on 20 December 2010
Not reviewed: the music. It was, is and will stay great and raunchy rock & roll.
This is about the CD compilation, fancy on the outside but consisting of annoyingly flat sounding and unengaging vinyl rips, The occasional click was a giveaway but I Fought The Law even evinced clear signs of vinyl groove wear - although the phono cartridge and amp used for recording to computer was so mediocre that not much fine detail survived on this reissue.
Ducks' debut LP was the highlight of my early teens. During the years I have managed to pick up pristine near mint vinyl copies of both their two albums and the 1978 compilation Don't Mind Rockin' Tonite. I also grabbed the incredible Suicide Jockey 7" when released (which I remembered as late 1976 but obviously early 1977) as well as both Tyla Gang's Beserkley Records - all playing like new.
From the 1978 comp we have track 1 (Something), sounding outright hurtful to the ear due to tonal imbalance in the phono cartridge OR during "remastering" on poor speakers. Track 4 (Here Comes) typically dull and flat and track 8 (I Fought) as noted and erroneously listed as track 7. I suspect track 8, e.g. track 7), Midnight Moon, has sloppily received the wrong title compared to the track listing on the original All Too Much LP.
Tracks 20 & 21 also had their titles carelessly mixed up.
The CD contains the Stiff single Styrofoam/Texas Chainsaw in the familiar dull sound of this release (considerably crisper on the 1977 LP compilation Hits Greatest Stiffs, too).
Tracks 16 & 17 are right off Tyla Gang's 1977 Yachtless but again flat sounding. Whizz Kids gets faded out 15 seconds too early.
The Suicide Jockey/Cannons single sounds decent but very dry. The original Swedish issue (pressed in Germany) has a hefty deep bass totally missing from the CD, which plays with a cheap transistor radio sound throughout.
In addition, several tracks vary markedly in playback volume, attesting to this amateurish reissue. You really need a remote to your hi-fi for this CD!
That leaves us 11 tracks remaining tracks I had never heard before, or at least not in these versions. Hooked on Ducks at 14, I was of course grateful to get to hear them. But make no mistake, this is one cheap home baked product from some person impersonating the late Sky Dog label. Are the RCA master tapes lost? I believe this is an unauthorized pirate copy.