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Box Set Review: '70s one-hit wonders White Plains celebrated on new collection

"My Baby Loves Lovin'" hitmakers feted on three-disc set.

WHITE PLAINS - The Collection (7T’s)

Best known for their 1970 AM radio hit “My Baby Loves Lovin’” (which rose to No. 13 in the U.S. and #10 in the U.K.), White Plains released two LPs and a clutch of fine singles that touched upon bubblegum, soft pop, and sunshine pop. The British combo also featured a revolving door lineup that included multiple lead singers and has a history that is beyond confusing. To wit:

· The band recorded four tracks as the Flowerpot Men in late 1969, broke up, and then saw two of the tracks released as a single under the name White Plains in early 1970. One of these was “My Baby Loves Lovin’,” which may or may not have featured the ubiquitous lead vocals of bubblegum king Tony Burrows. (Some sources claim it was Burrows, while others credit Ricky Wolff; some band members have claimed it was a dual lead vocal.) During TV appearances to promote the single, producer Roger Greenaway served as the front man.

· A sweet pop confection called “Sunny, Honey Girl” appeared on both White Plains albums, but in two different versions: on the band’s self-titled debut, the tune is sung by Burrows and on When You Are a King, Pete Nelson handles the lead vocal. (Cliff Richard later had a U.K. hit with it.)

· Nelson also sings lead on the sophomore album’s “Every Little Move She Makes” – which Tony Burrows had released as a solo single a few months previous.

· The band’s fourth single, “Julie Do Ya Love Me” was, for some reason, credited to “White Plains (with Pete Nelson).” It was released a week or two ahead of Bobby Sherman’s version in the UK and ended up besting it on the charts.

· According to the extensive liner notes, the cheery “Carolina’s Comin’ Home” had previously been a flop single for White Plains’ bubblerock brethren Vanity Fare prior to WP’s excellent reading.

In any event, despite the band’s often hard-to-follow story, the music contained on this exhaustive three-disc collection is, by and large, excellent ‘70s pop. The debut album, which is presented here on disc one (with two non-LP tracks) is surprisingly consistent, more so than most of the full-lengths by “one and done” ‘70s top 40 acts. The When You Are a King album and nine bonus tracks grace disc two (“Does Anybody Know Where My Baby Is?” is particularly catchy) and while the 11-track collection of rarities on disc three is a bit uneven, it helps complete the White Plains picture. A solid collection. Grade: B+