Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jan & Dean|
All The Hits: From Surf City To Drag City
Genres: Pop, Rock
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(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is NOT an album for Jan & Dean purists who want to hear them the way they sounded on the original Liberty albums. A lot of room on this CD is taken up by nonsense. This includes studio chatter, alternate takes, radio spots, non vocal versions, etc. This type of re-issue should be considered more of an addition to an already existing collection of Jan & Dean.Some will remember the phrase "Visual Sound Stereo" on the cover of the original Jan & Dean albums issued on the Liberty label. That term was not exactly a technical term but referred to how the stereo was mixed. It usually meant the main vocal came out of one channel and most of the instruments come out of the other channel, with very little coming out of the middle. That type of stereo mixing never caught on. None the less, that's how the original Jan & Dean songs were recorded and it gives the original Liberty albums a unique listening flavor. Unfortunately, the producers of this CD decided to re-mix the stereo so that the main vocal came out of the middle channel. If you don't care about how the stereo is mixed, this is not an issue, but if you want to hear Jan & Dean in the original stereo, you are better off buying one of the Australian imports currently available on the Raven label."
'63-'65 music needed them as much as it did the Beach Boys
Phil Rogers | Ann Arbor, Michigan | 12/10/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With these guys, there's always the inevitable comparison with the Beach Boys. Jan and Dean used three singers from the Matadors, and also Sloan and Barri (the writing/production team of "Eve of Destruction", "Secret Agent Man" and numerous other grade "A" hits) as backup singers. Dean's falsetto had a bit of grit to it, and Jan's voice perfectly complemented it; so they made up for a lack of harmonic smoothness with more timbre in their sonic palette, and thus filled the sonic space just as fully as did their more subtle sonic/surf 'twins'.Jan & Dean often had more energy and heat in their music than did their fellow stable-mates - J&D were the true-to-life wild (and funny) men of surf music. The Beach Boys were definitely the kings of cool - their vocals had that distinctive way of blending and soaring - but Jan & Dean's would soar and also wail! I remember in '63 when Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA" came out, it was a great song (and the first I personally had heard from them), and a new kind of thing to hit the airwaves (other surf songs had been instrumentals). But when Jan & Dean's "Surf City" rollicked into the charts a few weeks later (hitting #1), it became my favorite song for the entire year. Some of J&D's follow-ups also jumped right at me and knocked me upside the head, especially "Drag City", "Dead Man's Curve", "The New Girl in School", and the theme from the [T.A.M. I. Show]: "Here They Come (From All Over the World)". "Ride the Wild Surf" wasn't bad, either.And their lyrics on "Honolulu Lulu", though intended to be funny in a sort tongue-in-cheek manner, are nevertheless gorgeously written, and sensitive to the sounds of fun and teenage/twenty-something love, after all! In general they are stellar lyricists, who really understand and revel in the ability to turn a good phrase. Let's not forget "The Little Old Lady . . .", "Anaheim, Azuza and Cucamunga . . ." and "Popsicle". It's a bit of a trick to poke fun at something and 'make happy' at the same time - but these guys didn't have a mean bone in their bodies. My favorite Beach Boys songs were usually the ones where they got really slow and/or kind of mellow: "Surfer Girl", "Don't Worry, Baby", "Caroline No", and what I consider to be one of the greatest songs I have ever heard, the album cut "Warmth of the Sun". I always have felt that when the BB's started to rock, that Jan and Dean often beat them by an easy margin, once again because of the energy/grit factor. Practically every thing the Beach Boys have ever recorded is more than just pleasant; but J&D's best songs often went further further, hitting me in the gut, and [via their lyrics] conking me on the head.This isn't to say that the Beach Boys weren't geniuses at creating harmony and tasteful, telling dramatic miniatures - they are and were astoundingly good: witness the gorgeous song cycle of their 'Pet Sounds' album. And, of course, there's that founding fountainhead of psychedelia, an epic in miniature, "Good Vibrations".Jan & Dean more or less flopped when they tried for a brief time to go down the new road taken by the Beach Boys - into the realm of teen angst and introspection. I don't think the guys did that well when they had to reign it [the energy] in, so to speak. The gears just weren't there for them to shift into and drive/surf into this very different realm.To his credit, Dean was totally against the idea, and even refused to sing on "You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy" [I believe Brian Wilson was brought in to take his place.] That day Dean walked down the hall and sang the falsetto part for the Beach's Boys' "Barbara Ann" instead, and it went to #1. [Later, when D put together the 'Anthology' album he left all such cuts out of the mix (at the time, Jan was busy trying to recover his neurological faculties, many years after his near-fatal car crash)].This previously most complete collection of their hits was missing " . . . Hurt a Guy", as well as the P. F. Sloan song "I Found a Girl" and the excellent and moving "Beginning From an End" (another car accident song: in this one, Mommy dies), both from the 'Folk 'n Roll' album. But every single one of Jan & Dean's major hits are here - all of their other greatest hit compilations and anthologies fell 3 or 4 songs short, one way or the other."
Don't be fooled!
Ronald Van Scherpenzeel | Madrid, Spain | 12/04/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I doubted for a whole year whether to buy or not this "All The Hits"
double CD because I already owned other Jan & Dean CD's rating their
"The Original" one with 5 stars. My doubts were confirmed after listening
to this package. Most of the "original" versions are not the real
originals because they are different from the ones we used to listen to
on singles, EP's or LP's or on other CD compilations. Don't buy this:
besides not being original, on CD 1 there's a lot of talking nonsense
displayed on tracks 26 till 45 and on CD 2 some songs I was looking
for are not original. This "costful" CD is a true rip-off!"