With 37 songs (mostly in Italian, though some are in English) spanning 1964-1969 and including many tracks from their Italian 45 releases, this two-CD Italian set is certainly an extensive anthology covering the bulk of the Rokes' career. Whether it's going to find much favor with British Invasion fans -- and the Rokes were a British band, though most of their success was in the Italian market -- is a dubious question. Though it might be a stereotype for non-Italian listeners to find much Italian music too sentimental for their taste, certainly much of this material has melodies, singing, and instrumentation that are sappier and more melodramatic than the classic British Invasion style, even if the basics of their arrangements do often approximate a British Invasion sound. Also, quite a few of the songs are covers of tunes that will be familiar to most international rock fans from their superior British and American hit versions, like the Hollies' "I'm Alive," the Searchers' "When You Walk in the Room," the Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me," the Equals' "Baby Come Back," and the Grass Roots' "Let's Live for Today," though the last of these is actually a Rokes original. Like many British bands, their late-'60s tracks show an increase in sophistication in the instrumentation and orchestration. But this isn't especially recommended to the average '60s rock collector, though the group had a notable place in Italian rock history as an expatriate band that had a lot of success in Italy.
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