Or "the great lost Groovies album," filling some holes in the group's discography. 16 Tunes combines the contents of the EPs Grease, Supergrease, and The Gold Star Sessions on one disc. The sound isn't ideal, due to the fact that much of the material was outtakes and demos, and because Skydog never had ideal sources. Still, these are the Groovies in their prime years, and their energy and enthusiasm compensate for a multitude of technical flaws. The best songs include "River Deep Mountain High," "And Your Bird Can Sing," "She Don't Care About Time," "Feel a Whole Lot Better," "Do I Love You" (maybe the best song here, as well as the most improbable number for the group), "Sweet Little Rock 'n Roller," "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (based on the seldom-seen 1968 video of the song, not the single), "Paint It Black," the Groovies' own "Slow Death," and their original version of "Shake Some Action," which sounds a lot darker than the familiar Sire version. A few of these tracks are available elsewhere, but most of them aren't -- all of it is either live in the studio with un-retouched vocals or genuine concert recordings. "Sweet Little Rock 'n Roller" may come the closest to emulating Chuck Berry's sound by any white band; the originals hold their own and then some in this company. The notes are in French and Japanese.
16 Tunes Review
by Bruce Eder