Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Pete Best Combo-Beyond The Beatles (1964-1966)

A true labor of archival fetishism, this assembles 24 songs cut by the Pete Best Combo in the mid-'60s — and even this doesn't include every last item from his "solo" career. The results are surprisingly American in feel for a Mersey group, with some saxophones and an echo-laden production. Much of the ambience could be attributed to the New York studios that they used, apparently under pressure to produce quickly, as the performances sometimes betray the hallmarks of hasty execution. In other words, the guitar on "I'll Have Everything Too" is so out of tune that it has to be heard to be believed. But the disc is not that bad of a listen, although it's basically superfluous: the energy level is reasonably high, some of the tunes (most of which were written and sung by group members Tony Waddington and Wayne Bickerton) are kind of catchy, and the Chocolate Watch Band-ish "The Way I Feel About You" was solid enough to gain a place on a reissue in the English Freakbet series. Best himself, if you're curious, doesn't seem to have sung at all (though the quaverous intro to "I Can't Do Without You Now" could possibly be him), and the drumming is nothing out of the ordinary.
01 - All Aboard 02 - Why Did You Leave Me Baby? 03 - Shimmy Like Kate 04 - I Need Your Lovin' 05 - I Can't Do Without You Now 06 - Castin' My Spell 07 - I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song) 08 - She's Alright 09 - Keys To My Heart 10 - I'm Checkin' Out Now Baby 11 - I'll Try Anyway 12 - I Don't Know Why I Do 13 - How Do You Get To Know Her Name? 14 - She's Not The Only Girl In Town 15 - If You Can't Get Her 16 - More Than I Need Myself 17 - I'll Have Everything Too 18 - Way I Feel About You, The 19 - Don't Play With Me 20 - Rock & Roll Music 21 - I Wanna Be There 22 - Everybody 23 - Pete's Theme 24 - Off The Hook 25 - Last Night 26 - Nobody But You 27 - Wait & See 28 - Some Other GuY
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