8 Songs, 35 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Spinners’ partnership with arranger Thom Bell reached its zenith on 1974’s New and Improved. These recordings have so much scope and complexity that they reveal new details on each listen. At the same time, they can simply be enjoyed as pop music. The album is only eight songs long, and it can be listened to front to back without pause; it was designed this way, in an era when the album experience was at its peak value. Listening to the Dionne Warwick collaboration "Then Came You," it’s hard to understand why it isn’t as well known as “I’ll Be Around.” It's one of those soul songs that doesn’t just seduce you; it gets completely into your veins and stays there long after the music has stopped. The songs here are ambitious, even by the superlative standards of '70s soul music. It's not uncommon for a track to wander from deep despair to triumph and then back to introspection, all within the guise of a hummable tune. One could argue that the pinnacle of sophistication in R&B lies about halfway through “Sitting on Top of the World.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

The Spinners’ partnership with arranger Thom Bell reached its zenith on 1974’s New and Improved. These recordings have so much scope and complexity that they reveal new details on each listen. At the same time, they can simply be enjoyed as pop music. The album is only eight songs long, and it can be listened to front to back without pause; it was designed this way, in an era when the album experience was at its peak value. Listening to the Dionne Warwick collaboration "Then Came You," it’s hard to understand why it isn’t as well known as “I’ll Be Around.” It's one of those soul songs that doesn’t just seduce you; it gets completely into your veins and stays there long after the music has stopped. The songs here are ambitious, even by the superlative standards of '70s soul music. It's not uncommon for a track to wander from deep despair to triumph and then back to introspection, all within the guise of a hummable tune. One could argue that the pinnacle of sophistication in R&B lies about halfway through “Sitting on Top of the World.”

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