There are two similarly titled single-disc greatest hits packages by the Righteous Brothers. I made the mistake a few weeks back of purchasing the Curb Records release, UNCHAINED MELODY: THE BEST OF THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS. That CD features remakes of their classic recordings. I threw that CD in the trash and purchased this CD, which contains the original Philles and Verve recordings.
While this collection is not as thorough as Rhino’s two-disc set (currently out of print), it contains the duo’s original recordings of their biggest hits. [The only major single missing is their 1974 reunion-era single “Rock And Roll Heaven.”]
The CD begins with their signature song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” which is the epitome of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound production. [Note: The Righteous Brothers were also the first white group signed by Spector’s Philles label.] This 12-track collection includes all seven of their Top 40 hits from the sixties, as well as the minor hits “Hung on You” (#47, 1965; the b-side-“Unchained Melody”-became the hit), “On This Side of Goodbye” (#47, 1966) and “The White Cliffs of Dover” (#21 in the U.K., 1966). Also included is the Bill Medley-penned song “Little Latin Lupe Lu” (#49, 1963) from their tenure with the Moonglow label. [Note: Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels would have a No. 17 hit with this song in 1966.] The only song missing from this collection is their final Verve single “Stranded in the Middle of No Place” from 1967, the year the duo split up.
The “blue-eyed soul” vocal duo known as The Righteous Brothers had experienced some moderate chart success in the early 1960’s when they caught the eye of Phil Spector. He signed Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield to his Philles label in the autumn of 1964 and immediately set about to create a new and distinctive sound for the boys. Their debut single on Philles was “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” and it shot right to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart in early 1965. Over the next year Spector would produce three more Top Ten hits for The Righteous Brothers before the duo decided to leave Philles and signed a new record deal with Verve. That may have been a mistake because Phil Spector obviously knew what he was doing and despite a #1 song “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” The Righteous Brothers were never able to attain the same level of success at their new record label that they had at Philles. “Lovin Feelin” has been recognized by both the Grammy Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the most important songs in the history of rock & roll. One of the greatest singles of the decade.