November 8, 2010
The Righteous Brothers left Phil Spector behind and struck out on their own during early 1966.
They wisely recorded a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song as their first release for the Verve Label. Mann and Weil had written their previous number one smash “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling.”
The second time would prove the charm as well, as “Soul & Inspiration” would top The American singles chart for three weeks. It would also be number one in Canada and number fifteen in Britain.
They may have left Spector’s Wall Of Sound behind but they learned their leasons well as they filled in the sound with a female choir and sang together as a traditional duo more than they had in the past.
Sometimes this song is somewhat forgotten in their catalogue as most of the attention tends to focus on their Phillies Label releases which included “Unchained Melody.” “Soul & Inspiration” should not be ignored as it remains their most commercially successful release.
November 4, 2010
“Unchained Melody,” by estimate, has been recorded over 500 times. It was originally written by Alex North and Hy Zaret for the obscure 1955 prison film UNCHAINED staring Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch. Despite its humble beginnings it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song.
It reached the charts in a number of forms during 1955. Al Hibbler took it to number one r&b and number three pop, Roy Hamilton number one r&b and number six pop, Les Baxter number two pop with an instrumental version, and Jimmy Young number one in The United Kingdom. Todd Duncan sang the song in the film.
Enter The Righteous Brothers. Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley first reached the BILLBOARD singles chart in 1963 and hit it big a year later with the number one hit, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” which was a part of Phil Spector’s wall of sound.
1965 would find them back with Spector for “Unchained Melody” which would reach number four. They were a duo that tended to rotate vocals rather than sing together. It was Hatfield’s tenor voice that dominated this tune. It would reach the top twenty again in 1990 when it was included in the film GHOST.
The picture sleeve shown was issued in Holland.