The Drifters

Under the Boardwalk

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Under the Boardwalk appeared very quickly after the Our Biggest Hits compilation, which was then deleted. The two LPs originally had the same cover jackets and one difference to the music inside -- the "Under the Boardwalk" single replaced "Drip Drop" on the Under the Boardwalk LP. With the music on this album, the Drifters began a new era in their history under tragic circumstances, given the sudden and still mysterious death early in 1964 of Rudy Lewis, who had been the group's lead singer since 1960. Lewis was succeeded by Johnny Moore, who had rejoined as lead tenor in 1963 and had previously been Clyde McPhatter's successor in the old Drifters in 1955. This album mixes songs cut when Lewis was still with the group, but on which Moore sang lead, along with some of Lewis' last successes such as "Up on the Roof" and "On Broadway." It's a superb example of pop-oriented soul, with two excellent singers given equally fine material to work with. Much of the music was made under the direction of producer Bert Berns, who was to guide the Drifters to their very last period of major recording success. This album, the last of the Drifters' LPs to resonate with huge hits, is also considered a classic for the very cool cover image on its second version, a multicolored overlay depicting the five-man Drifters lineup led by Johnny Moore, complete with guitarist Billy Davis, who was a key (if understated) component in the group's sound.

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