I think many know my feelings about compilations. I'm not sure what they add to the lives of potential listeners and there are so many of them, most mediocre at best. However this month I am reviewing three, so in a big upping of myself, you can be sure they are good. All three are great and all for very different reasons, but this is the best. I was 7 in 1970 and so most of these songs won't have been on my radar unless I saw them on Top Of The Pops or heard them on the Radio on the odd time I was allowed to have it on. Only Indiana Wants Me and Love Grows fit that bill.
But as I got older, I looked back more and I can now say that I know virtually all of them. The strength of this compilation are primarily the songs, backed up by a great roster and John Borack who knows what he is talking about and John, I too would have loved to see Band Of Gold.Two other things spring to mind. A real sadness at the recent loss of Bobby Sutliff who Jangles up Indiana Wants Me wonderfully and what a coup it is getting Mitch Easter, a man who saved the 80s musically for me.
As with any compilation, there isn't space to mention all 22 songs, so I apologise to those not included in this verbiage. Suffice to say, every artist and every song merits inclusion. In the words of Young Mr Grace, "You've All Done Very Well"People forget how great Lannie Flowers is when he ventures towards Country and what a twang his version of Walk A Mile In My Shoes is. Share The Land was a surprise and welcome cover and Popdudes always have the knack of doing a song justice.
The Brothers Steve do a wonderful version of Cracklin' Rosie. Fine harmonies and Jeff Whalen's vocal makes it sound as though he is in the room. Thankfully Sweet Caroline was the year before as that is a great song that has become completely done to death in the UK by TV adverts and crowds.It seems ages since I've heard from The Legal Matters and they do a splendid faithful version of What Is Life. My favourite version here is Starbelly's Reflections Of My Life, a fantastic song that the band seem to impossibly add to.
Diamond Hands tackle Lola in fine style with an ace Guitar fest and turn it into Psych Pop. Bill Lloyd's choice of Mama Told Me Not To Come is inspired and he too slips into Psych Pop joy too. I also still think that The Armoires' version of Yellow River suits them perfectly.Love Grows is still one of my favourite songs ever and The Test Pressings handle it in style. It is a song that suits Robbie Rist's vocals naturally. Finally there was a massive surprise at the end. I'd heard a lot about how good The Used Electrics were Live and in particular how Loud.
Well they rip into The Stooges' Loose. It is Wallpaper Stripping and just the right song for closing this special compilation. Well done Borack! Well done Spyderpop! This is one album that you'll listen to again and again and again,