17th January, 2019
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The Best of The Platters (Import)

In 1953, bass singer Herb Reed put together a group of four men and called them "The Platters." Herb got the idea from a disc jockey referring to records as platters. The four men were Herb Reed, Joe Jefferson, Cornell Gunther, and Alex Hodge. The four were then joined by a female, Zola Taylor. An initially shifting of lineup stabilized around five members, Tony Williams, David Lynch, Herb Reed, Paul Robi and Zola Taylor. And ever since The Platters have appeared in over forty movies, and were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. But with time the band split and today we have only one original member still performing, Herb Reed left to carry on the good will of the name "The Platters".

The Platters were one of the top vocal groups of the Fifties, delivering smooth, stylized renditions of pop standards. They were the most popular black group of their time, achieving success in a crooning, middle-of-the-road style, filled with harmony-rich material. The secret of The Platters success had to do with their choice of material: adult ballads and standards that predated the rock and roll era, which were delivered with crisp, impeccable harmonies framed by string-laden arrangements.

Their lengthy string of hits began in 1955 with Only You and continued till the end of the decade, including singles that reached #1, The Great Pretender, Twilight Time and Smoke Gets in Your Eyes. Other favourites on this album are Red Sails in the Sunset, You’ll never know, and Wonder of you among others. The only minus point on this album is its duration, which is only about half an hour, covering just 11 songs.

Label: Mercury

Rating: ****

Reviewed by Verus Ferreira  

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