Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Freddie & Dreamers|
Genres: World Music, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
UK only digitally remastered 2-CD album set from one of the most successful '60s beat groups featuring a 62-track collection of singles, B-sides, EP's, album tracks and rarities, complete with a picture sleeve containing r... more »
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UK only digitally remastered 2-CD album set from one of the most successful '60s beat groups featuring a 62-track collection of singles, B-sides, EP's, album tracks and rarities, complete with a picture sleeve containing rare photos and extensive sleeve notes. EMI. 2006.
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All The Freddie You're Ever Going to Need
Philip A.Cohen | Bay Harbor Islands, Florida United States | 03/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This British 2-CD set is an outstanding value,with 62 songs,roughly half of which have never appeared on CD before.Unlike the U.S.A.1-CD "The Best of:The Definitive Collection",which consisted of 1990's stereo remixes(good in their own way,and more Hifi,but quite different in texture to the original 1960's mixes),this set is entirely original 1960's mixes.Disc One contains the A & B sides of all of the group's original EMI/UK singles.28 of these 32 selections are presented in mono sound.Disc two contains a further 30 selections;highlights from the group's albums,the U.S.A.-only hit "Do The Freddie",and most of the UK E.P. tracks.Disc Two is one-third stereo/two-thirds mono.Along the way on disc two are several tracks where Freddie lets bassist Pete Birrell & rhythm guitarist Roy Crewsdon sing.Some of the selections on Disc Two show the group trying the more American soul/R&B staples that were covered by any other Northern England groups("Some Other Guy","Money","Johnny B.Goode" etc.),and they're decent attempts,but the group's strength was in more pop oriented tracks featuring vocal harmonies(often Freddie harmonizing with himself via overdub).The proficiency of the instrumental tracks is all over the place,from primitive garage-band quality to technically proficient(Translation:as with Herman's Hermits,the record producer signed the group,but mainly to get the singer.The other group members were a touring band who were quite often,and obviously replaced by session musicians in the studio.At the very least,one-third of these backing tracks were entirely played by sessionmen,and many of the others are partly played by sessionmen,such as session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan).My only complaint about his set,is that the liner notes persist in repeating many of the factual inaccuracies that were debunked by Freddie himself in notes for EMI/North America's 1990's CD.The Dreamers NEVER played in Hamburg in the early 1960's,and Freddie understated his age in the 1960's(he was born in 1936,not 1940,and will be 70 years old this fall).Sadly,the liner notes for this 2-CD set inform us that drummer Bernie Dwyer died from cancer in 2002 at age 62,and that bassist Pete Birrell died from undisclosed causes in 2004 at age 63.Sadly,Freddie had to retire in the late 1990's,due to a Pulmonary disease which now confines him to a wheelchair.Hopefully,he'll get some royalties from this 2-CD set,a bargain-priced,extensive anthology of his EMI years.I hope that EMI follows up with more similar 2-CD sets on some of the label's other 1960's beat groups.This is the best Freddie & The Dreamers compilation on he market.Most of the tracks will be new to American fans,since they only had 3 or 4 hits here.UPDATE:Sadly,in the years since I originally wrote this review,Freddie Garrity passed away."
Come on, Do The Freddie, just once in your life
Peter Reeve | Thousand Oaks, CA USA | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before discotheques became discos, when they were still the dim caverns in which a cultural revolution was brewing, every British male between the age of 12 and 25 was in a group, or intended to be. After the Beatles broke through, every producer wanted to sign a group. The Beatles, Stones, The Kinks and one or two others made this wave; a host of others rode it. Somewhere in the wake was a geeky, diminutive, lovable Mancunian called Freddie. In a less group-obsessed age he and his Dreamers might have remained dreamers, but the time was right for any group that could rattle out a catchy tune.
On their first release, 1963's If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody, Freddie affects a Buddy Holly type twang, rather than showcasing his northern English accent, which most other northern groups did. Fortunately, this did not last beyond the first record and on their next, the breakthrough hit I'm Telling You Now, he found his true voice. This song was a big hit in the US, where Freddie's frantic stage moves caused a real stir. He explained he was 'doing the Freddie'. They loved it, and he later released a US-only record called Do The Freddie, and 'The Freddy' (they changed the spelling) became a minor dance craze, or crazelet.
Success continued in the UK for just a few years and in 1968 the group disbanded. Freddie formed other Dreamers lineups and continued doing cabaret right through to the late 90s, when illness stopped his career. I'm writing this review a week after his death which, I'm pleased to note, was widely reported in the American media. Alas, only two of the original Dreamers remain.
This compilation is very well done and is great value. In addition to all the singles, you get notable album tracks and a couple of hilarious oddities like Short Shorts. At times the band tackled standards and other somewhat more serious stuff, with mixed success. Fans of Roy Orbison's "Crying" will be doing just that over Freddie's rendition of the song.
At live performances, it became obvious that Freddie had a great personality but no voice. On these recordings, multiple takes, overdubbing, echo and other technical wizardry (plus session musicians) produce a listenable sound. No, this is not great music. But it's good-hearted fun for 60s nostalgics, today's pre-teeny-boppers and anyone prepared to let loose once in a while. So, shake your left arm and leg, then the right. Move your head from side to side, take an occasional leap in the air and sing along. You are now Doing The Freddie. Go on, try it. It'll do you good.
Great Music but the CD has Flaws
G. Mariner | philadelphia | 01/18/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"BEWARE! This is a specially priced CD for a reason.Disk 2 cannot be tracked.That is to say you have to listen to the entire Disk at once.You cannot skip to the next track.This does not in anyway take away from the wonderful music but some might find this annoying.
Freddie and the Dreamers were a great band from the first wave of the British Invasion.I can't help but wonder if they were a big influence on the Mael brothers who formed the 70's group SPARKS!"