When more and more collections of half-hearted beat groups, along with the dregs from the psychdelic and garage archives, keep being unearthed (mores the pity), it makes a pleasant change to find a collection that is more or less 100% quality - the "Doin The Mod" series fits that bill. Whilst the series is now long deleted and all the volumes (with the excpetion of the first one) somewhat difficult to find, anyone with more than a passing interest in mid-60s UK music should definitely try and seek this series out. This series is to the beat and rnb scene what "Rubble" is to the psychedelic sound; that is, the best compilation of it's kind; the tracks are by and large very high quality, most do not feature on other compilations (at least, not to my knowledge!) and the presentation (eg the sound quality and the liner notes) are second to none. All volumes concentrated on the "mod" scene - a mis-used term if ever there was one - but with a slightly different focus in each volume; this one collects the slightly more freakbeat and vaguely psychedelic sounds from this time. As such, it is probably the least "mod" in the five volumes, but this is not a criticism; in fact, this one is probably the best amongst them all. Whilst there are a few relatively "well-known" groups on here (at least, well-known amongst collectors of the obscure), such as The Koobas, The Sorrows and The Riot Squad, the majority of the tracks are by groups and artists who rarely, if ever, feature on compilations. Several previous reviewers have highlighted Michael Leslie's "Make Up or Break Up" as one of the outstanding tracks on the collection; for me, this one is good, but is surpassed by "Some Kind of Lovin" by The Blue Chips (one of the most seriously catchy intros if nothing more), "The First Time I Saw The Sun Shine" by The Time, "Working Man" by The Riot Squad (top class Joe Meek production) and, best of all, Tony Colton's "I've Laid Some Down In My Time". Never heard any of these songs? Then buy this CD!! You need to hear them!
James Harris's review is pretty much spot on. Just a few things to add. You can't really go wrong with any of the CDs in the 'Doin' The Mod' series - they're all great compilations that contain some incredible gems rarely compiled elsewhere. Volume 4 is particularly good with outstanding tracks from David Bowie, The Spectres, The Chapters, The Riot Squad and The Koobas. The main reason for writing about this CD comes down to one phenomenal track ... MAKE UP OR BREAK UP by MICHAEL LESLIE ... it's a total barnstormer! Even if all the other tracks on this CD were duff (which they're certainly not), I would still pay a substantial amount to get my grubby paws on this one track. The first couple of seconds could fool you into thinking it was the beginning strains of The Troggs' 'Wild Thing' but then at 09 seconds a depth charge of bass,drums and hi-hat kick this thing into action. Underneath, it could be a conventional 50s style heartbreak pop song with pleasing key changes and harmonies but thankfully it's been hijacked by Mr Freakbeat and his pals, Messrs. Fuzz, Echo and Distortion. There's even a kazoo solo that seems to be mocking the backing "Ooooohhs". Thanks to this CD, I've had this track for about ten years and there are absolutely no signs I will ever get bored of it. Buy with confidence and an expectant grin on your face.
Absolute blinder of a comp this one,taking a little shift in style from the previous volumes.The first two feature mostly hammond organ mod soul,while the 3rd begins to get into R n B territory a la The Primitives,The Sorrows etc. This one is full of very melodic freakbeat tunes one after the other,it hardly lets up for a moment. A lot of tunes on here not on other comps either. Wont go on too much because there are some spot on reviews below but would just like to add that if you're a fan of UK 60s compilations like Rubble then you will absolutely go nuts over this one.I cant think of too many comps that have this many good tunes all in one place.
What can I say...Don't allow your record collection to go without this compilation! Part 4 of this consistently high-quality series has gone against the norm by actually being as good - if not better than the previous 3. I have been a keen fan of the '60's Mod scene for years, but every tune on this album was a pleasant surprise - it's like discovering a whole new scene all over again. If ever there was a musical embodiment of Pop Art, 'Doin The Mod Vol. 4' is it - taking the classic '60's R&B sound of early Mod and shaking it up into the multi-coloured, exciting energy of Freakbeat, Power Pop and up-beat proto-Psychedelia. The series' amazing ability to avoid the usual 'Sixties compilation-fodder (except one albeit obscure Kinks number)should make this worthwile for even the most die-hard Modernist. And it's worth the price alone just to hear David Bowie in his little-known Mod phase, plus an early incarnation of Status Quo that will astound you! In fact, I'm off to see if Amazon has any 'Spectres' albums right now!
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