Monday, February 01, 2016

The Best of Spinners (1978)

The collaboration between producer Thom Bell and Spinners in the 1970s was the very definition of “lightning in a bottle.”  Their string of massive hit singles didn’t last forever (in fact, only about 3 years), but man was it fun while it lasted.  There are ten songs on this album – “I’ll Be Around,” “How Could I Let You Get Away,” “One of a Kind (Love Affair),” “Mighty Love,” “Ghetto Child,” “Then Came You” (with Dionne Warwick), “Sadie,” “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” “Games People Play,” and “The Rubberband Man” – and every single one is a great, great song.  I can still remember how exciting it was in the Fall of 1972 to hear the first strains of “I’ll Be Around” coming out of the radio, and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I’m still not sure that Bell gets the due he deserves today.  He was the Burt Bacharach of his day, not just a brilliant producer and arranger but also a terrific songwriter.  And give credit to the members of Spinners as well – all great vocalists, with three singers (Henry Fambrough, Phillipe Wynne, Bobby Smith) capable of handling the lead.  Together with Bell, they made magic together.

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