58 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 3 January 2005
History has not been fair to the Birds. No major hits appear on tacky compilations, no LP was recorded in their short time together and constantly dismissed as being nothing more than Ron Wood's first bite at the cherry. Yet there is something malevolently beautiful about the three official 45s which came out on Decca in the mid 60s which almost outWho the Who!
All three singles are included here along with the b-sides, with various demos and unreleased recordings thrown in for good measure. The first single for Decca, "You're On My Mind" apart from being a self penned effort is also a fine slice of brutalised r'n'b which equals anything the Pretties or Who were doing around the same time, as does follow up "Leavin' Here", which is probably the most savage recording of the old Eddie Holland song you are likely to hear. (At least until Motorhead covered it a decade later). But it's "No Good Without You Baby", the bands third and final release in this incarnation that really cuts the mustard. A Telecaster intro shatters you're ears before the arrogance of Ali MacKenzie's sneering vocals take over, turning this tame Marvin Gaye filler into something which pre-empts punk rock ten years too soon. Pure class. The flip "How Can It Be" is a real gem too and a fine showcase for the guitar style Ronnie Wood later perfected in the Faces and Stones.
The next thing the band recorded (on Reaction) under the dubious moniker of Bird's Bird's was the marvellously dysfunctional "Say Those Magic Words" which out garages the majority of American garage without breaking sweat. Alas, it was here the story more or less ended....what a damned shame.
There is also a few early demos included which illustrate how much the band changed in a few short months as well as several pointless covers (Run Run Run by the Who), and the wonderfully camp "La Poupee Qui Fait Non" (Which is included twice with different lyrics and title).
A fan's compilation or a completists paradise?....either way it's worth it for the packaging and most of the content. So if early/mid 60s r'n'b is your thing then this compilation comes highly recomended.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2008
Like one of our friends reviewing below says, none of these tracks appeared on tacky 60's Mod / psych compilations; and thank goodness. No, these precious tracks were hidden away in some murky tape vault, until someone found out they were one of Ronnie Wood's early bands and decided to release them. Well, in doing so they did a darned good job, and it looks as if they also went as far as finding Ronnie and / or other previous band members as the tracks are about 50/50 released as singles and unreleased acetates / early backing tracks. But you have to hand it to whoever compiled this, and no pun is intended, but they left no Stone unturned in finding EVERYTHING The Birds probably ever recorded.
Yes, they did an excellent job, but didn't include absolutely EVERYTHING, but perhaps this may have been down to boring stuff like getting a licence to include the track (?) or whatever, but there is just the one, that we know of, missing. Presently, this track titled 'That's All I Need You For' can be found on You Tube in a search for The Birds. The band appeared, in their UK Mod / R 'n' B countenance, in the 1966 film titled 'The Deadly Bees' and it's well worth a look. It is a pity it's not included here for whatever reason, as it would then have completed the all-round excellence of this album.
On this CD, though, for a very reasonable price we have, much as I hinted at earlier, 8 tracks which were the A or B sides of The Birds' singles, and the balance, all of excellent quality may I add, of demo's, acetates, unissued stereo mixes and previously unissued material.
And if you're into The Who, (there are 2 versions of their 'Run, Run, Run' track from 'A Quick One' on here), The Creation, The Action or any of the other UK Mod / R 'n' B bands from the 60's, then you will thoroughly enjoy this fabulous CD which, incidentally, (or mine is anyway), in a cardboard slip-cover.
For Ronny Wood fans this is a must, and if you didn't know, Lemmy from Motorhead was / is a big fan of The Birds in their day, so much so, track 3 here, which is the Holland / Dozier / Holland song 'Leaving Here,' became taken onward by Lemmy into the Motorhead live set for a great many years into their history, such was his love for the track.
For Bournemouth-based readers, The Birds played, I believe, Mr Smiths on Poole Hill in the mid-60's; their one and only visit to the town.
But yes, this CD is a absolute MUST for fans of the Mod era and / or Mr Ronnie Wood, it's well researched, well presented and the whole thing is just knockout!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2011
Back in my teenage days I got hold of a mid price music cassette called 'Hard Up Heroes' containing the early sixties recordings of artists that became big names in the seventies and the eighties. It contained songs recorded by Joe Cocker, Van Morrison (with Them), Jimmy Page, David Bowie, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent (with The Zombies) and lots more.
One absolute killer track was The Birds' Leaving Here. I didn't know - and now that I know I don't care - that The Birds was Ron Wood's early beginnings as a professional guitarist.
Well, the cassette got old and the sound quality that wasn't that good to begin with got worse and somewhere down the line I think I threw it away.
I managed to get a version of Leaving Here recorded by The Who but that sounded pretty lame compared with The Birds.
But recently I found this wonderful CD containing all of The Birds' singles, including Leaving Here, and a wealth of unreleased tracks. They certainly were a talented band and listening to these tracks I realise talent unfortunatly sometimes is not enough.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2009
This is a fantastic example of mid-Sixties Freakbeat and R & B by Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood's first band. For anyone interested in this period of pop/rock history this is a must. A great collection of tunes and an informative booklet comes with the CD.The Collectors' Guide To Rare British Birds