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With Glasses: the Very Best of [Import]

John Fred & His Playboy Band Audio CD

Price: 26.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely priceless 1960s white southern soul 2 Feb 2004
By Robert Moore - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Primarily John Fred and the Playboy Band is remembered for a lone #1 hit, "Judy in Disguise with Glasses," but completely skews the memory of the kind of music they did. John Fred had an absolutely first rate soul voice, and he was completely capable of wailing with the best of them. He was superb at up tempo pop, slow and wailing laments, and gritty rock, and on top of all that was a very gifted songwriter. The band itself was highly competent and could produce a remarkably wide range of sounds. The arrangements, however, are often fascinating. Although employing the full panoply of 1960s musical gimmicks, the music has aged exceedingly well. Instrumentally, they use absolutely everything, from guitars to organ to horns to all the unusual and unexpected instruments they tried in the wake of the Beatles' experimentation.
This is just flat out great rock by a performer who was never as well as he ought to have been. The great songs just keep coming and coming, from the great "Judy in Disguise" that starts the disc to "Agnes English" (from the eponymously named album) to the upbeat "Can't I Get (A Word In)" to the Animals-like "Outta My Head" or the great "She Shot a Hole in My Soul," with its great horn arrangements. And although "Judy in Disguise" was their lone huge hit, I can honestly say that "Up and Down" is very nearly as good, with amazingly good vocals by Mr. Fred. The review below that stated that the album contains only one great song is utterly nutzoid.
I won't guarantee that anyone will enjoy every cut on this album, but I can absolutely assert that anyone who loves great pop soul will find plenty of good or great songs. If you want to hear some great but sadly neglected music, most of which will be completely fresh to you, give this sucker a shot.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I Remember Them Well 30 Jun 2004
By William Sutton - Published on
Format:Audio CD
The years 1965-1968 were a great time to be in Shreveport, La - the band played at dances locally once a month, and their first records were coming out on Paula records. Their label-mates, Joe Stampley and the Uniques, sometimes played the same place on the same night. My senior year in high school I don't think I missed any of the dances they played. This cd is a great intro to John Fred and the boys and contains many, though not all, of the best things they recorded. Previous reviewers were right--these guys could play anything and John's voice could adapt to many types of songs. Andrew Bernard, a member of the band, did most of the arrangements, and he and John wrote most of their original songs. Everyone knows 'Judy in Disguise' but 'Agnes English' could have been as big. Actually 'Up and Down' was slated to be their 1st national release but Paul Revere & the Raiders released 'Ups and Downs' at about the same time and this great song went nowhere. The band had one of the earliest horn sections in rock and all of the guys were outstanding musicians. They really made the Memphis-style soul covers smoke. An auto accident in late '66 - early '67 caused a minor change in the line-up but they never missed a beat. There is a better cd, "The History of John Fred and the Playboys" on Paula Records with more cuts but it is probably not widely available. This then is really the best way right now to get familiar with this regional hit-maker.If only Paula would release their original albums from '65 to '67 (I have them on vinyl) you would really see how versatile and underated they were.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine southern blue-eyed soul 30 Oct 2001
By John W. Butler, Jr. - Published on
Format:Audio CD
John Fred's collection of tunes is a terrific blend of rhythm and blues/soul music and pop. The band in its 1960s heyday was influenced by Stax-Volt artists and by British musicians, and the mix comes through in this versatile compilation. John Fred and his Playboys produced many excellent songs, far beyond simply their one smash hit ("Judy in Disguise"). Check out the driving "Up and Down" or "Outta My Head" for instance, or the soulful "Doin' the Best I Can". Or try out the excellent pop song "Agnes English". No slackers on this collection. Treat yourself.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your Oldies Music Collection Will Not Be Complete Without This! 20 Jun 2007
By Ronnie's Opinion - Published on
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This CD has a song on it that knocked The Beatles, Hello Goodbye, out of the #1 spot in the U.S. in January 1968 and that song is, Judy In Disguise. Pretty good Ha! John Fred and his Playboy Band, were yet another (so called) One Hit Wonder group that were very underrated. Agnes English, is another very good pop song here I remembered from those days plus there are several other good songs here and one of them is, Boogie Chillin.

As for sound quality; it's good. This is a very short review about another very good 60s Band that should always be remembered. At the time of this review; this OOP CD was still selling at a reasonable price.Get this Disc while you can. I noticed that the OOP Import version of this CD is getting very expensive.

Final Note: I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever find this CD but I did.....Thank You Amazon
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamond in Disguise 31 Jan 2002
By Joyce M. Conroy - Published on
Format:Audio CD
After listening to John Fred's soulful and passionate vocals on "Absolutely the Best", it only goes to prove that both John and the Playboy Band were truly one of the most underrated groups in rock and roll history. Although "Judy in Disguise" was the song that established the group on the charts, this CD proves to the listener that Top 40 radio missed the mark in showcasing John's wide array of talent not only as a songwriter, but mainly as a vocalist. On "She Shot A Hole In My Soul" and "Sad Story", John's vocals are reminiscent of the legendary Otis Redding. The Playboy Band also displays some top-notch backup with everything from trumpets to organ. My only disappointment with "Absolutely The Best" is that the group's final entry on the charts, "Hey, Hey Bunny" wasn't included.
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