The Toys

Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack!"

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The influence of the Toys is evident when one sees the group listed as the first "tribute" on page 49 of the Supremes four-CD box set on Motown. The Supremes' own "I Hear a Symphony," released October 6, 1965, was a tribute to the tribute, if you will. It says a lot about the competition as the Toys hit number two on the charts that very week, pushing the Supremes, Diana Ross, and the production team of Holland/Dozier/Holland to one of their greatest heights. The re-write of Bach, with its boss production, is a sweeping pop sensation. And the album's 14 tracks play like the Ronettes' first and only official release, a magnificent statement of vocal harmony and pretty melodies. The songwriter/production team of Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell for Bob Crewe Productions add that remarkable Four Seasons punch to the music. A little of the boy group sound, classical music, and a refreshing collection of melodies that the airwaves were, somehow, denied. "This Night," "Back Street," solid dance hall/radio hits that never got to reign the way "Lover's Concerto" and, to a lesser degree, "Attack" climbed the Top 40. "Attack" is a brilliant song that sounds like a tribute to Frankie Valli. The Dyno Voice album, re-relased on Sundazed, is augmented by singles "Baby Toys" and "May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone," songs that lead soprano Barbara Harris said were recorded for the second, unreleased Toys disc slated for Dyno Voice. The musical camaraderie on "Baby Toys" is amazing. These voices carry. Both singles are a welcome addition to this album, and they should've been huge. June Montiero's vocal on The Beatles' "Yesterday" bridges the gap between the Vegas and new wave arrangement. Perhaps that marriage of underground rock with middle of the road pop is what makes the girl group genre so perpetually inviting. The first track on the disc, "Can't Get Enough of You Baby," is reminiscent of the Cake, a band that couldn't crack the Billboard Top 40 as the Toys did, but deserved to. "Hallelujah," not the fun Sweathog tune from 1971, but a wonderful song that should've hit, with a delicious lead vocal by Barbara Parritt. The Toys were formidable beyond their two Top 20 hits; "This Night" is a fine example. The girls continue to practice and tour with Richard Nader's rock & roll packages. Harris, with a strong solo record Barbara Now, speaks highly of Nader and his events. This CD, with its bonus tracks and replication of the original disc and liner notes, is classic pop.

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