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Da Doo Ron Ron - The Very Best of the Crystals

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Producer Phil Spector formed Philles Records in 1961 and assembled a top-shelf backing band from the cream of Los Angeles’ session players. All he needed was a face and vocal to put on his “Wall of Sound.” The Crystals were already a quartet led by Barbara Alston and La La Brooks when Spector signed them and he often added Darlene Love, who had a solo career with Spector, to the Crystals’ recordings. And what great recordings they are! The controversial “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)” and “He’s A Rebel” made these young women seem like demure ladies who lived in the shadow of dominant men, but there is a powerful joy in hits such as “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me” and “He’s Sure The Boy I Love.” Spector saw his work as creating “little symphonies for the kids,” but he also produced an alternate reality where the aches and pains of the world could be eased by the joy of handclaps and an ensemble of young voices that made everything feel just fine.

Customer Reviews

Love it...

I love to hear any of my moms "original recordings" on iTunes... That's right.. Barbara Alston is my mother... And I'm proud to hear her on these recordings.. Being in this group, the Crystals, was a very important part of her life....


Dear itunes,

You guys finally listened to your customers!! This is a sign that you are finally selling original music from back in the day! I'm 25 years old and I love listening to older music, but I was really upset that all I could find here were "Re-mastered, Re-recorded"?? I think I can speak for most people that buy from itunes, that we don't want Re-anything, yea we like quality sound, but not if it's not by the ORIGINAL SINGERS!!!! This album you have here is the actual original singers, I can tell the difference, so if you are someone looking for the real deal, this is it, hopefully there is more original work coming on itunes for this kind of music, I think itunes/Apple gets it now..

Fresh mono transfer and remaster of the Crystals’ best

The Crystals formed in 1961 with Barbara Alston as their lead singer. Quickly signed by Phil Spector for his brand new Philles label, they were the subject of the label’s very first single, first hit and first Top 20, “(There’s No Other) Like My Baby.” They struck gold again the following year with the Mann & Weil’s brilliant “Uptown” and reached #1 with Gene Pitney’s “He’s a Rebel.” Oddly, the latter single, the group’s only chart topper, was recorded by a completely different set of Crystals – Darlene Love and the Blossoms – than the one who’d first broken on the charts. The story has the original Crystals touring the East Coast at the moment the demanding Spector was ready to record in Los Angeles, and Love’s group was on hand.

The Love/Blossoms Crystals hit one more time, in 1963 with “He’s Sure the Boy I Love,” before the original group regained their name with “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Then He Kissed Me,” and “I Wonder.” Well, sort of. “Da Doo Ron Ron” had been recorded by Darlene Love and the Blossoms, but Spector replaced her lead vocal with one by Lala Brooks, to whom Alston had ceded the lead vocal role in the Crystals’ stage show. The latter two singles also feature Brooks with Love and the Blossoms providing the backing vocals. The East Coast group split with Spector and Philles shortly thereafter, and amid additional personnel changes recorded a few more non-charting singles that failed to capture the thrills and grandeur of their hits.

This disc collects the group’s ten charting singles (which also include “Little Boy” and “All Grown Up”), B-sides, album tracks, the short-lived A-side “There’s No Other Like My Baby” (which was flipped to make “(There’s No Other) Like My Baby” a hit), and the quickly withdrawn “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss).” Two rarities – the hard-swinging unissued-at-the-time “Heartbreaker” and the previously unissued LaLa Brooks-sung “Woman in Love” fill out the disc. This isn’t a complete exposition of the group’s recordings (their early version of “On Broadway” would have been a nice inclusion), and some will complain about the all-mono line-up, but with ABKCO’s Best of the Crystals out of print, it’s great to have the group’s hits and and B-sides available alongside collections for the Ronettes, Darlene Love and Phil Spector. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]


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 to recognize...
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Da Doo Ron Ron - The Very Best of the Crystals, The Crystals
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