Various Artists

Up the Junction: 60 Original 1960's British Classics

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The fame of the British Invasion in pop music of the 1960s may foster the illusion that every long-haired follower of the Beatles from England found equal popularity stateside and at home. But while the rate of success for U.K. performers in the U.S. in the '60s was remarkable, there were many performers who did less well in America and some who had trouble getting across the Atlantic at all. This 60-track collection, the first disc in a three-CD set put out by the Dutch Disky label, named for a 1967 British film and licensed primarily from the vaults of EMI, presents plenty of hits. All but seven reached the Top Ten of the Record Retailer/Music Week chart between 1960 and 1969. Twenty-four of the 60 hit number one in England. Many were also hits in the U.S. American listeners will recognize such tracks as the Animals' "The House of the Rising Sun," Freddie & the Dreamers' "I'm Telling You Now," and Manfred Mann's "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," all of which topped the Billboard Hot 100, and another 30 reached that chart, 25 of them getting into the Top 40. That means, however, that 27 tracks out of 60 are likely to be unfamiliar to American listeners. The Move's chart-topping "Blackberry Way" will not get a smile of recognition, nor will the Shadows' equally successful "Wonderful Land." The collection makes no pretense of comprehensiveness; it's just a randomly sequenced bunch of British beat group hits of the '60s, lacking big names like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (though songs written by members of those bands are included). But that doesn't mean it isn't a lot of fun to listen to, especially for those who were in swinging London at the time.

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