The Spinners

In Box

Phases and Stages

The Spinners

The Chrome Collection (Rhino) Does the world really need a box set from the Spinners? For sure, the vocal group had hit after hit in the Seventies, and jammin' oldies standards like "It's a Shame," "I'll Be Around," "One of a Kind (Love Affair)," and "The Rubberband Man" are all contained on the 3-CD Chrome Collection. Beginning with the group's Motown roots as a doo-wop act, the set takes off when the Spinners signed to Atlantic Records and began working with famed Philly-soul producer Thom Bell. From 1972-1976, when Philippe Wynne was their lead singer, the Spinners had 14 Top 40 singles, five of which went Top 5. This, however, isn't really enough to build a box set around. Some tunes are historically significant, like 1961's "That's What Girls Are Made For," which features Harvey Fuqua (best known as a member of the Moonglows) on lead vocals, and the original version of "Living a Little, Laughing a Little," with its innovative arrangement. Overall, though, there's a little too much formula among some of the group's lesser-known tracks, and by disc three, which has them entering the disco era, the fluff is overwhelming. As disco became more popular, some vocal groups, like the O'Jays and Four Tops, adjusted their sound and remained vital. With John Edwards serving as Wynne's replacement, the Spinners' vocal mix remained lively and infectious, but the original material, like the bombastic "(Love Is) One Step Away" and glossy yet vacuous "Body Language," is second rate. There were also covers of pop tunes, from the likes of the Four Seasons, the Carpenters, Sam Cooke, and Al Green, which produced a couple of hits, yet today, those end up sounding less than inspired.

**

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle