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The British Invasion - The History Of British Rock Vol. 2 (1988)

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The British Invasion - The History Of British Rock Vol. 2 (1988)

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1. All Day and All of the Night - The Kinks
2. Do Wah Diddy Diddy - Manfred Mann, Manfred Mann
3. To Know You Is to Love You - Peter & Gordon
4. I'll Keep You Satisfied - Billy J. Kramer
5. I Like It - Gerry & the Pacemakers
6. Summer Song - Chad & Jeremy
7. Good Golly Miss Molly - The Swinging Blue Jeans
8. Bad Time - The Roulettes
9. Don't Throw Your Love Away - The Searchers
10. Catch the Wind - Donovan
11. Poor Man's Son - The Rockin' Berries
12. Heart Full of Soul - The Yardbirds
13. You're My World - Cilla Black
14. I Don't Want to See You Again - Peter & Gordon
15. That's Why I'm Crying - The Ivy League
16. I'm Alive - The Hollies, The Hollies
17. You Were Made for Me - Freddie & the Dreamers
18. Tell Her No - The Zombies
19. I'll Be There - Gerry & the Pacemakers
20. I Love You - The Zombies 

 

The second volume of British Invasion: History of British Rock largely concentrates on singles from 1965, containing such landmarks as the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night," aManfred Mann's "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," Donovan's "Catch the Wind," the Yardbirds' "Heart Full of Soul" and the Zombies' "Tell Her No," as well as cuts from Billy J. Kramer ("I'll Keep You Satisfied"), Chad & Jeremy ("Summer Song"), the Hollies ("I'm Alive"), Peter & Gordon ("I Don't Want to See You Anymore," "To Know You Is to Love You") and Cilla Black ("You're My World"). Although it doesn't match the consistent peaks of the thrill-packed first volume, there's enough great hits and interesting obscurities to make it of considerable interest to serious pop-rock fans, even if there may be a bit too many mediocre cuts to appeal to more casual listeners. ---Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

 

Like every other kid in 1964-'65, I was quite caught up in Beatlemania and the "British Invasion" in general. The fact that I thought a novelty act like Freddie and the Dreamers were pretty cool tells you something about where my 11 year old head was at. How was I to know that they were just recycling silly old(e) English music hall motifs and melodies? They were British, and that was cache enough. And "doing the Freddie" was absurd enough to appeal to my pre-adolescent sensibility. Novelty songs were pretty big back then, and little kids DO love novelty. The Dreamers number here though ("You Were Made For Me") isn't nearly as fun, and at my advanced age now, actually a bit irritating.

I also rather liked Gerry and the Pacemakers, although primarily because they weren't as huge as the Beatles so I could sort of claim them (briefly) as "my" group. Gerry Marsden had a very pleasant singing voice and a nice way with a ballad. Of the two selections included on this release, "I'll Be There" still seems to hold up nicely. I used to LOVE "I Like It" as a kid, which has me scratching my head nowadays. It's actually pretty much a novelty track--a cut or two above Freddie maybe, but fluff to be sure. Funnily enough, I DID think Manfred Mann's "Doo Wah Diddy" was kinda dumb when I first heard it: I'd still call it a novelty tune, but a relatively solid one. And of course Mann went on to achieve a certain amount of acclaim for the Earth Band and Ch. 3.

So this is like a walk down Memory Lane for me, BUT it's important to remember that the music was growing up as fast as my tastes were. Within a few years, it was clear to me that the real good stuff was being produced by bands like the Kinks, the Zombies and the Yardbirds. You can hear something of the growing musical and lyrical sophistication in their tracks on this record. Even in "All Day and All of the Night's" rawness and deliberately simplified lyrics you could sense the keen intelligence of the Davies Bros. And those experimental edges around the Yardbirds' "Heart Full of Soul"? They were up to something there,if you had the ears to hear it.

Of course, a lot of pop from both sides of Atlantic was still just that, pop ballads that were good, bad or indifferent--but seldom innovative. They had their place too, though, Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, Cilla Black. I'm surprised at the relative schlockiness of some of the arrangements on these tunes. I remembered them as being much more sophisticated. Now they sound more like BAD Phil Spector. But they also served, and it's not inappropriate to include them in this kind of collection. Just as it's not inappropriate to throw in Donovan's answer to American folk rock, "Catch the Wind." Donovan, it turned out, wasn't quite Britain's answer to Bob Dylan, but he contributed a few lovely tunes a few jazzy ones over the years. And he anticipated the coming of a spate of Brit folk acts (John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Pentangle, Fairport) that would never be lumped in with early "British Invaders," but who benefitted from the international acceptance those earlier bands achieved.

Lots of good stuff on this Rhino collection. And what isn't good is at least historically significant. Not surprising that the heaviest hitters aren't included (and all to the good too: the Beatles would overshadow everyone else here, just like they did on the radio back in the day). ---Gregor von Kallahann, amazon.com

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