Friday, November 5, 2010

The Allusions - Anthology (1966-1968)


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Lineup:
Terry Hearne - Guitar
Michael Morris - Rhythm Guitar
Terry Chapman - Bass
John Shaw - Organ
Kevin Hughes - Drumms
Bruce Davis - Replaced Terry Chapman


Fans of the early- and mid-'60s Merseybeat sound (the Beatles, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Searchers, etc.) will probably love this 21-song compilation, which assembles the Allusions' complete recorded output over a four-year period. At their best, as on "Gypsy Woman," they had a fresh, original sound somewhere midway between the romanticism of the Beatles, the dynamism of the Kinks, and the Who's early ballads, with a unique vocal sound and good attack on their instruments. "Fever (Burns My Brain)" is a strange, yet workable, mix of two seemingly conflicting themes, a harsh, smooth farewell main lyric bridged by an achingly beautiful chorus reminiscent of Gerry & the Pacemakers vocally and the Zombies instrumentally. "The Dancer" is one of those odd low visibility numbers, like "I'll Remember the Night" by the Roulettes (whom these guys also resemble) that are such smooth and catchy examples of the Merseybeat sound that they belong on any anthology of the era and the music. "Roller Coaster Man" sounds like a Searchers outtake or a Gerry & the Pacemakers reject, with a guitar part that resembles "You Can't Do That." "Looks Like Trouble" owes a bit to "I Feel Fine" in its intro, although it also includes a thoroughly American garage-band style guitar break. Some of the later numbers, such as "Roundabout," are less interesting as songs, although even this wimpy ballad offers a catchy chorus and, overall, resembles nothing less than a decent Micky Dolenz-sung Monkees song. And "I'll Be Home" is the kind of song with which Ringo Starr could have done wonders, especially with the Beatlesque harmonies at the end of each line. The album's later songs are an interesting mix of subdued, moody ballads and high-energy rockers, such as "I Gotta Move," which may be the most Kinks-like cover of a Kinks track that you will ever hear. This disc's sound quality is excellent and the annotation extremely thorough.





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