I'd held off buying this one since it was first released, due to the copy protection on the disc. When I found it on sale, I ordered it with the hope that it was free of that nonsense. The CD - with no shrink wrap - just arrived, and the first thing that I noticed was that the cover was the same as the one shown here, except that there was no symbol superimposed over the muscal notes in the far lower right corner. Nor was there any tiny writing below the circles at the bottom.
I put the CD into the computer, and it became obvious that there was no copy guard on this disc. If there had been, it would have been returned immediately. I have since been able to make mp3s of my favorite tracks with no trouble at all.
As for the music, the reason I bought this particular CD was to get the original mono mixes of a couple of tracks, and the disc delivered exactly what I was looking for. I'd originally gotten to know "When The Stars Begin To Fall" when I bought the "Best Of The Seekers" LP on the Capitol Starline label in the early '70s. Unfortunately, a few of the tracks were in true stereo, but those that were not, including "When The Stars Begin To Fall," were run through Capitol's "Duophonic" process that added ridiculous amounts of echo and a slight delay to the mono tracks in order to make them sound "stereo." The result was a sonic sludge.
Shortly after buying that album, I found a used US Capitol 45 of "Georgy Girl." Its B-side was "When The Stars Begin To Fall," and I was blown away by how much more dynamic the same song sounded in mono form. Over the years, I'd given up trying to find a cleaner copy of that 45. In more recent years, I obtained the song at last in true stereo, only to find that it, too, had more reverb than the mono 45. With this CD, I finally have the best-sounding version of the song direct from the mono master.
The other song I sought out this disc for was "A World Of Our Own." On the more-common stereo CDs that have this song, the catchy lead guitar that opens the song is buried beneath the autoharp. On "A's, B's & EP's," you get the original mono version with its lead guitar intro that leaped out of radios everywhere in 1965.
Also of note to US buyers, the UK EMI 1966 re-recording of "Morningtown Ride" is included here, not the 1964 World Record Group recording that Capitol erroneously released here in 1967. The WRG version was also included on the 1992 "Capitol Collectors Series" Seekers CD, so if you already have that CD, this one gives you the UK hit version of the song.
It's almost mind-boggling to figure out why "The Carnival Is Over" never made it in the States, since this is such a memorable, haunting song. Could it have been that the folk movement had played out a bit earlier than in Europe and Australia? "Some Day One Day" might have fared better here had there been more attention drawn to Paul Simon's authorship of the song.
All in all, this is a solid collection of the Seekers' 7-inchers from around the globe.