on 26 April 2001
Calling a box set "The Ultimate Mod Collection" may perhaps controversial, but the track listing of these four CD's speaks for itself.
For my taste, the track selection is perhaps concentrating too much on the obvious rather than the obscure, but nevertheless this IS "The Ultimate Mod Jukebox". Either if this serves as an introduction to this music, or if it's a compilation of great tracks you already own, The In Crowd is truly great.
The music, both from black 60's soul- & jazzstars and 1st generation britpoppers, is as wonderful, sexy and energetic today as it must have been then.
The packaging is sharp and tasteful and the booklet informative and stylish. Pure excellence!
on 12 March 2002
For anyone who is a fan of Mod, Northern Soul, or Motown, this is a must-have collection. The set traces some of the roots of this music from the late 1950's, and through the heyday of the 1960's. Most of this is excellent stuff, whether you lived through it as an original Face, or whether (like me), you are a lot younger and are looking to past music for enjoyment and inspiration. Not too much to criticise, although CD2 is not that great, and parts of CD1 are a bit average. However, CDs 3 and 4 are absolutely top-drawer. Buy it! It will be a worthy addition to your music collection. And you can tell 'em I told you so.
on 12 October 2001
Anyone who claims to be into Soul and the whole 'Mod' scene must buy this compilation, and those that don't should. Whoever complied this deserves a Nobel prize. It includes classics that everyone's heard and loads of not so 'popular' ones as well. Listening to this will take you back to the days when music really had depth & soul - even if you're not old enough to remember (like me). The box set is presented with care & attention to detail rarely seen since the coming of the CD. The illustrated booklet helps to recreate the whole 'In Crowd' scene. If you are only going to buy one more CD ever, BUY THIS ONE.
PS. Let there be a Vol.2
on 12 July 2006
Luckily the time period of this collection ignores the mod revivalist 1980's music of the Jam and subsequent pretenders. What you get here is pretty much an insight into the music of swinging sixties, before all the drugs, hippies and psychedelia took over. Not that there's anything wrong with all that, but this music is particularly of its period and more than any compilation recreates its subject matter in all its glory. A lot of this compilation is American music in particular Soul and R&B, and even Jazz (don't let that put you off, this is far removed from modern Jazz and very much pop music.) What's great about this collection is that unlike the narrower and in my opinion less accesible 'Northern Soul' music a lot of these tracks would have appeared on Motown, Atlantic or even 60's rock and Roll compilations. The music here is very wide indeed, but essentially very good. Maybe there are too many 12 bar blues songs, and some really slow ballads which seem out of place next to the more upbeat songs but overall the tracks are catchy and accessible. The only downside is probably the broad music represented here as whatever your tastes there are bound to be a few tracks you won't like, but there are bound to be so many more you do like. More than recommended for any 60's affecionado; its a must im afraid.
on 12 April 2003
An intelligent, beautifully assembled package, especially the detailed booklet. Not only does it offer smart surveys of mod (The Who, Birds, Creation), Motown, R&B and soul, but it throws in the odd surprise track like "Image" by Alan Haven, a mid-'60s Hammond keyboard specialist who manages to distill the sounds of swinging London '65 and "The Avengers" TV series of the time into an ab fab 2:59. In other words, it's the perfect accompaniment to a night out with John Steed and Emma Peel. It might sound like hype, but, for me, the entire box set was worth purchasing for this one track.