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Customer Review

#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERon 7 February 2004
In the early sixties, instrumental hits were a regular feature of the pop charts in Britain and America. There were several great instrumental artists around. America had Duane Eddy, Floyd Cramer, B Bumble and the Stingers and the Ventures, to name a few. Britain had the Shadows and the Tornados. While the Tornados were very successful at the time, most notably with Telstar, the Shadows remained successful for the rest of the century.
The Shadows were also Cliff Richard's backing band and played on most of his hits in the fifties and sixties. Like Cliff, they made little impact in America but any Americans who enjoy the Ventures and Duane Eddy ought to give the Shadows a listen.
This compilation has all their big UK instrumental hits of the sixties and seventies including Apache, Man of mystery, FBI, Wonderful land, Dance on, Foot tapper and Don't cry for me Argentina. They also experimenting by doing a few vocal tracks and some of those are included here, among them being Mary Anne (a UK top ten hit), Don't make my blue, I met a girl, Dreams I dream and Let me be the one (their 1975 Eurovision song – like so many other Brits, they came second). The vocal tracks are good but it is their instrumental skills on which their reputation is built.
Most of their big hits came early in their career. In the eighties and nineties, they gave up worrying about hits and contented themselves with making albums of cover versions. A few covers selected from these albums round off this excellent collection. Among them is Albatross, an early Fleetwood Mac tune that always sounded very like a Shadows track, so it was an obvious tune for them to cover.
The Shadows, like most pop groups, has had its share of line-up changes. Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch , two of the original members, remained with the group throughout. The other two original members, Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, left early on, They teamed up as a duo and had some UK hits of their own including Diamonds. Of the other members that came and went, John Farrar is perhaps the most famous. He joined in 1970 but eventually had to leave because of other commitments – he became producer and songwriter for Olivia Newton John.
If you enjoy guitar instrumental music of the sixties, you'll love the Shadows. This compilation contains all the essentials, though a lot of Shadows music is available on CD for those who wish to explore further.
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