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This Magic Moment: The Sound of the Brill Building

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21/7/2014

Review

In the '50s and '60s, the Brill Building, an office building located on Broadway in New York City, was the unofficial capitol of the American pop music industry; the building was home to a number of record companies and publishing firms, and many of the leading songwriters and producers of the day did business there, as pop hits were produced on a veritable assembly line: writers came up with new tunes, arrangers figured out how to make them sound best on record, and producers recruited the singers and session musicians who would put the magic into grooves that would spin in jukeboxes, radio stations, and portable phonographs around the country. This Magic Moment: The Sound of the Brill Building is a two-disc set that collects 64 songs from the days when the Brill Building was the center of the teen pop universe, featuring hits by Dion, Del Shannon, the Shirelles, Gene Pitney, Ben E. King, the Crystals, Little Eva, Jay & the Americans, Connie Francis, and many more. The set also includes a few stars-to-be, including early sides by Tony Orlando, Carole King, and Neil Sedaka, and a couple cuts from Barry Mann, who would fare better as a songwriter in collaboration with Cynthia Weil. The music on this set is polished radio-friendly pop, but from an age when songwriters sought to make records that spoke eye-to-eye with teenagers rather than down to them, and the craft of the songwriting, performances, and production is impeccable no matter how slick the surfaces may be. One could compile a hefty box set out of the glory days of the Brill Building, and licensing issues are presumably the reason Phil Spector and Shadow Morton's classic productions are not better represented on this collection, but This Magic Moment still manages to evoke the era with skill and demonstrates just how much great music poured out of one building in New York City; fans of '60s pop and rock will find lots to like on these two discs. ~ Mark Deming
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Will You Love Me Tomorrow The Shirelles 2:39
  3. 2 This Magic Moment The Drifters 2:24
  4. 3 Dream Lover Dion 2:15
  5. 4 Crying in the Rain The Everly Brothers 1:58
  6. 5 Run to Him Bobby Vee 2:7
  7. 6 Sorry But I'm Gonna Have to Pass The Coasters 2:8
  8. 7 War Paint Barry Mann 2:16
  9. 8 Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen Neil Sedaka 2:32
  10. 9 (Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame Del Shannon 2:18
  11. 10 Bless You Tony Orlando 2:7
  12. 11 Yes Ben E. King 2:44
  13. 12 The Loco-Motion Little Eva 2:22
  14. 13 Dawning Jay & the Americans 2:24
  15. 14 Our Love It Grows Myrna March 2:15
  16. 16 Don't Ever Change The Crickets 2:13
  17. 17 Turn Me Loose Fabian 2:20
  18. 18 Wear My Ring Gene Vincent 2:33
  19. 19 Another Sleepless Night Jimmy Clanton 2:7
  20. 21 Tell Laura I Love Her Ray Peterson 2:54
  21. 22 I Love You Eddie The Crystals 1:56
  22. 23 Chains The Cookies 2:28
  23. 24 Tell Me What She Said The Playmates 2:17
  24. 25 Painting the Town with Teardrops Vinnie Monte 2:3
  25. 26 Teenage Sonata Sam Cooke 2:36
  26. 27 I Can't Hear a Word You Say Ruth Brown 2:26
  27. 28 Everybody's Somebody's Fool Connie Francis 2:37
  28. 29 Early in the Morning Buddy Holly 2:5
  29. 30 First Taste of Love Ben E. King 2:28
  30. 31 It Might as Well Rain Until September Carole King 2:22
  31. 32 Only Love Can Break a Heart Gene Pitney 2:46
  32. 1 Where the Boys Are Connie Francis 2:36
  33. 2 Some Kind of Wonderful The Drifters 2:34
  34. 3 Teenager in Love Dion & The Belmonts 2:33
  35. 4 The Answer to Everything Del Shannon 2:43
  36. 5 Who Put the Bomp (In the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp) Barry Mann 2:43
  37. 7 One Way Ticket (To the Blues) Neil Sedaka 2:25
  38. 8 Uptown The Crystals 2:19
  39. 9 Take It Like a Man Gene Pitney 2:19
  40. 10 So Close to Heaven Ral Donner 2:56
  41. 11 This Is It Jay & the Americans 2:41
  42. 12 Sharing You Bobby Vee 2:0
  43. 13 Venus in Blue Jeans Jimmy Clanton 2:23
  44. 14 That's Old Fashioned The Everly Brothers 2:20
  45. 15 Halfway to Paradise Tony Orlando 2:32
  46. 16 Two Fools Frankie Avalon 2:16
  47. 17 This Little Girl's Gone Rockin' Ruth Brown 1:45
  48. 18 How Come Birdie Green 2:3
  49. 19 You Bet I Would The Ronettes 2:6
  50. 20 It's Love That Really Counts The Shirelles 2:11
  51. 21 Telephone (Won't You Ring) Shelley Fabares 2:38
  52. 22 What a Nice Way to Turn Seventeen The Crystals 2:40
  53. 23 It Started All Over Again Brenda Lee 2:22
  54. 24 Summertime Symphony Jamie Coe 2:16
  55. 25 Kissin' and Twistin' Fabian 2:34
  56. 26 Dickie Went and Did It The Delicates 1:47
  57. 27 You Mean Everything to Me Neil Sedaka 2:36
  58. 28 Be My Girl Ray Peterson 2:10
  59. 29 Just Between You and Me The Chordettes 2:6
  60. 30 Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart Connie Francis 2:36
  61. 31 Please Stay The Drifters 2:13
  62. 32 Stand by Me Ben E. King 2:58

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