The Brass Ring

The Dis-Advantages of You/The Now Sound of the Brass Ring

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This two-fer contains the Brass Ring's long-players The Dis-Advantages of You and The Now Sound of the Brass Ring, both originally released in 1967. Phil Bodner was the man behind the band and who led the aggregate into the Top 40 with "The Dis-Advantages of You." Its incorporation into Benson & Hedges cigarette ads assuredly helped it gain exposure and recognition. Plus, it wasn't the only song found here to have been used on TV, as "Music to Watch Girls By" had hawked diet soda in the late '60s. The Dis-Advantages LP is also well served by the cinematic selections "Theme from the Sand Pebbles" (aka "And We Were Lovers"), with its romantic sense of longing, and the Tijuana Brass-influenced "I Will Wait for You," taken from 1964's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The more modern cover of "California Dreamin''" proves that the Brass Ring were aiming their sound at a youthful audience -- explaining their follow-up package, The Now Sound of the Brass Ring. With one eye fixed in the dated world of instrumental pabulum and the other on the concurrent pop charts, "Don't Sleep in the Subway," "Georgy Girl," "Sunny," "The Look of Love," "Up, Up and Away," and a second Mamas & the Papas entry, "Monday, Monday," were all uniformly suitable to be recast by the Brass Ring. Again, looking toward the silver screen, "Love in rhe Open Air" is a Paul McCartney-penned title taken from 1966's The Family Way, while "Amy's Theme" comes via the Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian and his musical contributions to 1967's You're a Big Boy Now. In 2007, Collectors' Choice Music issued six of the Brass Ring's seven non-compilation LPs onto three CDs, making the majority of the combo's recordings available for the first time in several decades.

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