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Life before Justin H and John L
on 9 June 2009
With future Wings man Denny Laine on guitar and lead vocals and the late Clint Warwick on bass, the first incarnation of MBs were a part of the first British blues boom. Though not as effective as the Stones, Animals, etc, they were clearly one of the most musically proficient bands of the era. By the time they made this album (1965/6), most of the band were in their mid-twenties and had done their bit around Hamburg.
Most of these recordings seem to utilise Mike Pinder's piano as the focal point, especially their sole major hit, 'Go Now'. There are a handful of Laine/Pinder songs on the album, plus several more among the fourteen bonus tracks culled from single releases. While the album is quite strong, especially 'I'll Go Crazy', 'I Don't Mind', 'Let Me Go' and 'Go Now', the bonus tracks are mostly bland. It isn't hard to see why they needed a makeover. What isn't in doubt is the quality of the recordings or the band's performances. Worth a listen if you like the genre.