The Orioles

The Jubilee Recordings

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Six CDs, covering 1948 through 1960, and in that 400+ minutes you get an overview of the transition of postwar rhythm & blues from the black community to the heart of mainstream popular music. Disc one opens with their earliest sides from July 1948, when the quintet was still very heavily influenced by the Ink Spots. The group's music during this period grew rapidly in sophistication; their second session shows a startling level of confidence, the group embellishing the melody and harmony of their songs and transforming them into something new. The sound quality of some of the material on this disc is less than perfect, due to the state of the best available masters. Things get very interesting on disc two, with the first recordings to feature a string section (their first conscious effort at crossing over into the pop market. On disc three, they continued to record in their trademark sophisticated sound, although some songs also capture them at their bluesiest. Disc four catches the group moving into a fully mainstream R&B vogue, as well as Sonny Til's superb duets with Edna McGriff. Disc five covers the period of their biggest hit, "Crying In the Chapel" -- by 1953-1954, the Orioles were generally working in a kind of big-band R&B mode, and most of this material, in keeping with their success of the era, did get out. Disc six covers the tail end of the group's original period with Jubilee and then picks up for a coda in the 1960s. This material is a little less focused than much of what has come before, for the Orioles were competing in a crowded new arena of R&B-turned-rock & roll. The notes are fascinating, and the sound, apart from the bulk of disc one, is excellent, improving as the recording dates advance.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:02
2 2:42
3
2:53
4
2:31
5 2:49
6
2:29
7
3:06
8
3:08
9 2:37
10 3:09
11 2:35
12 2:33
13 2:32
14 3:04
15 3:04
16
2:24
17 2:19
18
2:11
19 3:08
20
2:47
21
2:49
22
2:50
23 2:42
24 2:57
25 2:57
26 3:18

Track Listing - Disc 5

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:02
2 2:57
3 3:27
4 3:02
5 2:30
6
2:45
7 2:58
8 3:11
9 3:05
10 2:51
11 2:59
12
2:41
13
2:54
14 2:33
15
2:50
16 2:41
17 2:35
18 3:09
19 2:22
20 2:36
21 3:12
22
2:25
23
2:15
24 2:29
25
2:36
26
2:39
blue highlight denotes track pick