by Bruce Eder
Unit 4+2 was a one-hit wonder that probably deserved better. As one of the better acoustic-electric bands of the mid-'60s, the group stormed the charts with one memorable hit, "Concrete and Clay," scoring on both sides of the Atlantic, but they were never able to come up with a follow-up that was as catchy.The group originated with guitarist Brian Parker and an instrumental band from Hertfordshire called the Hunters, who recorded for the Fontana label in 1961. Parker left the Hunters in early 1962 and joined Adam Faith's backing band the Roulettes. He didn't stay long with the latter band, preferring to put together a group of his own with the emphasis on vocals. Parker... Read More...
1.Concrete and Clay2.Sorrow and Pain3.Couldn't Keep It to Myself4.You'll Remember5.Cotton Fields6.500 Miles7.La Bamba8.You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'9.Swing Downd Chariot10.Wild is the Wind11.The Girl from New York City12.Cross a Million Mountains13.Butterfly14.I Will15.Face in My Head16.3.3017.Too Fast Too Slow18.Something I Can Believe in19.(Living in) the World of Broken Hearts20.Loving Takes a Little Understanding21.Booby Trap22.I Can't Stop23.You Ain't Going Nowhere24.(You've Never) Been in Love Like This Before25.Baby Never Say Goodbye26.For a Moment27.Fables28.The Green Fields29.I Won't Let You Down
This 29-track CD combines the contents of both Decca Records LPs by the Hertfordshire, England sextet, plus seven additional tracks that were never on either of their albums. The result is a somewhat uneven collection that is melodious enough at various times but often lacking in excitement and drive. The group treads a fine line between delicacy and blandness as they go through various originals, spiced by covers of such familiar fare as "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," "Cotton Fields," "500 Miles," and "La Bamba." Their elegant vocal textures can be startling and even revelatory, as on their cover of the then-new Bob Dylan song "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere." They got better as they went along, but they were never able to come up with a song to match the attractiveness of "Concrete and Clay," from their own pens or in the form of covers of other authors' work. Their legacy, presented virtually in full here, is a body of soft acoustic pop/rock that's only interesting enough to sustain itself about half the time. The remastering is superior to the sound on Decca's vinyl collections of their material from the late 1970s, although — for reasons that are unclear — apparently everything that the group ever recorded, even as late as 1967, was issued in mono only.