Ben E. King
Release Date: December 1st, 1960
Words by: Whaley Big Jesus
January 27th, 2012
Phil Spector's track Spanish Harlem is one of the greatest tunes ever written. However, when Ben E. King released this version it no longer sounded that way and the world was once again treated to a more famous cover that was nowhere near as special as the original.
Spector's recording has depth and feeling behind it both lyrically and in his simplistic approach to the instrumentation. Whereas Ben E's version sounds like a lazy soul traditional with a lame glockenspiel hook thrown in for good measure. Although the man could most definitely sing with the best of them, he brushes over the real guts of the song on this occasion.