This compilation is a great addition to Ace’s series of label anthologies. The Big Top label was a classy affair run by Hill & Range, a family-owned business that administered Elvis Presley’s publishing.
This was no street label: witness the well-appointed offices in the penthouse suite of New York’s Brill Building. It was no place for amateurs – among the names involved were Pomus and Shuman, Burt Bacharach and, for a while, a young Phil Spector, who produced several singles for the label, all of which can be heard here.
The CD contains high-quality New York pop from the Golden Age of 1958-1964, a great blend of hits (including a rare stereo Runaway) and never less than high quality misses. In addition to the three early Spector productions there is Lou Johnson’s original version of Always Something There To Remind Me and The Snake, a distinctly oddball instrumental by Maximillion, who co-wrote and played keyboards on Runaway, plus Johnny Gibson’s minor hit Midnight reissued here for the first time.
Over half these tracks are new to legitimate CD. Compiled and annotated by Rob Finnis.