Various Artists

Soma Records Story, Vol. 1

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This series at first gives off the appearance of being the audiophile vinyl version of Simitar's Soma box set, but a closer look at the track listings reveals there's much more of a collector's perspective at work here, if such a notion is possible. Only two of the label's big hits ("Liar Liar," "Run Run Run") are aboard any of the three volumes in the series although many of the more obscure bands on the CD set show up as regular players on the Beat Rocket compilations. Amazingly, all the music contained in the series is first rate, every bit as good as the hits and sometimes, even more interesting. Volume one is Shake It For Me, 16 loud'n'snotty ones from the Deacons' "Empty Heart," Dudley & The Do-Rights' "U.F.O.," the Castaways' "Goodbye Babe" and "Sam," the High Spirits' tuneless and ineptly executed "Tossin' & Turnin'," Sir Winston and the Commons' "We're Gonna Love," The Boys Next Door's "Suddenly She Was Gone," the Chancellors' "Yo Yo" and previously unissued stab at "Charlie Brown," all the way to the Underbeats' version of the title track. A lot of great, hidden music proving that there's more than one way to do a label retrospective.