The Easybeats

The Very Best of the Easybeats

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Several Easybeats best-of compilations prefaced the appearance of this one, including a mid-'80s Rhino anthology, Best of the Easybeats, which had a track lineup (and title) similar to this 2003 release. Like that Rhino compilation, although this does a decent job overall of gathering the best material by the Easybeats that was widely exposed to the U.S./U.K. markets, it's not an optimal survey of their work. Its main flaw is the nearly total absence of pre-"Friday on My Mind" mid-'60s tracks recorded primarily for the Australian market -- tracks that included some of their best and most exciting singles, like "Wedding Ring," "Sad & Lonely & Blue," and "She's So Fine." The 18 tracks on this CD, however, are generally high-quality pop/rock with a big British Invasion influence, whether of the rowdy mid-'60s kind or of the slightly later pop-psychedelic sort. While "Friday on My Mind" might remain the only track here familiar to the average listener, it does include their smaller British hit "Hello, How Are You"; the big 1966 Aussie hits "Sorry" and "Make You Feel Alright (Women)"; good flops like "Gonna Have a Good Time (Good Times)"; and standout B-sides like "Pretty Girl" and "Land of Make Believe." As a small but praiseworthy perk, this also has the American versions of their cult singles "Falling Off the Edge of the World" (that one in mono), "Come In, You'll Get Pneumonia," and "Hello, How Are You," which are actually preferable to the more elaborate, heavily orchestrated different ones that circulate on other releases. Also on board is the "fast" European single version of "The Music Goes Round My Head," which wasn't one of their best songs, but whose availability should make some people happy.

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