The Flamingos had many hits on both the R&B and Pop charts in the '50s after paying their dues in the Chicago music scene. This disc is a marvelous collection of the group's early work, many of which were regional hits.
This collection contains 2 previously unreleased tracks.
Liner Note Author: Carl Tancredi.
Unknown Contributor Role: The Flamingos .
The title on this two-CD set is more than a little unfair -- in fact, it's downright inaccurate. For Collectors Only is one of the more impressive collections of material by this celebrated R&B vocal group, consisting entirely of songs cut for George Goldner's Gone Records, which was their most successful commercial period and arguably represents the group's best years. The 42 songs here include three tracks ("I'll Be Home," "A Kiss from Your Lips," "Lovers Never Say Goodbye") which are either previously unissued outtakes or previously unreleased altogether, and they're icing on the cake. This collection's real virtue is its assembly of the previously issued numbers; the highlights are, of course, the group's treatment of ballad standards such as "I Only Have Eyes for You," "My Foolish Heart," and "Love Walked In," but this set also includes unusual parts of their repertory, like the riveting, fast-paced Gone Records version of "Jump Children" (to which they were seen miming brilliantly, in a stunning performance clip, in the 1959 movie Go Johnny Go). Its presence, along with the outtakes, makes this double disc preferable to Rhino's The Best of the Flamingos, and essential listening for anyone who owns MCA's compilation of the group's Chess recordings. The annotation is especially frustrating, however -- it consists of a reprinted interview with two of the group's original members discussing their days with Chance Records, which considerably predates any of the songs here. The sound is acceptable if unexceptional, and has been outstripped by the audio quality on West Side's 1998 two-LP-on-one-CD reissues of the Flamingos' albums. ~ Bruce Eder