on 17 October 2008
The good thing about this double cd compilation is that it manages to bring together the vast majority of the band's output. The Chocolate Watchband were one of the better 60s garage/psych bands out there but you can see they went through a number of different phases veering from psych punk like "Lets Talk About Girls" (later covered by the Undertones) to more standard blues rock "Sweet Young Thing" to some more experimental psych rock like "No Way Out". They did have a couple of incarnations with different singers and in fact a couple of the tracks have re-recorded vocals from one of them. They definitely sound more comfortable covering The Kinks and Dylan as opposed to less successful tracks like "Midnight Hour" but they deserve a lot of credit for their own compositions too. If you like bands like Electric Prunes, Standells, Blues Magoos then this is a great collection to have.
on 1 September 2006
Whilst the extensive liner notes acknowledge that the malign influence of the 1960's record industry ultimately destroyed this band, as it did with many other, it also glories in the wonderful legacy of a fantastic body of work, which is completely represented here.
There are some excellent songs such as the iconic "Let's Talk About Girls" , which is what drew me to this album via the excellent Nuggets album that is subtitled "Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era" check that out too. This album has loads of brilliant covers such as Dylan's "Baby Blue" and the Kinks' "I'm Not Like Everybody Else" which is wonderfully deliveredand stands up to the original very well, none of the covers is a pale immitation.
Although this is a band that was obviously manipulated, and had sessions musicians imposed on recording dates, there is still enough snarl and rough edges in the delivery of many of the songs to make them something much better than the average compliation of a forgetten 60's group with a cult following.
The packaging and liner notes are wonderful and it is worth having for the cover and title alone.
Essential for anyone interested in 60's pop.