15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: You Heard Them Here First (Audio CD)
Apart from the music itself, two things are of tremendous interest to many music fans. One is the age old question "whatever happened to...". The other is "what were they like before they were famous?". If the latter question intrigues you, then you will certainly be interested in this rather excellent new CD from Ace. Within it you will find 24 early cuts by the likes of David Bowie, Neil Young , The Byrds and Gram Parsons, to mention just four of the pre-fame performers whose performances it contains.
So who else is on board? No marks for spotting the likes of JJ Cale, Arthur Lee, Long John Baldry, and Marty Balin (Jefferson Airplane), as they retained the same stage name they started out with. And you could easily guess the `real' identity of both Lewis Reed and Cherilyn. However, much harder to identify are Neil Young, Crazy Horse, Warren Zevon, Ry Cooder, Taj Mahal, The Band, Lenny Kaye and Lee Hazlewood. Or perhaps I should say The Mynah Birds, The Rockets, Lyme & Cybelle, The Rising Sons (twice), The Hawks, Link Cromwell and Mark Robinson respectively. For these are indeed they.
And what about the music? In a word, fascinating! While it is relatively easy to see the roots of what they would later become in the early work of The Byrds (as The Beefeaters), Gram Parsons (International Submarine Band), and Joe Cocker (as himself), many others needed to carry out a quite significant reinvention of themselves before finding fame, fortune and breakthrough success. So, here we have the younger Marty Balin as a teen idol! Bill Medley (pre Righteous Brothers) doing a very decent Coasters-type impression in The Paramours. And what price the high speed garage punk of The Pigeons? Almost unrecognisable as an early incarnation of the very serious, and very heavy, Vanilla Fudge.
Serious collectors fork out enormous amounts of money for original pressings of these amazing recordings. Good luck to them. However if your primary interest is in conducting your own small scale archaeological dig into the pre-history of some of rock's most famous performers, as well as enjoying some excellent - and varied - music, you can't go wrong here. Great sound quality. Excellent sleeve notes. In fact a typical high quality Ace production in every respect. And hopefully with more to follow.