The second album by one of Motown’s stalwart vocal groups, the Spinners, is back in circulation, with bonus tracks. Originally known as 2nd Time Around, it is now titled While The City Sleeps, and was issued August 30 on the Kent imprint of Britain’s Ace Records.
Universal Music has licensed this Motown material to Ace, which has previously released albums by the Undisputed Truth, Marv Johnson, Syreeta, the Contours, Shorty Long and the Monitors, among others, as well as a number of various-artists compilations. Ace also issued a previous Spinners album, Truly Yours.
While signed to Motown, the five-man Spinners scored four Top 20 hits on the Billboard R&B charts, including “It’s A Shame,” which was co-written and produced by Stevie Wonder in 1970. This was the group’s first Top 20 success on the pop charts that year, and it leads off While The City Sleeps. The 25-track compilation also includes “Together We Can Make Such Sweet Music,” “In My Diary” and “(She’s Gonna Love Me) At Sundown,” which were on 2nd Time Around.
Among the 13 bonus tracks on While The City Sleeps are the title track, written by Billy Page and remixed for this collection; “Just A Little Part Of Your Life,” written and produced by Edwin Starr; “Mental Telepathy,” produced by Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol; and “Gonna Keep On Tryin’ Till I Win Your Love,” also recorded at Motown by Jimmy Ruffin, Marvin Gaye, the Temptations and the Undisputed Truth.
The former leader of ’50s doowop group the Moonglows, Fuqua discovered the Spinners, signing them to his Tri-Phi label before joining Motown and taking his artist roster into the Hitsville fold. The Detroit quintet comprised G.C. Cameron (who handled most lead vocals at this point in their career), Henry Fambrough, Bobby Smith, Billy Henderson and Pervis Jackson. They recorded background vocals for many other Motown artists; their greatest commercial success came after they left the Detroit company in 1972.
While The City Sleeps was compiled and annotated for Ace by Keith Hughes, and co-compiled by Mick Patrick. It includes detailed recording information about the tracks and background information about the songs and songwriters.