The Sir Douglas Quintet

The Best of the Sir Douglas Quintet [Takoma]

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The new wave craze of the early '80s put some journalists and producers on the trail of Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet, coinciding with a decision by Takoma to release both old and new material by the group. While this label is not really known for its reissue compilations, it has come up with a series of them in a variety of genres and these productions are usually first-rate. This is no exception, so for once a greatest-hits set devoted to a '60s rock act presents a fairly good picture of what the group's music was all about. Perhaps the good-natured diversity of Sahm's art would allow this to happen in any case, yet this still seems like an especially thoughtful collection of Sir Douglas Quintet tracks off several different early Smash albums. The songs have a really moving flow to them, no easy thing considering that the material is taken from various well-assembled complete albums and skips all over the place from country to Cajun to R&B to strange psychedelic experiments. The hits are here, beginning with "Mendocino," moving through "She's About a Mover," and including songs that will be personal hits for all fans of this band, and really had the potential to be much bigger hits, such as the marvelous "Dynamite Woman." This album is superior to other Sir Douglas Quintet releases that go under the "best-of" moniker, so watch out, look for the psychedelic day-glo blue lettering across the front; the consumer will know it is the right album if a headache kicks in after three minutes of staring at the cover.

blue highlight denotes track pick