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Out of the Shadows
on 10 October 2013
Originally released in 1991, this expanded edition boasts considerable extra value - over 30 mono tracks available on CD for the first time as well as a number of stereo tracks previously only available in mono, such as FBI (whose stereo master tape was only rediscovered in 2008).
Containing everything recorded by the group during 1959 - 1966, this means that all of the big hits are present and correct - Apache, Man of Mystery, FBI, Wonderful Land, Dance On, Foot Tapper, Atlantis, amongst many others.
But the major joy of this release is coming across less well-known gems. With 185 tracks across 6 CDs there's plenty to discover - some of their later recordings, such as A Place in the Sun and The Dreams I Dream were new to me and they are quality recordings which show the group in a slightly different light.
The CD comes with a well-illustrated booklet which contains an extensive essay by John Tobler from the original release in 1991. This is then followed by an addendum which lists the additions to the 2013 re-issue. There are also full track credits, which list exactly where each track was sourced from - single, album, ep, etc.
Retailing at around the £12.00 mark for 6 CDs, this is incredible value for money. Housed in a jewel case, it isn't the most lavish looking product from the outside (and the front cover doesn't do it much favours, as it looks rather like a public domain title) but it's the content inside that's important, and The Shadows - The Early Years is a quality package containing everything recorded during the peak years of one the UK's most influential groups.