Sunday, December 11, 2011

VA - The British Beat - Best Of The '60s

Shout! Factory's triple-disc set The British Beat: Best of the '60s was released in conjunction with the 2007 PBS documentary of the same name and, like the show, this compilation is targeted at a general audience, so collectors shouldn't be surprised that there's hardly anything unfamiliar here. Indeed, the strength of this 57-track set is that it serves up many of the basics of the British Invasion. Of course, it doesn't have such heavy-hitters as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who -- they never show up on sets like this -- but this is a well-chosen, very entertaining set that draws a pretty accurate portrait of '60s British pop through cuts by the Kinks, the Zombies, Donovan, Manfred Mann, the Searchers, the Tornados, the Hollies, Peter & Gordon, Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Yardbirds, the Tremeloes, Spencer Davis Group, Petula Clark, Lulu, Small Faces, Sandie Shaw, the Troggs, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, the Walker Brothers, and the Easybeats (who technically may be Australian but they fit). No, this doesn't have every great British Invasion song, but it does have 57 of them and anybody looking to get a crash course in one of the greatest eras of pop music should certainly use this as a primer.

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