Peter & Gordon

A World Without Love/I Don't Want to See You Again

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These two LPs combined on one CD (with one bonus track) show off the duo's strong and weak points at once. Peter & Gordon did good Beatlesque songs, although they couldn't really compete with the real article without the occasional outside song like "A World Without Love" or "I Go to Pieces" coming their way. And they did all right, if not exceptionally well by folk-style numbers such as "Pretty Mary" and "Willow Garden," on which they compare favorably with the Everly Brothers. But when they do blues ("My Babe," "Trouble in Mind"), they sound plain silly, and pretty lightweight when they cover songs like "Lucille" as well. Additionally, they do the occasional over-orchestrated number that breaks the spell altogether. Basically, they couldn't make up their minds whether they wanted to be the acoustic duo following the footsteps of the Beatles, the mid-'60s answer to the Everly Brothers, or the successors to the Springfields (without anything resembling Dusty's big voice).

At its best, their stuff made for pleasant memories on the radio, but more typically it was pretty predictable pop/rock, with guitar solos that varied not a sixteenth note from what one expected to hear. That said, this 23-song set is not bad music, it's just not terribly important music; P&G were far bigger and more successful in America (where being British was a valuable commodity right into the end of 1965) than England. The sound on this collection is good, with crisp stereo separation on the tracks and finely delineated playing. The notes are good, if not exceptional.

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