I never could make up my mind whether Georgie Fame was superbly laid back in his work, or just wasn't trying. This collection doesn't really make it any more obvious to me.
There were some releases like the desperately over-familiar "Yeah Yeah" which is mercifully not featured here - and "Rosetta" - track 10 - where one feels that Fame is deriving some excitment from the music making process. However, one often feels that he is either trying too hard to play it cool or he is bored to tears with the whole business ("Because I Love You" - track 8 here - teeters on this particular brink I feel).
I have a tape of Kenny Everett's Radio One Show from about 1970 in which he plays "Peaceful" - track 6 on this disc - and I always liked the song, and its inclusion here is the reason I bought the disc, I think it should have been a bigger success than it was because Georgie manages to sound laid back but not in a terminal state of ennui. "Seventh Son" - track 3 - similarly has some spark, and of course "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" - track 1 - still packs a bit of a punch.
However Georgie seems to sleepwalk through some of the other cover versions on this album. Did the world really need another version of "By the Time I Get to Pheonix"? - Track 9 - and what did Paul McCartney ever do to Georgie that he should so mutilate "And I Love Her" and "When I'm Sixty Four"? The only slight surprise is that Bobby Hebb's "Sunny" is not included in the cover set presented here.
A shame that some of the instrumentals weren't included: "Beware of the Dog", "El Bandido" etc are available on other GF compilations though.
I have to disagree with another reviewer who liked Georgie and Pricey's version of Randy Newman's "Yellow Man" - track 18 -, which I think misses the point of the song: Harry Nilsson's version is much more evocative of the song's sentiment.
Through his subsequent career Georgie has provided quality keyboard support to many artists - notably Van Morrison, but also many others - and if this collection shows anything I think it shows that his contribution to music in that role is probably greater than his role as a front man.
"I can wait for fate to bring around to me, any part of my tomorrow." - Peaceful. Yummy.