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Top Hits - He's a Rebel - EP (Re-Recorded Version)

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Album Review

This 29-song bootleg compilation more or less matches the authorized Crystals collection from ABKCO for sound quality, perhaps denser and louder. But it also includes a much heftier selection of songs, among them the Crystals' version of "On Broadway" and the quintet's Christmas songs, and one of the rarest and most seldom heard of all Phil Spector productions — "The Screw (Let's Dance)." The latter song, for those unfamiliar, was something that Spector delivered to fulfill the provisions of a business arrangement with a partner he no longer wanted, and consists of the Crystals doing a rather fetching chorus ("Let's do it, come on and do it, to the right, to the left") to a boogie-woogie beat, accompanied by piano, drums, and bass, while Spector, sounding bored and surly, occasionally comes in announcing, "Do the screw," or "Let's dance the screw." No more than a handful of copies were ever pressed, since Spector never seriously intended that it be released, and the quality here is astonishingly good — it also reveals itself as the longest song Spector ever put into finished version in this era, a four-minute-plus joke. The whole disc is claimed to be Cedar-ized, and the noise reduction treatment hasn't hurt. There are no notes, but the cover art is cool.

Biography

Formed: 1961 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Among aficionados of the girl group sound, there can't be five acts more beloved than the Crystals. Their best-known songs, which include "He's a Rebel," "Uptown," "Da Doo Ron Ron," "Then He Kissed Me," and "There's No Other Like My Baby," are among the finest examples of the best that American rock & roll had to offer in the period before the British Invasion; and decades into the CD era, the group's records are still prized in their original vinyl pressings even by non-collectors, who seem...
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