Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Action - Action Packed (1965)

Mp3\67Mb
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Biographyby Bruce Eder
After the Beatles the Action were the most impressive band signed to EMI by George Martin during the mid-'60s. That they never managed to chart a single in the space of two years with the label, even as lesser bands sold tens of thousands of records with seemingly no effort, is one of those great ironies of mid-'60s English rock & roll. The band started out in North London during 1963 as quartet called the Boys, and cut one single as a backing band for Sandra Barry before getting their own shot at immortality on the Pye label with a single "It Ain't Fair." The Boys went out of existence in 1964, but didn't split up, instead reconfiguring themselves as a five-piece. The original lineup, Alan "Bam" King... Read More...
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01. Land Of 1000 Dances02. In My Lonely Room03. Harlem Shuffle04. I Love You (Yeah!)05. I'll Keep On Holding On06. Hey Sah-Lo-Ney07. Just Once In My Life08. Wasn't It You 09. Baby You've Got It10. Since I Lost My Baby 11. Never Ever 12. Twenty Fourth Hour13. The Place 14. Come On, Come With Me15. The Cissy 16. Something Has Hit Me17. Shadows And Reflections
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Review by Bruce Eder
Beginning in the fall of 1965 with their single "Land of 1000 Dances" b/w "In My Lonely Room," the Liverpool-based quintet the Action graced the world with some of the best R&B and soul ever to come out of a white British band, so utterly convincing and sung and played with such conviction that some listeners today can't believe they were white, much less English. They only got better with their next few singles, including "I'll Keep on Holding On," "Baby You've Got It" b/w "Since I Lost My Baby," and "Harlem Shuffle" (which wasn't even released until the 1980s), but somehow never made it to the charts. The 17 songs here overlap with the contents of the Ultimate Action CD, except that they've all been newly remastered in 24-bit sound from better sources, so the action on the drums is audible and the guitars, bass, and vocals are practically right in your lap (and they never sounded better, to boot). That new digital transfer, coupled with the extensive annotation and the array of group photographs, picture sleeves, advertising art, and original single labels all combine to make this CD an essential upgrade from the earlier release. Further, although it is a compilation of singles (and, thus, a bit unfair to stack up against individual albums by other bands), the music on Action Packed is every bit as essential, bracing, and enjoyable a listening experience as, say, With the Beatles, Rolling Stones Now, the Who's original U.K. My Generation album, or any of the other iconic music releases of the British Invasion. Even the one non-soul number here, Shadows and Reflections," which reflected a change in direction for the group and closes the collection (and also surfaced on Rhino's Nuggets II box), is one of the catchier unknown pieces of British psychedelic pop you're ever likely to run into
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