The Springers

The Best of the Springers: Nothing's Too Good for My Baby

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The Springers didn't have as much personality or distinction as many better-known soul groups from Philadelphia or elsewhere, and some of their recorded efforts were ordinary. Still, groups that are unknown, not major innovators, and not stylistically immediately identifiable can still produce some good sounds. The Best of the Springers: Nothing's Too Good for My Baby (a deceptive title considering that they put out hardly anything and never had hits) can be confidently recommended to anyone who likes good, well-produced '60s Philly soul or is interested in the roots of the sound in which the likes of Thom Bell (who arranged at least some of these cuts) got their feet wet. Of these 16 sides (all recorded in 1965 and 1966), ten tracks (some alternate versions) were previously unissued and six were released on rare singles, though it's unclear from the notes whether these constituted all their official singles. A couple of the catalog numbers in the track listings are attached to just one song, leaving one to wonder whether the B-sides were omitted or these were 45s on which the group was only featured on one side. The rather vague if lengthy interview with producer and label owner Thaddeus Wales that comprises most of the liner notes adds to the confusion when he states that he only put out four songs by the group. Leaving aside such issues for those who lose sleep over such inconsistencies, "Nothing's Too Good for My Baby" is the song that's attracted attention (and astronomical prices) in the soul collecting circuit, with its lightly danceable beat and slightly jazzy harmonies and chord progressions. But the Springers were also very adept at tuneful ballads, some sprinkled with the doo wop-derived harmonies that Philadelphia was known for, others (like "(I Want You) Every Night and Day") in a snazzier, moodier, more sophisticated frame of mind. At other times they get into a slightly harder groove with echoes of bluesy funk; "(You're Drawing Me) Closer and Closer" and "Hold On" drift toward the raucousness of the likes of Bobby "Blue" Bland and the Isley Brothers.

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