Ola & the Janglers


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This 28-track compilation serves as a good best-of to this Swedish band, emphasizing singles, but also including some LP-only tracks and one ("My Mean Memory") from a 1966 flexidisc. Its appeal might be somewhat limited to listeners outside of Sweden, even those who specialize in '60s rock, as like numerous Continental bands, they were pretty derivative of British and American rock trends. Even stacked up against other long-lived Swedish bands of the era, such as Tages, they don't stand up as among the best, or certainly among the more original. Still, for the most part, they have an enjoyably competent period sound, more influenced by the moody, keyboard-driven sound of the Zombies (whose "She's Not There" they covered) than many groups were. The 1966 single "Love Was on Your Mind," probably the best of their original songs (most of which were written by Claes af Geijerstam), is also one of the best Zombies' soundalikes recorded anywhere, though it goes into a weird left-turn raveup (and then back again) partway through the track. "Today Is the Day" is almost as good of a Zombies-influenced tune, taking its cue from the Zombies more upbeat harmony-oriented numbers. There are too many non-notable covers of American rock and soul hits, but even some of these have bashing energy that make them a little better than you'd expect, including their late-'60s revival of Chris Montez's "Let's Dance," which actually made the American Top Hundred. Other tracks testify to the group's lack of consistent identity, with some strong traces of the Kinks, soul, and bubblegum, according to what they were into at the moment.