Tuesday, October 5, 2010

V.A.- The Beat Scene

These 25 tracks have been culled from a host of mid-'60s artists on the U.K.-based Decca Records label as part of their critically and enthusiastically lauded "Decca Originals" series. Each thematic entry gathers hard-to-locate tunes by a variety of lesser-known acts.

The Beat Scene (1998) concentrates on groups stylistically akin to the early- to mid- '60s British Invasion beat bands. However, unlike the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five, or any of their other internationally renowned contemporaries, many of the acts featured here had comparatively nominal, if any, success outside of Europe. In the case of the Poets — whose longing rocker "I Love Her Still" is found on this volume — they created music broad enough in scope to have covered the freakbeat and psychedelic subgenres as well. Almost by definition, one of the more obvious components of the Beat Scene is the hearty backbeat that drives the Game's "Gonna Get Me Someone," the Mockingbirds' "One by One," and Joe Cocker's seminal remake of the Fab Four's "I'll Cry Instead." The latter is a fascinating glimpse into Cocker's primordial sound, blending the essence of American rockabilly with a hint of skiffle tucked into the rhythm. Another notable name is Lulu, who takes the Luvvers through the Mick Jagger/Keith Richard composition "Surprise Surprise." Although pop music fans might remember the name Pete Best as the pre-Ringo Starr percussionist for the Beatles, he lends his name to a combo covering Eddie Hodges' "I'm Gonna Knock on Your Door," a one-off single circa 1964. Other Beat-era trademarks include compact arrangements, as displayed by the tight syncopation heard on Rick & Sandy's "Lost My Girl," the Warriors' "Don't Make Me Blue," and the Beat Chics' lively "Now I Know." A direct contrast is the Andrew Oldham Orchestra's faux Wall of Sound rendition of "Da Doo Run Run," with uncredited vocals from Mick Jagger. Parties interested in this edition should check out the other erstwhile installments: Mod Scene (1998) and Mod Scene, Vol. 2, Psychedelic Scene (1998), Rock N' Roll Scene (1998), and Blues Scene (1999).

1. The Poets / I Love Her Still (1:46)

2. The Game / Gonna Get Me Someone (2:47)

3. Thee / Each & Every Day (2:12)

4. The Mighty Avengers / (Walking Thru' The) Sleepy City (2:09)

5.  Shel Naylor / It's Gonna Happen Soon (2:01)

6.  Joe Cocker / I'll Cry Instead (1:44)

7.  Beat Boys / Third Time Lucky (1:46)

8. The Mark Four / Hurt Me If You Will (2:56)

9. Sandra Barry & The Boys / Really Gonna Shake (2:00)

10.  Lulu & The Luvvers / Surprise Surprise (2:21)

11. The Mojos / Everything's Alright (2:21)

12. The Beat Chics / Now I Know (2:16)

13. Pete Best Four / I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door (2:05)

14.  The Warriors / Don't Make Me Blue (2:06)

15. The Marauders / That's What I Want (2:21)

16. The Brooks / Once In A While (2:35)

17.  Rick & Sandy / Lost My Girl (3:06)

18. Unit 4+2 / I Was Only Playing Games (2:43)

19.  Tierneys Fugitives / Did You Want To Run Away (2:20)

20. The Mockingbirds / One By One (2:24)

21.  The Rockin' Berries / Itty Bitty Pieces (2:08)

22. The Knack / Who'll Be The Next In Line (2:00)

23. - Brian Poole & The Tremeloes / Keep On Dancing (1:58)

24. The Hi Numbers / Heart Of Stone (2:21)

. 25 The Andrew Oldham Orchestra - Da Doo Ron Ron
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