How Britain Got The Blues Vol 4 (How Mods Got The Blues)
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England. 1960. A new decade has dawned, but parents are breathing a sigh of relief as normality is restored. Only a few years ago, teenage menace had arrived on the back of Bill Haley and Elvis Presley. Cinemas were smashed, and juvenile delinquency soared, but now the flames of a rock n roll revolution have been quelled. Buddy Holly is dead. Elvis has been tamed by the army and is singing ballads. Chuck Berry is in jail. Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard have gone showbiz. Record sales are starting to fall as teenagers grow bored. Small cliques, usually art student types, are demanding something more exclusive. Skiffle comes and goes, replaced by trad jazz, then folk. The music scene seems tame in comparison to the late 50 s and something pretty spectacular is needed. In 1962, four working class lads from Liverpool blow things wide open. Playing a mixture of rock n roll and R&B, they give British youth something to think about. Ian Sammy Samwell is first to play Love Me Do. Sammy is spinning discs at the Lyceum in London with a playlist of mainly imported American R&B. He is soon joined behind the decks by Jeff Dexter and between them they turn the Lyceum on the Strand into the first bona fide club for the emerging mod scene. Here are some of those seminal records lovingly collected, together with notes by Smiler Anderson.
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So whilst you get plenty of Ray Charles, James Brown, Mose Allison etc. along with Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Slim Harpo, the unique angle here is that all of these songs have later been covered by British Mod/Rhythm and Blues acts from The Yardbirds, The Kinks, The Who, The Action and The Small Faces to Georgie Fame (Eso Beso), Zoot Money (One Mint Julep), Chris Farlowe (Lipstick Traces), Alexis Korner (Kansas City) and John Mayall (Mess Around). So if you like The Who's recording of `I Don't Mind' on the My Generation album, you can listen to the earlier James Brown recording here. And that's not all - the `jewel in the crown' to this release is the wonderful 24-page glossy colour booklet that accompanies the CDs. First of all there is a comprehensive listing of the dates of the recordings, the artists, the UK release date and catalogue number plus a selected list of British artists who covered each song.
Secondly we have the pleasure of 3,000 words from current premier Mod author, Paul `Smiler' Anderson (who has his eagerly anticipated book, `Mods: The New Religion', scheduled for release in April 2014) who focuses on the 1962 to 1964 period of Mod where R&B usurped Modern Jazz as the music of choice on the scene before being itself overtaken by the more danceable and commercial sound of US soul.Read more ›
However, having said that I can't imagine any mods that I knew listening to Paul Anka singing "Eso beso"! There are some true classics here though, including Arthur Alexander's "You Better Move On", "Looking Back" by Johnny Guitar Watson and Otis Blackwell's "Daddy Rollin' Stone".
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Also check out the similar 6 volume Beatles Beginnings sets, the 2 volume Rolling Stones Beginnings sets and the one CD Beginning Kinks and Beginning Who sets, all excellent additions to your music collection with rarities and surprising discoveries galore.