The first three bars of "It's So Easy" announces the group's intentions. The Easybeats had arrived to conquer. Few first albums start with a more confident and heraldic ten seconds.
I wish I could say that the rest of the album lives up to that first ten seconds. It doesn't. Think of how the Rolling Stones' first album on British Decca compares to their great demos preceding their signing (with "Diddly Daddy," "Bright Lights Big City" and that incredibly fluid version of "Baby What's Wrong?"). That's just how "Easy" compares to the Easybeats' astonishing demo tape recorded immediately after their signing to Albert Productions in Australia. The demo was fierce and instrumentally imaginative, with dirty guitars sounding so much later than 1964. Their first single "For My Woman" comes from that demo and is a welcome bonus track on this CD. The studio album is mild and polite by comparison. Nonetheless, the Easybeats magic shines on "She's So Fine," "Ya Can't Do That," "She Said Alright" and "You Got It Off Me."
If this release had been planned rationally, the bonus tracks would have consisted of the 1964 demo (good for nearly a dozen tracks) and the live version of "She's So Fine." While you DO get the live "She's So Fine" and "For My Woman," most of the bonus tracks are outtakes from "Good Friday," which definitely do not belong on this early collection. However, there is their great 1965 cover of the Nashville Teens' "Find My Way Back Home." The story is that a TV show on which they were guesting forbade the performance of original material so they quickly cobbled together this super cover that easily beats the original.
If you are starting the Easybeats, either buy one of the "best of" collections or buy "Good Friday" or "Volume 3." These are the most consistent releases for the beginner. Buy "Easy" once you are hooked.