Phil Spector Series – Chapter 10 – Phil Spector International – Part 1 – Philles Album Tracks

In the spring of 1975, Phil launched the Phil Spector International label as a channel to release newly recorded material and reissues of his past productions. These releases were a reward to his devoted British fans and not available to the U.S. market except through limited import availability. Both singles and LPs were released on Phil Spector International. All but a few of the singles were also available as album tracks. For this segment and the following part 2, only the album releases will be discussed. The LPs issued on Phil Spector International were:

2307 001 Lenny Bruce – The Law The Language And Lenny Bruce (1975)

2307 002 Dion – Born To Be With You (1975)

2307 003 The Ronettes Sing Their Greatest Hits (1975)

2307 004 Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans  - Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah (1975)

2307 005 Phil Spector’s Christmas Album (1975)

2307 006 The Crystals Sing Their Greatest Hits (1975)

2307 007 Yesterday’s Hits Today (1975)

2307 008 Rare Masters (1976)

2307 009 Rare Masters 2 (1976)

2307 010 Checkmates Ltd (unissued)

2307 011 Barney Kessel – Slow Burn (1976)

2307 012 Various Artists – Phil Spector’s 20 Greatest Hits (1976)

2307 013 Various Artists – Echoes Of The 60s (1977)

2307 014 Unissued

2307 015 Phil Spector 74/79 (1979)

WOS 001 Nine Album Set – The Wall Of Sound (1981)

2307 002, 2307 003, 2307 004, 2307 005, 2307 006, 2335 229 Righteous Brothers - The Greatest Hits, 2335 233 Ronettes – The Greatest Hits – Volume II, 2335 236 Darlene Love – Masters, 2335 237 Phil Spector – Masters (1981)

The first two albums were recordings Phil had produced for Warner-Spector records. The Dion album was never released on Warner-Spector. The next five albums were reissues of material available on the original Philles albums. All were basically identical in terms of tracks to the original albums except for the Crystals album, which contained the best cuts from their three Philles albums. Needless to say, Phil’s British fans were thrilled with these reissues of his classic productions. The biggest thrill though was yet to come. But before covering that, as promised earlier in this series, the significant non-singles Philles album tracks will be discussed.

The Crystals had three albums released on the Philles label. They were: Philles 4000 – The Crystals – Twist Uptown, Philles 4001 – The Crystals – He’s A Rebel, and Philles 4003 – The Crystals – Sing The Greatest Hits. Essentially, the three albums were repackages of the Philles singles hits with a few songs thrown in. The following are the songs contained on those albums shown with the album numbers on which they appeared. Those also marked with an * are the songs from the Phil Spector International The Crystals Sing Their Greatest Hits album.

“Another Country Another World” [4000, 4001, *], “Da Doo Ron Ron” [4003, *], “Frankenstein Twist” [4000, 4001], “Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)” [4000, 4003], “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like  A Kiss)” [4001, *], “He’s A Rebel” [4001, 4003, *], “He’s Sure The Boy I Love” [4001, 4003, *], “Hot Pastrami” [4003], “I Love You Eddie” [4000, 4001, *], “Look In My Eyes” [4003, *], “Mashed Potato Time” [4003, *], “No One Ever Tells You” [4000, 4001, *], “Oh Yeah Maybe Baby” [4000, 4001, *], “On Broadway” [4000, 4001, 4003, *], “Please Hurt Me” [4000, *], “Then He Kissed Me” [*], “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)” [4000, 4001, 4003, *], “The Twist” [4003], “Uptown” [4000, 4001, 4003, *], “The Wah Watusi” [4003], “What a Nice Way To Turn Seventeen” [4000, 4001, *].

Curiously “All Grown Up” and “Little Boy” were not included on the Phil Spector International album, but “Then He Kissed Me” was added. “Hot Pastrami” and “The Twist” were actually recorded by the Ronettes, and, of course, “He’s A Rebel” and “He’s Sure The Boy I Love” were actually recorded by Darlene Love. “On Broadway” is the original recording of the song covered so well by the Drifters. Also of particular interest is “Please Hurt Me”, a Goffin-King song, obviously from their domestic violence period, as was “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)”. Little Eva also recorded “Please Hurt Me’.

The Ronettes Sing Their Greatest Hits album was merely a rerelease of the Ronettes Philles album, Philles 400- Presenting The Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica. The songs included were “Walking In The Rain”, “Do I Love You”, So Young”, “(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up”, I Wonder”, “What’d I Say”, “Be My Baby”, “You Baby”, “Baby I Love You”, “How Does It Feel”, “When I Saw You” and “Chapel Of Love”. With the exception of the live “What’d I Say” and the somewhat weak “Chapel Of Love” (which predates the Dixie Cups version), the album is as near to perfection as a rock and roll album can get. Of particular interest are “I Wonder” and “You Baby”. Either of these could have been smash hits easily matching “Be My Baby”. Both songs have been covered by other artists but none come close to these two productions. Another outstanding track of equal caliber is “How Does It Feel” which was the flip side of the Philles “Walking In The Rain” single.

The Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah album is a re-release of the original Philles album. The tracks are “Not Too Young To Get Married”, “Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts”, Let The Good Times Roll”, My Heart Beat A Little Bit Faster”, Baby (I Love You)”, Dr. Kaplan’s Office”, “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah”, “The White Cliffs Of Dover”, “This Land Is Your Land”, Dear (Here Comes My Baby)”, “I Shook The World”, and “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”. Other than the hits singles, there is little of interest here with the possible exception of “The White Cliffs Of Dover”, a song which Phil obviously loved having also produced it by the Righteous Brothers. This version is similar in style to “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah” but nowhere near as good.

The Yesterday’s Hits Today album is not merely a re-release of the original Philles 4004 Today’s Hits album. It is a collection of fourteen Philles hit singles. The original Philles album contained ten hits singles and two flip sides. The Yesterday’s Hits Today album included fourteen hit singles and no flip sides – a much stronger album. All of the songs from both albums were covered in the Philles singles segments of this series. Of note though is that the Phil Spector International album does include “I Can Hear Music” and “Little Boy”.

The Phil Spector’s Christmas Album is identical to the original Philles A Christmas Gift For You From Philles Records. Every track is priceless. No collection should be without this album. Specific tracks and recommendations will not be discussed here, just go buy a copy of this album if you do not already have one.

That covers the Philles album cuts as promised with the exception of the Righteous Brothers albums. There is nothing special about those tracks other than the hit singles which have already been discussed. The rest of the tracks are just album fillers produced by Bill Medley.

Today’s songs:

On Broadway – Crystals

Please Hurt Me – Crystals

I Wonder – Ronettes

You Baby – Ronettes

White Cliffs Of Dover – Bob B. Soxx & Blue Jeans