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Review

The major label Universal Music is the repository for the recordings the Righteous Brothers made in the 1960s, separately and together, for Moonglow, Philles, Verve, and MGM Records. Universal's Gold reissue series, like Sony BMG's Essential series, consists of two-CD compilations of label artists. The Righteous Brothers scored 22 entries on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1963 and 1974, 21 of which are included here. (The exception is a cover of the Jerry Butler hit "He Will Break Your Heart," which spent one week at number 91 as the B-side of the Top 20 hit "He.") Since the set contains 48 tracks in total, that means the format allows plenty of space for non-hits and album tracks. In the Righteous Brothers' case, it also allows for some of the many solo efforts of duo members Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. (They recorded separately in 1963, then split up in 1967, and Hatfield partnered with Jimmy Walker as the Righteous Brothers in 1969 before reuniting with Medley in the '70s.) It's worth noting, therefore, that while Universal has licensed the three comeback hits the Righteous Brothers scored on Haven Records in 1974 (including the chart-topping novelty "Rock and Roll Heaven") from EMI, it has not gone after tracks Medley made for other labels, so his 1987 number-one duet with Jennifer Warnes, "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," from the film Dirty Dancing, released by RCA, is not included. Stylistically, that's just as well. Even stretching the collection to 1974 gives a somewhat deceptive sense of this act's popularity; of those 22 chart entries, 14 reached their peaks in 1965 and 1966, when the Righteous Brothers reigned as one of the ten most successful singles artists in the U.S. All their immortal hits -- "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," "Just Once in My Life," "Unchained Melody," "Ebb Tide," and "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" -- came in that two-year period. The big hits were melodramatic ballads, in some cases produced by Phil Spector. Before that period, on their Moonglow recordings, the Righteous Brothers made rough R&B, examples here including Muddy Waters' "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and Ray Charles' "This Little Girl of Mine." After the hits subsided, they tried to re-create their popular sound and find equally memorable songs, sometimes by working again with songwriters Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (who had teamed with Spector to write "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"). This material, which makes up most of the second disc, is often interesting (e.g., Medley's recording of Jimmy Webb's "Someone Is Standing Outside"), but rarely impressive for itself. There is more here than the average fans really wants, but it's hard to criticize the set for containing too much. There was room, so why not? (By comparison, Anthology [1962-1974], Rhino Records' 1989 two-disc Righteous Brothers compilation, is 16 tracks and 43-minutes shorter.) It's unlikely there will ever be a three- or four-CD box set on the Righteous Brothers, not only for commercial reasons, but because they don't really deserve one. And absent that, this is likely to be the most extensive collection of their work ever to be attempted. ~ William Ruhlmann
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Little Latin Lupe Lu The Righteous Brothers 2:14
  3. 2 Hot Tamales The Righteous Brothers 2:27
  4. 3 Gotta Tel You How I Feel The Righteous Brothers 2:2
  5. 4 My Babe The Righteous Brothers 2:41
  6. 5 Koko Joe The Righteous Brothers 1:55
  7. 6 Let the Good Times Roll The Righteous Brothers 2:3
  8. 7 Try to Find Another Man The Righteous Brothers 2:22
  9. 8 I Just Want to Make Love to You The Righteous Brothers 3:24
  10. 9 Somethings Got a Hold on Me The Righteous Brothers 3:17
  11. 10 This Little Girl of Mine The Righteous Brothers 2:14
  12. 11 Bring Your Love to Me The Righteous Brothers 2:18
  13. 12 Fannie Mae The Righteous Brothers 2:15
  14. 13 You Can Have Her The Righteous Brothers 2:45
  15. 14 Justine The Righteous Brothers 2:10
  16. 15 Georgia on My Mind [Single] The Righteous Brothers 2:33
  17. 16 You've Lost That Lovin Feelin' The Righteous Brothers 3:43
  18. 17 The Angels Listened In The Righteous Brothers 2:16
  19. 18 Just Once in My Life The Righteous Brothers 3:49
  20. 19 See That Girl The Righteous Brothers 3:10
  21. 20 Unchained Melody The Righteous Brothers 3:37
  22. 21 Hung on You The Righteous Brothers 3:21
  23. 22 Ebb Tide The Righteous Brothers 2:48
  24. 23 (I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons The Righteous Brothers 2:47
  25. 24 The White Cliffs of Dover The Righteous Brothers 2:16
  26. 1 (You're My) Soul & Inspiration [Long Version] The Righteous Brothers 3:15
  27. 2 Stand By The Righteous Brothers 2:44
  28. 3 He The Righteous Brothers 3:0
  29. 4 Go Ahead and Cry The Righteous Brothers 2:31
  30. 5 Something You Got The Righteous Brothers 2:27
  31. 6 On This Side of Goodbye The Righteous Brothers 3:5
  32. 7 A Man Without a Dream The Righteous Brothers 2:46
  33. 8 Melancholy Music Man The Righteous Brothers 2:36
  34. 9 Stranded in the Middle of No Place The Righteous Brothers 3:34
  35. 10 That Lucky Old Sun (Just Rolls Around Heaven All Day) The Righteous Brothers 3:54
  36. 11 Hang-Ups Bobby Hatfield 2:48
  37. 12 Brothers The Righteous Brothers 2:22
  38. 13 I Can't Make It Alone Bill Medley 2:33
  39. 14 Brown Eyed Woman Bill Medley 3:17
  40. 15 Peace Brother Peace Bill Medley 4:17
  41. 16 This Is a Love Song Bill Medley 3:11
  42. 17 Only You (And You Alone) Bobby Hatfield 2:48
  43. 18 My Prayer The Righteous Brothers 2:57
  44. 19 Answer Me My Love The Righteous Brothers 2:22
  45. 20 Woman, Man Needs Ya The Righteous Brothers 3:33
  46. 21 Someone Is Standing Outside The Righteous Brothers 3:17
  47. 22 Rock and Roll Heaven The Righteous Brothers 3:32
  48. 23 Give It to the People The Righteous Brothers 3:26
  49. 24 Dream On The Righteous Brothers 3:31

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