B3   Games People Play (4:41)
B4 Just As Long As We Have Love (4:06)

Review by Groovy Emmanuel

Two years and two gold albums later it was Spinners’ 1975 “Pick of The Litter” lp, the fourth collaboration set with Thom Bell, another million seller and a yet again excellent production. And this time we marvel at a rare but deeply touching lead by Henry Famborough in «I Don’t Want To Loose You». But there’s more magic in the air in the line “nowhere to go” in the hit «Games People Play». A woman singing in a Spinners album?, Is that Evette Benson or Barbara Ingram? No, according to Thom, it’s Henry doing a perfect false part with Thom speeding the tape up a little bit. To many, Pick Of The Litter lp stands as the pinnacle of Spinners collaboration with Thom Bell.

A fruitful collaboration, to say the least. Overall, Thom produced and arranged nine Spinners albums. Gold dust in sensual moods. Delivered with a fine, delicate approach, those magic moments, be them released by Philadelphia International Records, or even by outside Philly based labels, such as Hugo & Luigi’s Avco-Embassy (Stylistics..) or Ahmet Ertegun’s New York City legendary label . Sigma Sound‘s phenomenal MFSB are the mellow groove masters all over the place, and the spirit remains the same. Need to say that Atlantic’s Spinners records stand ever since as some of the finest moments of The Sound Of Philadelphia.?

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37 Comments
  • k02
    Posted at 16:03h, 03 February 2009 Reply

    Great post, Thanks Nikos

  • cocoluxe
    Posted at 21:39h, 03 February 2009 Reply

    once again, you’ve come up with the goods … the Lea Roberts still gets at least one play a day:) Thanks man. Michael

  • rich
    Posted at 21:41h, 03 February 2009 Reply

    nikos thnak u for the pick of the litter album cant wait to hear it

  • invisiblenigma
    Posted at 22:42h, 03 February 2009 Reply

    Two Great LP’s! Much Appreciated.

  • Soul is the Music
    Posted at 00:22h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    1972 were the year that the Spinners finally got the chance to breakthrough to a wide audience after years on Motown without any huge success. Now with producer/writer team Thom Bell/Linda Creed, and a deal on Atlantic, they Spinners’ hard work finally paid off after years. This joint is surely a winner, with some heavy hitting mid-tempo soul jams. This one contains some legendary jams like the rolling funk of “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love” heavily laden with strings, a staple of Philly Soul.

  • Margarita
    Posted at 02:18h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    “Spinners” is the best non-greatest hits soul album one can buy. Outstanding singing, precision producing make this a can’t miss album.

  • Hooch
    Posted at 03:04h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    Two first rate Lp’s – Many thanks Nikos!

  • Keith
    Posted at 09:23h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    These guys are great Thanks for posting this. Cheers!

  • Jeff
    Posted at 10:33h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    It’s the Spinners, enough said! Get your copy and go back to when people really sang songs! Five stars..

  • carlitos
    Posted at 13:31h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    Great music.Good work.Thank you very much

  • samuel
    Posted at 14:14h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    This album still sounds great after all these years.. great singing, great songwriting , If you like smooth r&b it doesn’t get no better..

  • Fred
    Posted at 20:09h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks for posting the history of Soul music. Thank god for the Philly Sound!!!

  • John
    Posted at 23:33h, 04 February 2009 Reply

    fantastic, they are the best Philly soul had to offer, I know most people would say the O’Jays but make mine the Spinner, nothing like them.

  • Zion
    Posted at 10:14h, 05 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks for sharing the classic stuff.

  • Benny
    Posted at 11:17h, 05 February 2009 Reply

    could ommmmm it be…. omm i’m falling in love AoooMORE….ommmmmm… love the spinners

  • lobeh
    Posted at 11:47h, 05 February 2009 Reply

    Really great stuff.
    Thanks.

  • Soulman
    Posted at 12:11h, 05 February 2009 Reply

    Spinners, so great. The 70´s is the best time. The music is joy, pure phily sound!

  • Lord Byron
    Posted at 13:16h, 05 February 2009 Reply

    This is their golden period with Philippé Wynne on lead vocals. They also had two great singers. Bobbie Smith on early recordings and John Edwards who replaced Wynne in 1977. Excellent group.

  • Laura
    Posted at 15:01h, 05 February 2009 Reply

    The Spinners are AMAZING. This music takes me back to when I was a little girl in the seventies. It is music I still love and listen to.

  • William
    Posted at 20:27h, 05 February 2009 Reply

    damn,..they don’t have groups like this no more 🙁

  • Trakbuv
    Posted at 01:13h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    The Spinners hey day, these 2 LPs provide neat bookends to this remarkable era. What songwriting, what production, what a group – and in Philippe Wynne, they found one of the earnest soul singers I know and arguably the best ad-libber out there – songs like ‘Sadie’ wouldn’t exist at their prolonged length without his captivating yearnful pleads.

    Truly one of our music’s treasured combinations. Big ups to Nikos and to Groovy for another review from the heart.

  • manny
    Posted at 05:42h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    thanks for posting

  • Leo
    Posted at 10:27h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    TSOP! Yeah, buddy! I LOVE TSOP, I like Motown a lot, and I like Doo Wop as well. But TSOP is the cream of the crop for me.

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 15:37h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    from the bottom of my heart…thanks for those 2 beautiful lps…thanks dude…jean paris

  • Alexander
    Posted at 16:31h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    “I’ll be around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” are two of the greatest soul pop songs ever. The Spinners WERE pop-soul in the 70’s, and there was one crazy thing about the 70’s, YOU HAD TO BE ABLE TO SING TO GET A JOB AS A SINGER! In summary, there’s only one Philippe “Soul” Wynne, and I’m afraid there will never be another.

  • Julian
    Posted at 16:49h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    Another quality post from the best site around! Congrats.

  • Alan Grey
    Posted at 16:54h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    Amazing vocal feats. Inventive instrumental arrangements and polished delivery. Simple but profound lyrics. Famous and obscure backup singers. Late disco-era hits that are STILL being played in dance clubs today! Given that a significant amount of 70’s music today sounds amateurish and is often placed in compilations for humor value only, the Spinners certainly stand out from the pack!

  • Chris
    Posted at 19:09h, 06 February 2009 Reply

    Thanks….i really liked these when i was little LOL

  • Raphy
    Posted at 02:10h, 07 February 2009 Reply

    The Spinners is my all time favorite R&B group…with the inclusion of this masterpiece…My spinners Collection is Now COMPLETE!!!

    Thanks & Big Up to ALL that make this possible

    One Love

  • Todd
    Posted at 13:10h, 07 February 2009 Reply

    God I love their harmony.Pure class.

  • ted
    Posted at 09:18h, 13 February 2009 Reply

    Wynne was one of the most AMAZING vocalists of the 1970’s. One needs to put on headphones, chill out, and let his voice his voice take over. A truly stunning talent. Thanks for this.

  • Claudio
    Posted at 00:39h, 02 March 2009 Reply

    I`ve heard about Winne but I coudnt get any music from him. Very good.

  • clip_clop
    Posted at 13:51h, 03 March 2009 Reply

    thx,i’ve lookin’ it for some days

  • whoknows
    Posted at 09:00h, 06 March 2009 Reply

    playing a little catch up, thanks for this one Nikos! the spinners have been one of my favorites, i love the tune ‘its a shame’!!!

  • Geewiz
    Posted at 03:12h, 12 July 2009 Reply

    Grrrreat!!!

  • HeavySoulBrutha DaveB.
    Posted at 22:38h, 23 October 2009 Reply

    “Don’t Let The Green Grass Fool You” on that 73 record is CRAZY!

    Peace and SOUL,
    Dave…

  • Jim
    Posted at 22:04h, 08 December 2009 Reply

    Just wanted to clarify…
    Phillipe Wynne is incorrectly credited with singing on most of the Spinners biggest hits.
    Bobby Smith sang lead on “I’ll Be Around”, “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” (Phillipe sings the “scat” parts on the end of the song), “Games People Play”, and “Then Came You”. Bobbie Smith’s voice is the “smooth” that people associate with the Spinners, while Phillipe Wynne had a more animated voice, similar in tone to Al Green, as heard on “Rubberband Man”, “Ghetto Child” and “One of a Kind Love Affair”.

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