The Very Best of the Spinners
At their best, The Spinners represented the pinnacle of the Philly Sound. For “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and arranger Thom Bell borrowed the quietly pulsating drums of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and pillowed it with strokes of guitar, bells, and strings. Unlike some of their masterful productions for The O’Jays and the Delfonics, Gamble and Huff never let The Spinners become overblown. Their songs translated the heart-pounding excitement of brand new love but made it sound like a private conversation in a corner booth. Singer Phillippe Wynne led the group through a successful string of hits in the mid-Seventies, and though the group never again reached the heights of “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” Wynne’s feathery tenor was a perfect fit for sublime Gamble-Huff productions like “One of a Kind,” “Sadie,” and “They Just Can’t Stop It.” The group ended their golden run with “The Rubberband Man” in late 1976. Thom Bell wrote the song as a way to cheer up his teenage son about his obesity, and it was the last Spinners hit to feature Wynne on lead vocals. The song is a lighthearted signpost for R&B’s transition towards disco, and it marks an end of era for both The Spinners and the gilded Philly sound they represented.