2 LPs on 1 CD: BORN TO BE WITH YOU (1975)/STREETHEART (1976).
Personnel includes: Dion DiMucci (vocals, guitar); Ben Benay (guitar, harmonica); Barney Kessel, Dennis Budimir, Thom Rotella, Phil Spector, Dean Parks (guitar); Nino Tempo (saxophone); Joe Sample, Barry Mann (piano); Michael Ormartian (keyboards); Klaus Voorman, Lee Sklar (bass); Hal Blaine, Frank Kapp, Jim Keltner, David Kemper (drums); Terry Gibbs, Gary Coleman, Emil Richards, Victor Feldman (percussion); Phil Everly (background vocals).
Producers include: Phil Spector, Steve Barri, Michael Omartian.
Reissue producers: Trevor Churchill, Dion DiMucci.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Dion DiMucci (vocals, guitar); Myrna Matthews (vocals, background vocals); Ben Benay (guitar, harmonica); Art Munson, David Cohen, Dean Parks, Dennis Budimir, Donald Peake, Wally Snow, Ron Koss, David Kessel, Dan Kessel, Jerry Cole, Jesse Ed Davis , Thom Rotella, Barney Kessel, Bill Perry, Phil Spector (guitar); Jimmy Getsoff (strings); Nino Tempo (woodwinds, saxophone, tenor saxophone, horns); Steve Douglas (woodwinds, horns); Ernie Watts (woodwinds); Steve Madaio (trumpet, keyboards); Chuck Findley (trumpet); Dick Hyde (trombone); Conte Candoli, Don Menza, Fred Selden, Jay Migliori, Jim Horn, Bobby Keys (horns); Joe Sample, Mike Wofford, Andy Thomas, Tom Hensley, Barry Mann (piano); Michael Omartian (keyboards, background vocals); David Kemper, Frank Kapp, Hal Blaine, Jim Keltner (drums); Victor Feldman, Alan Estes, Gene Estes, Jeff Barry , Steve Barri, Terry Gibbs, Gary Coleman, Emil Richards, Steve Foreman (percussion); Carolyn Willis, Luther Waters, Ann White, Kerry Chater, Oren Waters, Phil Everly, Stormie Omartian (background vocals).
Liner Note Authors: Sean Rowley; Scott "Top Ten" Kempner.
Recording information: A & M (1975-1976); Gold Star (1975-1976); Sound Labs, Inc (1975-1976).
Director: Phil Spector.
Photographers: Norman Seeff; Sam Emerson.
Arrangers: Michael Omartian; Nino Tempo.
In 1975, Phil Spector assigned himself the task of producing Dion as a kick-off to his new contract with Warner Brothers. The sometimes stormy sessions yielded one of the most authentic representations of the Wall of Sound in the producer's entire oeuvre, Born to Be With You. Ironically, either out of personal insecurity or a dispute with Dion's management, Spector chose to never release it in the United States. Spector employed a huge army of musicians in his biggest production since George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, including many members of his old studio coterie, the Wrecking Crew. It resulted in a potent, if pungent, effort by Dion. Spector's massive productions provide a fine backdrop to Dion's powerful voice. The album has a hypnotic quality, awash with echo and reverb. The best tracks are the repetitive but catchy title track, "Born to Be With You"; "In and Out of the Shadows"; and an infectious rocker, "Good Lovin' Man." An additional highlight is the inclusion of "Your Own Backyard," a single originally released in 1969. It's a countrified, Kris Kristofferson-style tale of Dion's heroin addiction. The song is poignant, personal, and probably one of the better songs ever written on the subject. Another '70s-era Dion LP contained on the CD, Streetheart, is a decidedly colder and more consciously commercial affair. Producers Steve Barri and Michael Omartian chose to employ a production style that is both highly mechanical and dated, using the full trick-bag of keyboard and guitar processing effects available in the mid-'70s. It sounds as though the producers were trying to pitch Dion as an adult contemporary artist, but merely wound up casting the singer in a sea of mediocrity. It doesn't help matters that the songwriting is not impressive, including compositions by Dion himself. The high point is Dion's duet with Phil Everly on "Queen of '59," in which the pair sound like a New York-meets-Kentucky Everly Brothers. It's one of the better songs on the album, along with the Foundations-like "You Showed Me What Love Is" and the upbeat "Lover Boy Supreme." ~ Mary Grady
Q (4/01, p.117) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...10 guitarists, 2 bassists, 2 drummers, a gospel choir and endless brass....the results are staggering..."
NME (Magazine) (3/10/01, p.32) - 9 out of 10 - "...Dion's searching vocals coupled with his nakedly autobiographical lyrics and Spector's suitably deranged production combined to astonishing effect..."