Dr. Feelgood

25 Years Of Dr. Feelgood 1972-1997

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Distilled from the five-CD Looking Back box set, 25 Years is basically everything you want to know about Dr. Feelgood before you take the major step which we all know is inevitable -- discovering everything you need to know about them. 40 tracks pursue the band from start to finish and beyond -- the final rush of cuts includes material from vocalist Lee Brilleaux's last ever live show (the full concert appears on the Down at the Doctors album), together with four more from On the Road Again, the reborn Doctor's first album with new vocalist Pete Gage. It's stirring, sterling stuff throughout. With only the occasional lapse, the Feelgoods quality control never lapsed for more than a song or two, none of which are included. Rather, this is the Feelgoods for perfectionists, the story of what could have been the most righteous firestorm ever to explode out of mid-'70s Britain. It begins with a clutch of songs drawn from the Wilco Johnson heyday, which put the band on the map and made punk rock a reality. No surprises, no shocks, no disappointments -- "Roxette," "She Does It Right," "Back in the Night," "I Can Tell," you can guess the rest. From there, album by album is raised up for inspection, milked of its might and then placed gently down again -- only the self-confessedly dire Classic is given anything resembling short shrift. Only occasionally do you listen to one song and wish another had taken its place. In fact, the only regret in the whole blessed package is that we will never hear their like again. But at least we heard it once.

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