CD Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat & Swinging London Nuggets [Box] (CD 15865802),
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Looking Back: 80 Mod, Freakbeat & Swinging London Nuggets [Box]

  • 0. DISC 1:
    1. Looking Back - The Spencer Davis Group
    2. Don't Tell Me - The Arthur Brown Set
    3. It's Not True - The Untamed
    4. Crawdaddy Simone - The Syndicats
    5. On the Waterfront - The Bats
    6. I'll Never Fall in Love Again - John Lee's Groundhogs
    7. Watcha' Gonna Do (When Your Baby Leaves You) - Lloyd Alexander Real Estate
    8. Things She Says - The In Crowd
    9. Daddy Long Legs - Lindsay Muir's Untamed
    10. I Don't Need Your Kind - The Rockin' Vickers
    11. Show Me Around - The Midnights
    12. Out My Light - The Other Side
    13. Gamma Goochie - The Tribe
    14. Ah Oop - Ray Singer
    15. Bond Street PM - Mood Mosaic
    16. Bongo Jerk - Laurel Aitken
    17. Oh Yeah - The Others
    18. My Good Friend Mary Jane - Ray Hoff & the Offbeats
    19. Mary Mary - The Ministry of Sound
    20. Please Go - Trekkas
    21. Friendly Undertaker, The - The Alleykatz
    22. Can Your Monkey Do the Dog - Tommy Bruce
    23. Done Me Wrong - The Couriers
    24. Tomorrow I'll Be Gone - The Quiet Five
    25. Broken Truth - Wild Uncertainty
    26. Call Me Girl [Previously Unissued] - Thoughts
    27. Daddy Rolling Stone [Live] - Earl Preston's Realms
    0. DISC 2:
    1. Hip Huggin' Mini - Soul Purpose
    2. Looky, Looky - Brothers Grimm
    3. Come See Me - J.J. Jackson
    4. Baby You Know What You're Doing - The Arthur Brown Set
    5. Gonna Live Again - Lloyd Alexander Real Estate
    6. You Can't Be Serious - The Mirage
    7. Last Night - Laurel Aitken & The Soulmen
    8. Ace of Clubs [Previously Unissued] - The Knaves
    9. (Just Like) Romeo & Juliet - Fadin' Colours
    10. I'll Be Doggone - Glen Ingram
    11. Can't Make It Without You Baby [Previously Unissued] - Tony Rivers & The Castaways
    12. La La La Lies [Previously Unissued] - Wild Uncertainty
    13. Workout - The Mike Stuart Span
    14. Every Little Thing - The Spencer Davis Group
    15. Take Away - The Couriers
    16. Tramp - Bobby Johnson & The Atoms
    17. Too Much of a Woman - The Corduroys
    18. Motown Feeling - Maynell Wilson
    19. I Close My Eyes - Watson T. Browne & The Explosive
    20. Yes I Do - Ram John Holder
    21. Kangaroo - Hoagy Benson
    22. Over You Baby - John Lee's Groundhogs
    23. Stop Wait a Minute - The In Crowd
    24. We Got a Good Thing Going [Previously Unissued] - Trekkas
    25. Love Makes Sweet Music - The Valentines
    26. Ypotron - The Sorrows
    27. But She's Mine - John's Children
    0. DISC 3:
    1. Hush - Kris Ife
    2. Crying All Night - Watson T. Browne & The Explosive
    3. Until My Baby Comes Home - Stu James & The Mojos
    4. White Collar Worker - The Ministry of Sound
    5. Baby Love - Katch 22
    6. Just What You Want, Just What You'll Get - John's Children
    7. I'm Not Your Stepping Stone [Demo] - Flies
    8. No Good Without You - The Birds
    9. Thirteen Women - The Renegades
    10. It's a Crime - The Kirkbys
    11. Hold On - The Mirage
    12. Jeu de Massacre (The Killing Game) - The Alan Bown Set
    13. Which Way - The Sorrows
    14. Little Miss Blue - Hardin & York
    15. Gone Gone Gone - Picadilly Line
    16. Sweet Motion - The Salon Band
    17. Take It Easy - Sugar Simone
    18. Micky - Twinkle
    19. I'll Be Satisfied - Val McKenna
    20. Reviewing the Situation - Jacki Bond
    21. Pawnbroker Pawnbroker - Barbara Ruskin
    22. Sweet and Tender Romance - McKinleys
    23. Climb That Tree - The She Trinity
    24. Step Out of Line - Watson T. Browne & The Explosive
    25. What's Done Has Been Done - Ray Singer/The Fenmen
    26. Jak D'or - Episode Six
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): RPMBX519

  • Credits

    Ask many listeners to define mod rock, and they'll refer to bands like the Who, the Creation, and numerous others from the U.K. that merged guitar-driven pop/rock with edgy elements like distortion and outrage that anticipated aspects of psychedelia. Some of that's on this three-CD compilation, but in truth, the mod scene also encompassed soul, R&B-rock, reggae, jazzy R&B-pop-go-go music, and other bits and pieces. All of those styles are reflected on this ambitious anthology, which deliberately emphasizes the more obscure mid- to-late-'60s records falling under this umbrella. There are a few big names (though none as big as, say, the Who or Small Faces) here, and some fairly well-known second-line British Invasion bands (the Mojos, the Sorrows, John's Children, the post-Stevie Winwood Spencer Davis Group). But most of these acts had limited or no commercial success, and you'd be hard-pressed to find many collectors who already had most of this in their collections, even though some of these cuts have come out on specialist reissues. As a trawl through off-the-beaten path material from or related to the mod/freakbeat scene (the U.K. version, with a few Australian tracks thrown in), it's well packaged, with detailed liner notes and a few previously unissued cuts.
    At the same time, this doesn't make for one of the better overall mod compilations, either as a starter anthology or for specialists dedicated to digging deeper. The selections are representative of points among the mod spectrum, yet for the most part rather average in quality, explaining to some degree why they have seldom or never been anthologized. It's also true that the standouts tend to be some of the cuts that have already done the rounds to deserved acclaim for years, like the Syndicats' tremendous rave-up "Crawdaddy Simone," and the early sides by John's Children (who, for all the derision directed at their supposed marginal talents, had a better eye for catchy songs than most of the competition here). A few rarities by big names aren't as exciting as you might hope, like the two early R&B-oriented Arthur Brown songs (credited to the Arthur Brown Set) from a French movie soundtrack, or the tracks from late in the Sorrows' career.
    Is that too harsh? Probably, considering the compilers deliberately set out to provide stuff that would be relatively or wholly unfamiliar, and certainly succeeded in doing so. Depending on your taste, you'll probably find at least a few tracks that are nuggets in quality as well as rarity, strong contenders being the Quiet Five's nervous Merseybeat ("Tomorrow I'll Be Gone"); the Others' cover of Bo Diddley's "Oh Yeah!" (which could have been an inspiration for the Shadows of Knight's version); soulman J.J. Jackson's "Come See Me" (which he co-wrote and was more famously recorded as a Pretty Things single); the Alan Brown Set's "Jou de Massacre (The Killing Game)," another refugee from a French soundtrack (which zanily alternates between jazzy freakbeat and rather smooth soul balladeering); and Ray Singer's weirdly brooding "What's Done Has Been Done," which merges mod with Tom Jones and spy movie music. And it seems like almost everywhere you turn, there are obscure appearances by artists who became famous in other contexts, like Steve Howe in the In Crowd; T.S. McPhee in John Lee's Groundhogs; Lemmy in the Rockin' Vickers; Bon Scott in the Valentines (on a cover of Soft Machine's "Love Makes Sweet Music"), and future Deep Purple members Roger Glover and Ian Gillan in Episode Six. ~ Richie Unterberger

  • Critic Reviews
    Record Collector (magazine) (p.103) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "With dancefloor soul, dreamy ballads, fizzing garage rock and more besides, this is what 60s pop was all about."
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