Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
History of British Rock 2
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
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Continuing The Rhino/Capitol/EMI Early Series
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Please see my review of Volume 1 for some background on this multi-volume series which first came out in 1988. As with the first release, they again included selections that were entirely unknown in North America - which, I presume, was their target audience at the outset.
Tracks 8, 11, 15, 16, and 20 are those that made no impact here during the British Invasion. It seems they were determined that we experience The Rockin' Berries [one of their cuts also appears in Volume 1] but, quite frankly, it's easy to see why their efforts never appealed here. Also, why go to yet another Ivy League cut that failed to impact here when the one song of theirs that did - Tossing And Turning in 1965 - was a minimal hit? The Hollies would have over 20 North American hits, so why not choose from among those instead of an obscure selection?
Again, the AAD sound reproduction ranges from adequate to excellent, and in the insert you get 11 pages of liner notes written by Parke Puterbaugh, and several small b&w photos of some of the artists. Most of the hit tracks have long since been included in any number of compilations, and with far more consistency in sound quality [tracks 7 and 9 are especially weak in that respect]."
One If By Land, Two If By Sea, Three If By AM Radio
Gregor von Kallahann | 04/04/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like every other kid in 1964-'65, I was quite caught up in Beatlemania and the "British Invasion" in general. The fact that I thought a novelty act like Freddie and the Dreamers were pretty cool tells you something about where my 11 year old head was at. How was I to know that they were just recycling silly old(e) English music hall motifs and melodies? They were British, and that was cache enough. And "doing the Freddie" was absurd enough to appeal to my pre-adolescent sensibility. Novelty songs were pretty big back then, and little kids DO love novelty. The Dreamers number here though ("You Were Made For Me") isn't nearly as fun, and at my advanced age now, actually a bit irritating.
I also rather liked Gerry and the Pacemakers, although primarily because they weren't as huge as the Beatles so I could sort of claim them (briefly) as "my" group. Gerry Marsden had a very pleasant singing voice and a nice way with a ballad. Of the two selections included on this release, "I'll Be There" still seems to hold up nicely. I used to LOVE "I Like It" as a kid, which has me scratching my head nowadays. It's actually pretty much a novelty track--a cut or two above Freddie maybe, but fluff to be sure. Funnily enough, I DID think Manfred Mann's "Doo Wah Diddy" was kinda dumb when I first heard it: I'd still call it a novelty tune, but a relatively solid one. And of course Mann went on to achieve a certain amount of acclaim for the Earth Band and Ch. 3.
So this is like a walk down Memory Lane for me, BUT it's important to remember that the music was growing up as fast as my tastes were. Within a few years, it was clear to me that the real good stuff was being produced by bands like the Kinks, the Zombies and the Yardbirds. You can hear something of the growing musical and lyrical sophistication in their tracks on this record. Even in "All Day and All of the Night's" rawness and deliberately simplified lyrics you could sense the keen intelligence of the Davies Bros. And those experimental edges around the Yardbirds' "Heart Full of Soul"? They were up to something there,if you had the ears to hear it.
Of course, a lot of pop from both sides of Atlantic was still just that, pop ballads that were good, bad or indifferent--but seldom innovative. They had their place too, though, Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, Cilla Black. I'm surprised at the relative schlockiness of some of the arrangements on these tunes. I remembered them as being much more sophisticated. Now they sound more like BAD Phil Spector. But they also served, and it's not inappropriate to include them in this kind of collection. Just as it's not inappropriate to throw in Donovan's answer to American folk rock, "Catch the Wind." Donovan, it turned out, wasn't quite Britain's answer to Bob Dylan, but he contributed a few lovely tunes a few jazzy ones over the years. And he anticipated the coming of a spate of Brit folk acts (John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Pentangle, Fairport) that would never be lumped in with early "British Invaders," but who benefitted from the international acceptance those earlier bands achieved.
Lots of good stuff on this Rhino collection. And what isn't good is at least historically significant. Not surprising that the heaviest hitters aren't included (and all to the good too: the Beatles would overshadow everyone else here, just like they did on the radio back in the day).
A fun collection, well worth a listen or two.