Unchained Melodies

A Righteous Brothers compilation with some true classics.

Southern Californian by origin, Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield together formed The Righteous Brothers in 1962. Their music is primarily a combination of soul, R&B and rock.

A strong doo-wop flavour is seen in all their tracks; Medley with his low baritone, and Hatfield with his higher singing pitch, remain in the foreground of the accompanying orchestral music and chorus.

Known for their vocal harmony and lyrical simplicity, the most easily recognizable features of The Brothers' music was their use of heavy, ponderous drums and a rising crescendo of the chorus at the conclusion of all their songs.

Covering four years of their career, from 1964 to 1968, the album showcases "Hold On I'm Coming", "Harlem Shuffle", "In The Midnight Hour", "Save The Last Dance For Me", and "Come Rain Or Come Shine" (a sophisticated party song with a saxophone jauntily playing away in the background), among others.

A variety of themes is seen in their music; "The White Cliffs Of Dover" talks of world peace, and "The Great Pretender" of social masks and concealing real emotions. "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", a massive hit at the time of its release in 1964, is a haunting song about losing love.

"Unchained Melody" is the star track. Tender and tuneful, it regained popularity in the 1990s by appearing on the soundtrack of the movie "Ghost".

This article was first published on 14 Dec 2000.