Search - Smoke :: My Friend Jack

My Friend Jack
My Friend Jack
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (4) - Disc #1

French reissue remastered in high definition 24 bit. Tracks, 'My Friend Jack', 'Don't Lead Me On', 'We Can Take It' & 'Waterfall'. Original version paper sleeve.


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CD Details

All Artists: Smoke
Title: My Friend Jack
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Magic
Release Date: 2/21/2005
Album Type: Single, Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Style: Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 766487326322


Album Description
French reissue remastered in high definition 24 bit. Tracks, 'My Friend Jack', 'Don't Lead Me On', 'We Can Take It' & 'Waterfall'. Original version paper sleeve.

CD Reviews

Disappointing...a missed opportunity
David Goodwin | Westchester, NY United States | 07/27/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)

"First, let me state that the two-star review above isn't necessarily what I think of the music contained within this compilation. This is a reissue; as such, a large factor in judging its worth relates to "does it do its job well? Is it better--or worse--than other reissues of this material? Does it accurately represent the band? The SEVENTIES?" I love the Smoke's music, but I think that this compilation is too little, too late. And now, the fabulous justification period! Unfortunately, the set has several major issues working against it:1) The Smoke have been endlessly reissued, perhaps not quite to the extent that several of their more famous contemporaries have been (err, Yardbirds and Small Faces, anyone?). For a band that essentially lasted one album, however, a surprising number of compilations have surfaced that collect their work: several miscellaneous German labels have put out sets of their work, as has Repertoire (slightly more than miscellaneous, methinks) and Sindrome/Retroactive. Thus, the Smoke isn't exactly underrepresented on disc, making "High in a Room" a tad redundant. 2) Despite being two-CDs--and having more than enough space for a little extra material--Sequel/Sanctuary have chosen to leave off a few live performances that were on the Sindrome/Retroactive comp. Thus, the charade of we'll-give-you-a-little-bit-more-but-you-still-have-to-buy-the-other-disc is alive and well, and still a bit disturbing. Why bother? Why this late in the game? Also, while the issue of the Chords V has long since been resolved (essentially, they were thought to be the Smoke recording under a different name, a theory that was later dashed), it doesn't change the fact that said band's single was WRITTEN by the Smoke. So why not include it? It isn't like it's availible anywhere else.3) Most of this set's trump card is previously unreleased material. That's all well and good, but this amounts to exactly *two* tracks from the "classic" era; most of the new material is from the seventies' incarnation of the band, and that material (as the liner notes freely admit) is often fragmented and hardly relates to their sixties work. It isn't BAD, per se, but it's like buying a wonderful new set of Beefheart outtakes and finding out that, well, TWO are from Lick My Decals, but the rest are alternates of Bluejeans and Moonbeams (yeah, cheap shot, but it's late).4) And now, the ultimate indictment. This stuff has been reissued since the eighties, and has always sounded rather good. It does not here; not by a longshot. I'm hardly an audiofetishest, but I know when something's taken a turn for the worse, and several things are seriously wrong here. Heck, had the set featured sparkling audio, some of the previous sins could have been forgiven. Instead (and I'm pretty surprised at Sanctuary for this, as the quality of their releases tends to be pretty high) everything has been compressed to the extreme. Nothing ever drops below "loud;" details fight with each other for sonic space, audio clips noticably at times, and everything is just generally exhausting. Sydney Gill used to be a quiet, understated song. It isn't anymore; it has the same, unnatural, overpowering bass and shrill treble that every other track on here has. Turn your Repertoire releases up to the max and they STILL won't sound that fatiguing. I don't know what happened here, but it's disappointing. The 70s material doesn't fare quite as poorly, but again, that's not what one is primarily listening for, right?Additionally, it doesn't sound like any new sources were provided for certain tracks. Utterly Simple and Sydney Gill are still mono, and odd mono at that, as are the tracks that were mono-only on previous compilations. Another missed opportunity.But on to the music! All of the above is seriously a pity, though, because the Smoke were--for a brief time--an excellent, energetic band, capable of putting out surprisingly melodic-yet-ferocious sides. And "It's Smoke Time," while uneven, is overall a tremendously satisfying work, if a bit primative for its 1967 vintage. And while the alternate Utterly Simple is merely a different mix, the alternate Sydney Gill *is* a real gem. It's a completely different take and arrangement, with a different verse structure, different lyrics, and a totally different vibe. I'd trot out a cliche and say it's worth the price of the set alone, but...well, while it was to ME, I doubt it is to most normal people reading this review! And on the packaging front, this set is very well done, coming as it does in an attractive slipcase and featuring liner notes that strike me as the most accurate we'll ever have (and are also written in a much livelier style than the Sindrome ones).So what do I suggest? Pass on this comp. The Sindrome/Retroactive "My Friend Jack" CD should be both cheaper, easier to find, and more, uh, aurally satisfying. If you purchase that and find you have a jones for their seventies material and *must* hear an alternate Sydney Gill, well, here's the place."