Question: Is it worth buying yet another reissue featuring Chris Farlowe's "Out of Time," or the Twice as Much's version of "Sitting on a Fence," two of the most heavily anthologized covers of Rolling Stones songs in existence? The answer, at least insofar as this 24-track CD, is a resounding "Yes!" In keeping with other releases from Connoisseur, the producers have opted to license both classic and recent interpretations of the songs in question -- so Farlowe and company are here, but so is a lot else that one doesn't hear, or even hear about much, in a dazzling mix of styles and eras. There's something refreshing, even bracing, about punkers like the Mekons appearing on the same CD with Melanie in her folkie period, and psych-punk revivalists Naked Prey rubbing shoulders with Cassell Webb (whose version of "Tell Me" sounds like Melanie impersonating Enya). The range of styles is all over the map, which makes this CD a virtual cornucopia of pop/rock excellence, interspersed with a lot of material that would otherwise be lost, and deserved better -- witness the Inmates' rendition of "So Much in Love" (a song that charted for the Mighty Avengers, who are represented here by their percussion-laden version of "Sleepy City," in 1965), which is not only a killer record but anticipates their live album of Beatles covers; and George Bean's British beat era version of "Will You Be My Lover Tonight." Of course, Otis Redding's version of "Satisfaction" dominates the collection, but most everything else here (except the Searchers' version of "Take It or Leave It") holds its own. The mastering is excellent, even on the material out of the Immediate Records vaults (Farlowe, the Twice as Much). The notes by "Jimmy Phelge" are a little sketchy but entertaining.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder