Various Artists

The Rubble Collection, Vol. 1-10

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Originally appearing on LP from the Bam Caruso label in the 1980s, and then on CD on the Past & Present imprint in 2003, these first ten volumes (boxed) in the Rubble Collection were conceived and collected by Phil Smee. For fans of the Nuggets series, both the two American volumes and the British Nuggets, you won't find a lot of overlap. The Nuggets comps were and are for people who want what was at least the stuff of legend, if not readily available. The collection here digs deep and are, for the most part, flawless in what they present. This set, and its companion volumes 11-20 (a separate box), are very different creatures. For starters, they dig a lot deeper into the hopelessly obscure 45s and tapes of Brit psychedelia, freakbeat, Mod, and pop. For every cut by Sharon Tandy & les Fleur de Lys, the Glass Menagerie, Pretty Things, and Flying Machine and the Clique, there is at least one to match from acts like Peter & the Blizzards, Skip Bifferty, Life 'N' Soul, and Factotums. You're getting the idea. This is for the listener who wants to dig down and get virtually everything. There are some things missing here (the second box picked up a lot of that slack), and like other series' that go down into the underbelly of the '60s, some of what's here is drek. But there are real gems, too -- ,check out the Sharon Tandy cuts like "Hold On," on disc nine, or the Velvett Fogg's "Lady Caroline," on disc ten, or Fairytale's "Lovely People" that kicks off volume six. Then there's the completely cracked and whacked, such as Dragonfly's "Celestial Empire," Orange Seaweed's "Pictures in the Sky," and Focus Three's "10,000 Years Behind My Mind." In addition to these ten handsome volumes in a single fold-in case, there is a 93-page booklet completely annotating tracks and offering discographies for artists who actually had them. In 2007, Fallout in the U.K. reissued this box again, in a limited numbered (on the bottom) limited license, limited edition of 1000 copies at a more reasonable price than the previous version.

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