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4.3 out of 5 stars23
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 17 April 2009
I agree with other commentators who have questioned the lack of decent booklet or liner notes on this set - it was the first thing I noticed as well. But the selection of tracks makes up for it - the bulk of the CD is the classic hits (Xanadu, Hold Tight, Bend It, Don Juan, Save Me, Zabadak), but the real interest comes in Dave Dee's final recordings with Dozy and Tich last summer of those songs they'd made their own through inclusion in their live shows. Stairway To Heaven twinned with Pinball Wizard made perfect sense to me; and In Dreams may not be Roy Orbison but it was a good attempt. This act were class and fun on the reunion circuit and these extra tracks give a flavour of that (albeit they are studio recordings, not live ones). I would have liked profiles of the individuals who made up DDDBMT (not just the new Beaky and Mick) and a bit more context. But it's a good CD and a fitting closure to their career with Dave, who sadly died earlier this year.
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on 9 October 2009
This release saw DDDBM&T with still three original members intact doing studio versions of six of their live favourites in 'This Boy', 'Keep Me Hangin On', 'In Dreams', 'Here's A Heart', 'Everly Brothers Medley' and 'Stairway To Heaven - Pinball Wizard'. This was in principle a reasonable idea & a positive event but there were a number of other negative things overall about this CD that leaves sadly a bit of a bad taste (because of this it has taken some time to do this review & to be objective & fair).

The first point was that a pity that DDDBM&T didn't introduce a couple of original numbers or even to record a few of the Howard Blaikley songs that they never did (at the time record) then at least it would have seemed more coherent or cohesive - songs like 'I've Lost You' or 'Stand Up & Be Counted' for example, and given their sound & style some continuity here rather than plundering the song books of others. Well Dave Dee was suffering badly with ill health at the time and any way Universal would have wanted a rushed job & so why not record some of their live numbers quickly & cheaply in the studio - so suppose this point is irrelevant.

Carrying on then a main fault lay with the fact to call the album the 'Very Best Of' when really it was for the umpteenth time just their 'Greatest Hits' again was questionable & annoying. Yes no surprises as their 13 hits are here plus the 3 others (of which each were also a hit in their own right somewhere & have also been presented on many other releases)...with these being the sonic country rock 'Mr President' (the very same synthesizer that was used on ELP's 'Lucky Man'), the fine hard beat of 'Hard To Love You', and an excellent ballad in 'My Woman's Man'.

Further then it would have been preferable that the 13 (or 16) hits were presented in a true chronological order as the tracks would then flow better into each other and also show the development of the band. There is a part of the CD where this does actually happen as 'Don Juan' then 'Snake In The Grass' gels nicely into 'My Woman's Man'. For first time purchasers of DDDBM&T then this CD must seem a great way to start but DDDBM&T did release many other fine tracks that also merited being on a 'Very Best Of'. Just presenting one example here in 'Love Is A Drum', then someone at Universal had to be slightly creative & say provide 6 of the hits but also to embellish with a few tasty discoveries (some of their ballads, psych, hard rock, freak beat, comedy etc tracks). There is unfortunately very little light & shade on this release. So please go & check out their 'Boxed' (4CD) or 'Complete Collection' (2CD) which are both much better releases for musical content.

What else was wrong! Well the accompanying booklet & information was poor as many have already noted. No new info or even old info presented. Also no one will ever believe this but virtually nowhere (on any other LP/CD releases) have any of the lyrics ever been reproduced - why not here & make it something at least a little special. Perhaps they would have had to place a warning explicit lyrics sticker on the front case for 'Bend It'!?! A very minor quibble but the chosen front cover photo could have been in colour, a slightly larger image of the band presented (gets lost in the little CD size format), plus the bottom two line references to song titles removed. So 1 point lost for the presentation & 1 for the chosen track listing & order.

In any case it is pretty essential for fans because of the new recordings (Dave Dee's very final ones) with preferred (of these) being 'This Boy' and 'Stairway To Heaven - Pinball Wizard'. Due to some moderate TV marketing then the album did reach no.24 in the UK album charts (after unfortunately almost 42 years of absence in them) giving Dave Dee a little last reward before his sad passing. Dave was initially very excited to see it go into the charts but was then a little disappointed when it dropped back down so quickly. Looking at how much better some other acts are treated, then with just a little bit of extra love, care & attention one can't help but feel that Universal could have done a much better job for DDDBM&T & their fans.
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on 24 November 2008
I haven't actually seen the liner notes, so can't comment on them, but for me they would be secondary to the many hits on this collection (I have them all elsewhere). This is a great pop collection from a much under-rated group. The sheer variety of hits is amazing, from the beaty, beefy Hold Tight to the wide-screen wonder of Xanadu. They're all there, too, unlike on some of the lesser collections. Whoever's in the group now (and three originals remain) these are the original recordings, and what classics they are!

As to the bonus tracks, well, they will tempt the DDDBMT fans, and are an interesting bunch, though I must say an Everly Brothers compilation is not quite what I would have expected from them. Tackling Stairway to Heaven was brave - but why is Pinball Wizard stuck in the middle? Presumably because Dave Dee couldn't quite match Robert Plant on the middle section. Better to have left it alone, I think.

A few of DBM&T's subsequent singles would have been welcome, but they are available elsewhere for fans, and this concentrates on the hits, and as a hits package can't really be faulted.
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on 4 March 2009
For those of us of a certain age this cd is a real trip down Nostalgia Lane. All my favourite DD, D, B M and T tracks are there and they all sound just like they used to on good old vinyl. So much of the remastered stuff is too bright and modern but this compilation has come up trumps.
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on 28 February 2013
A mixture of hits and covers from one of the lesser 60's bands. If you like the 60's this is one to have in the collection, make a good present.
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on 26 July 2009
All 13 top twenty hits are there ie their entire UK chart career which spanned Dec 1965 - June 1969 and incuded 7 top ten hits, all of which were covers, all written by the songwriting team Howard/Blaikley. Dave and Co were one of the few major Brit bands not to crack America. Howard/Blaikley were the Chapman/Chinn of the era writing many gimmicky rather trashy, cash-in pop hits including 3 for the Herd (Their most remembered song is perhaps the Honeycombs Have I the Right).
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on 17 January 2013
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on 31 October 2013
This is an excellent compilation. It contains virtually all the material most fans would need. I have used this on my radio show many times.
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on 24 October 2008
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich may have not enjoyed the same success as the beatles and all of the other acts the tail end of the 60's spawned but atleast they did get a mention during one of the few scenes from Quentin Tarentino's Grindhouse first half double with Death Proof where "Jungle Julia" who asked a dj to play "Hold tight" is amusingly trying to explain the history and origins of the band and the song which is in pale comparison when the song cuts off as the car they are in is involved with an intended head on collision from Kurt Russel's "Stuntman Mike"'s death proof stunt car.

back to the best of all i can say is that its a decent package containing all of their best hits like "Xanadu", "Hideaway", etc but its a let down since the only thing its booklet represents is no more than a different line up of the band with only two of its original members with no linear notes or any information that does not do them justice.

The bonus recordings of "Here's a heart" is lovley with an added sense of emotion coming from the lead guitar solo while "Pinball wizard" and "Stairway to heaven" are decent attempts but so much more could have been done in making this a ultimate best of.
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on 10 April 2014
This album must be one of the best cd's i've ever bought a really good addition to my collection I would recommend it.
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