Righteous Brothers/Phil Spector Collectors Items

Last updated 02 July 2012 - Updated items in red

Philles albums issued in Japan on Limited Edition SHM-CD (Super High Material)




You've Lost That Lovin Feelin 2012 Universal Music UICY-75147

Just Once In My Life 2012 Universal Music UICY-75148

Back To Back 2012 Universal Music UICY-75149

The three Philles albums by the Righteous Brothers are now available on the newly developed Super High Material CD format, which can be played on any CD player.

A major feature of the set is that the albums are in both stereo and mono, so included are the alternate mono/stereo versions of "The Angels Listened In" and "Summertime".

Admittedly they are a bit pricey because of the format and the cost of postage from Japan plus there is some static noise from the master tapes on a couple of the tracks on the "You've Lost That Lovin Feelin" album but for any serious Righteous Brothers collector, they simply are a 'must have' item for their collection.

Alternate issue of the Greatest Hits album



The Righteous Brothers Greatest Hits by Phil Spector - 1981 Verve 18MM 0585 Japan

At first glance this very rare 1981 Japanese vinyl album might appear to be the very familiar Righteous Brothers classic "Greatest Hits" album, originally issued in 1967 and reissued many times since then.

However, on this 1981 Japanese issue, the track listing has been changed to include B sides of the Righteous Brothers Philles singles not originally included on the Greatest Hits album, "There's A Woman" "The Blues" and "She's Mine All Mine" plus two Bill Medley solos from the Philles "Back To Back" album, "Without A Doubt" and "Loving You".

Even though the title has been extended to be the "Righteous Brothers Greatest Hits BY PHIL SPECTOR", as the changes have been made using the identical styling and original typeface, a casual viewing of the album cover can result in it being overlooked.

The back cover utilizes the original layout of the Righteous Brothers 1969 "Greatest Hits Vol.2" album, including the two photos of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield.

Track Listing;

You've Lost That Lovin Feelin
Just Once In My Life
Loving You
(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
Hung On You
Ebb Tide

Unchained Melody
Without A Doubt
The Blues
White Cliffs Of Dover
She's Mine All Mine
There's A Woman

Unchained Melody single with no producer credit



Well worth seeking out is the original issue of this classic single that has been the subject of many heated debates over the years as to the identity of the producer of "Unchained Melody".

Apart from not sounding in the remotest like a Phil Spector production, the lack of any producer credits on the label would appear to imply that Phil Spector did not produce "Unchained Melody". After all, as Phil Spector was the sole owner of Philles Records it hardly seems feasible that his name would be omitted by mistake.

Although DJ and initial releases of Philles 129 "Hung On You" credited Phil Spector as the producer, the B side "Unchained Melody" had no producer credits, this was also the case with the Bill Medley produced tracks on the two previous Righteous Brothers Philles singles.

However, after "Unchained Melody" was switched to the A side following DJ's playing it in preference to main side and it started to climb the charts, Phil Spector's name appeared credited as producer on the subsequent pressings of the single and all other releases of the track ever since.

Another interesting factor is that there is no arranger credit which had by then become standard practice on Spector produced tracks at this point.

It is also worth noting that the producer credits on the album "Just Once In My Life" are vague with no distinction between the tracks Phil Spector and Bill Medley produced. On the other two Righteous Brothers/Philles albums, "You've Lost That Lovin Feelin" and "Back To Back", the producer credits are very clear.

Further evidence, if it were needed, has surfaced with the release of the Phil Spector compilation "Retrospective". The liner notes gives details of the session musicians, none of these included any of the "wrecking crew" who worked with Spector but several familiar names of members of the Righteous Brothers Band including Mike Patterson Bill Baker Art Munson Woody Woodrich Drew Johnson and Barry Rillera.

I Can't Make It Alone sessions



The Carole King/Gerry Goffin song "I Can't Make It Alone" has often been cited as a song that would have been ideally suited for the Righteous Brothers.

The arrangement of Carole King's original demo of the song is in the classic Righteous Brothers style complete with a call and response section as in "You've Lost That Lovin Feelin" (written by Mann/Weil/Spector) and the later Goffin/King/Spector "Just Once In My Life" and "Hung On You".

So it is not that surprising that evidence should emerge suggesting that Phil Spector had planned to record the Righteous Brothers performing "I Can't Make It Alone".

Invoices sent to Philles Records from Gold Star Recording Studios Inc. indicate that the track was in the initial stages, it is unknown whether there were further recording sessions.

23 January 1965 basic track recorded

25 January 1965 2nd basic track recorded

26 January 1965 playback

Following the break-up of the Righteous Brothers in late 1967 both Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield recorded versions of "I Can't Make It Alone" within weeks of each other.

Bill Medley's version recorded on 8 February 1968 was chosen as the A side of his debut single on MGM K13931, interestingly doesn't contain the last verse or the call and response section as on the original Carole King demo.

Bobby Hatfield's version was recorded on 15 March 1968 but has never been issued.

Back in 1966, Jack Nitzsche had arranged and produced a version of "I Can't Make It Alone" for PJ Proby on Liberty 55915 on which Proby does an amazing take off of the Righteous Brothers, including a call and response section in which he sings both parts in the style of Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield.

While at Phil Spector's Philles Records, Jack Nitzsche arranged the Righteous Brothers tracks "Just Once In My Life", "Hung On You" and "(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons".

It is quite feasible that Jack Nitzsche was the arranger on the "I Can't Make It Alone" sessions at Philles Records and used the same format for the version by PJ Proby. It is worth noting that the album version doesn't have the overdubbed vocals.

Many thanks to Peter Canvel and Mick Patrick who supplied these items.

Withdrawn UK Just Once In My Life single



In the UK the follow up to "You've Lost That Lovin Feelin", "Just Once In My Life"/"The Blues", was released in April 1965 on London American HL9962 and then rather abruptly withdrawn by Decca. It was a controversial decision at the time, one of the reasons given in the music press at the time was "technical reasons", which could amount to anything.

It has been well documented that demonstration copies of the single were released before the withdrawal. Since then several had been in circulation, though very rare.

No regular copies of this release were thought to have existed but in the past few years copies have surfaced.

In June 1966, just over a year after the initial release, "Just Once In My Life"/"The Blues" was finally released by Decca on London American HL10066. There are no differences between the recordings of either issue.

Some mis-informed record sellers are trying to sell the London American HL10066 issue by claiming it is the withdrawn issue, something to be aware of before buying or bidding on the item.

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