Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Smashes Crashes & Near Misses: Best of
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Good retrospective of a footnote band
Man's Man | Chicago, IL | 02/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is an enjoyable disc that I bought to get two essential tracks from the era, "Rock and Roll Lovesong" and "Starry Eyes." The rest of the disc is not as strong as other bands but still an enjoyable listen."
Important Recording In Power Pop Field
John Werner | Cullman, AL USA | 08/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Harmonies, melodies, and hooks...What's not to like? If you like so called "power pop" this recording is quite important as it sounds like what The Raspberries would had they been British. In my opinion this is high praise since, like the Raspberries, The Records were criminally underated yet utterly fantastic in their realm. It is some small justice that this record survives as, like Big Star, new generations can discover it anew. As one of the bands that helped define the genre...Don't miss this and when you get it don't be surprised how you go around for days humming the melodies and singing the "hooks" in your mind. This is infectious beyond reason, but oh, so good!
Decent compilation, buy the reissued original albums if at a
K. Lee | Portland, Oregon | 08/17/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As a hard-core Records fan who purchased the Records' three original vinyl albums in 1979-1982, I also bought this compilation because, at the time of its issue in 1995, it was the only CD of Records' music available, and because it includes two tracks not included on the original albums, including "Paint Her Face" and the Mick Glossop-produced cover of "Rock'N'Roll Love Letter". The latter is a nice surprise; the Records rock harder on this track than any other song to date while retaining its great melody and I cherished this CD for it. I discovered later that "Rock'N'Roll Love Letter" was recorded in two versions, with the other version produced by Robert "Mutt" Lange (of Def Leppard and Shania Twain fame), and was their first single released ahead of their debut album. Unfortunately it was a dismal failure, which is probably the reason it was not originally included on any of their 3 albums.
Since this CD was issued, Will Birch (drummer and a principal songwriter for the Records) has formed a label, On The Beach, and carefully reissued the Records' three original albums on CD between 2002 and 2007 on CD with a generous number of bonus tracks and liner notes. The debut album is reissued as the British version, which is entitled "Shades in Bed", and contains "Paint Her Face" and the Lange-produced version of "Rock'N'Roll Love Letter". The latter has a denser "Wall of Sound" mix compared to the Glossop-produced version, which I think detracts somewhat from the song, although it's a fine power-pop tune in its own right. Anyone seeking some music of the Records should purchase at least the first two reissues ("Shades in Bed" and "Crashes"), which are almost perfect examples of power-pop, and for completists, the 3rd reissue as well ("Music on Both Sides"). "Music on Both Sides" has some substandard songs, but its best tracks compare well to the first two albums, so it's certainly worth considering. Will Birch's reissues of the original albums makes "Smashes, Crashes, and Near Misses" almost superfluous; "almost" because none of the three reissues contain the Glossop-produced "Rock'N'Roll Love Letter". I'm surprised Will Birch didn't include it on any of the three reissues, as it's distinctive enough from the Lange version to stand up on its own, and, IMHO, is superior to it. For those who are satisfied with the Lange version--or simply don't care for the song--the 2 or 3 Birch reissues are superior to this compilation, although admittedly more expense is necessary. [Incidentally, I contacted Will Birch through his Records site and asked him why he didn't include both versions of "Rock'N'Roll Love Letter" on the reissues, and he seemed surprised that this didn't happen. I also couldn't help wondering if he simply forgot that two versions of "Rock'N'Roll Love Letter" existed.]
The Birch reissues are all available from Amazon and the finer CD dealers. Will Birch also runs a site for the Records and, through it, has made available all three reissues; substantial discounts are provided for buyers purchasing 2 or all 3 reissues, such that their prices are lower than most American dealers (including Amazon), at least for the moment, even accounting for the shipping costs from the UK. Amazon will not permit me to provide the full URL for the Records' site, but anyone should be able to find it easily by entering "The Records" and "Will Birch" into any web browser.
The bottom line is that "Smashes, Crashes, and Near Misses" is a decent sampler of the Records' music for those wanting a single CD and nothing more. For those who are interested in more, the first two or all 3 reissues of the original albums is preferred, as the compilation necessarily omits many great tracks from the Records. For completists such as I, this compilation is necessary even with the three Birch reissues because the compilation is the only source of the Glossop-produced "Rock'N'Roll Love Letter"."