Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The first... but not the best.
Brewzerr | On the fault line, CA | 09/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Before the first wave of English Punk hit in '76, there weren't too many alternatives to the ailing state of popular Rock in mid-70's Britain. The exciting but doomed-by-excess Glam phenomenon of the earlier part of the decade was in it's death throes, and the radio was becoming increasingly more dominated by much more "serious" music like Yes and Emerson, Lake, and Palmer... ie. the dreaded "dinosaur" rock perpetuated by "supergroups". A huge void was created, and it was this void that became the unlikely launching pad for the Rollers' rise to fame and success. After slogging through the early 70's with only one Top 40 single, which came and went in '71, and numerous lineup changes and failed follow-up singles, they finally gelled their lineup in late '73 with the replacement of original vocalist Nobby Clarke by the more rogueish and extroverted Leslie McKeown. A drastic new look with bizarre Tartan highwater flares and cropped-shag haircuts, plus the backing of songwriting team Martin/Coulter, and a new hit single in the form of "Remember", propelled the Rollers to new heights and the heyday of their career.
"Rollin'" is the result of all this activity. The first BCR album came nearly 5 years into their career, and kicked off the glory days of "Rollermania". Released in the summer of '74, this platter offers mainly Martin/Coulter compositions, with only 4 band-penned songs. There was also talk of session musicians being used on some of the recordings. Nevertheless... "Rollin'" and the new re-vamped Rollers offered a fresh, youthful, and well-timed relief to all the pretentious pomp-rock that was dominating the charts in 1974. Not exactly the adrenalin-charged explosion that would occur a couple of years later with bands like the Sex Pistols et al... but a nice appetizer if you will. A few classics arose from this album, in the form of "Shang-A-Lang", "Summerlove Sensation", "Saturday Night", and a remixed version of "Remember", with a Les McKeown vocal overdub.
The bonus tracks here are all b-sides of previous singles, and don't offer much in the way of uniqueness, but the last track ("Hey CB" - b-side to "Saturday Night") is an interesting departure... a fuzz-laden stomper about a cycle rally that sounds nothing like the rest of the material here. Strangely catchy. I only wish that Bell would have included the elusive and unreleased "Na Na Na" in place of the highly disposable "Bye Bye Barbara". This album is worth buying if only for it's unique historical significance."
Infectious Pop-Rock from Scotland!
Henry R. Kujawa | "The Forbidden Zone" (Camden, NJ) | 12/02/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I never bought the hype that The Rollers were "the new Beatles" when they debuted on Howard Cosell's variety show. I grew up listening to made-for-TV music like The Monkees, The Archies, The Banana Splits, and even Lancelot Link-- loving ALL of it! So I jokingly nicknamed them "the new Archies"-- but to me, that wasn't a bad thing! While their look & promotion was record-company-influenced (to say the least), at least these guys from Scotland started out as a REAL band-- the kind that wrote & played their own songs, and performed in bars!
There was a big "50's rock & roll" revival in the early 70's-- but it took me a while to figure out The Rollers' sound mostly came from the early 60's-- that most "squeaky-clean" period of "rock & roll", when record labels "manufactured" their own pop idols. This is obvious when you check out their covers: "Be My Baby" (The Ronnettes), "Bye Bye Baby" (The 4 Seasons), "Don't Worry Baby" (The Beach Boys) and so on. But they were also capable of creating their own classics, either with Bill Martin & Phil Coulter ("Saturday Night", "Summerlove Sensation") or on their own (mostly later on).
I've had a copy of ROLLIN', their debut LP, for a long time, and it's slowly grown on me over the years. Compared to their US debut, it's kind of low-key, but then that was designed to be a "greatest hits" album without actually saying so. Among the highlights here are "Shang A Lang" (didn't I mention The Archies?), "Give It To Me Now" (a bit raunchier than the rest), "Remember (Sha La La La La)", "Saturday Night" (pretty much their anthem song), "Jenny Gotta Dance" (a bit more power than the rest here), "There Goes My Baby" (a Faulkner/Wood tune that really brings to mind the style of Neil Sedaka) and "Summerlove Sensation" (one of my favorite "feel-good" romantic songs).
This BMG UK & Ireland CD has it over the previous Japanese version, as it has 4 "B" sides as bonus tracks, of which "Are You Ready For That Rock And Roll" and "Bye Bye Barbara" would have really improved the original album. ("Bringing Back The Good Times" is a little too sappy for me, while "Hey C.B." just isn't sticking in my head.) It's also cheaper (especially if you get it from one of the "Marketplace" stores like I did).
I don't think they went quite far enough, though. The sound on all 4 CDs in this series has a bit too much bass. Not every 45 side was included (no "Manana" or "Because I Love You", issued in Germany). WORST, however, is the fact that the US lp BAY CITY ROLLERS had at least 4 remixes, ALL of which were superior to the UK tracks: "Give A Little Love", "Be My Baby", "Summerlove Sensation" and "Remember (Sha La La La)". Were these "single" remixes, or just done for the US market? Either way, they definitely should have been included on the new CDs as bonus tracks. (Thank God I still have my old LPs!)"
Maxine L. Mckern | Iowa | 05/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't sure at first, but I remember this as one of my favorites. Does anyone know when "It's A Game" will be released in CD form? I really need it!!!"