Various Artists

Rare 60's Beat Treasures, Vol. 6

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The next to last volume of this seven-part series of British '60s rock obscurities expands the focus from mid-'60s British Invasion music to also include late-'60s U.K. hard rock and psychedelia. Not that you'd necessarily know this from glancing at the packaging, which like all installments has virtually nothing in the way of annotation, and lacks original year of release dates. Still, for those staunch souls who have stuck through this whole series, it does at least offer a change of pace from the usual fare it contains, though like the other volumes, this is pretty mediocre or generic British '60s rock music for the most part. Some of the later-vintage sides almost sound like (but aren't as good as) the Guess Who, though oddly some earlier Merseyeat/R&B-indebted songs are mixed in too. Big Boy Pete's "Cold Turkey" is off the wall excellent freakbeat that's easily the best thing on the CD, but really, will there be many collectors likely to get this series in the first place who won't already have it on other rarity-oriented anthologies? As for the oddities with connections to bigger and better names, there are a couple tracks by sometime Them producer/songwriter Tommy Scott, one of them a predictably inferior version of the Them classic "I Can Only Give You Everything" (which, admittedly, he did co-write); the other, "Boy Cry," is actually one of the better songs, though nothing to get excited about. Elsewhere, Fruit Machine does not-bad moody psychedelia edging toward progressive rock on "I'm Alone Today," and Mike Proctor a snide British psych-pop character study with "Mr. Commuter." But really, this is an anthology for the completist's completist as far as 1960s British rock goes.

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