The Arrows

A's, B's and Rarities

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The Arrows were a one-hit wonder who never had a hit (except in the U.K. where a couple of their singles reached the top 30). Explanation: they wrote and recorded the original version of "I Love Rock n' Roll" but while their version did nothing on the charts (as it was relegated to a B-side), Joan Jett's cover blew up and became a rock standard. The Arrows' original version is included on the 2004 collection A's, B's and Rarities which rounds up their seven singles recorded for Mickie Most's RAK label between 1974-1976. Along with "I Love Rock n' Roll" (which, incidentally, pales beside Joan Jett's incendiary cover), there are some good glammy pop singles here: "Touch Too Much" is a fine Chinn & Chapman rocker; "We Can Make It Together" is a sweet-sounding '60s-style love song; "My World Is Turning On Love" is a hooky slice of rock balladry. For the most part, though, the band is too tame sounding and polite to really make much of an impression; this is thanks both to Most's surprisingly sterile production and the band's sometimes lackluster performances. What this disc has that previous Arrows collections have lacked are some rediscovered rarities, like their version of Johnny Burnette's '60s hit "Dreamin'," their own take on the same tune (which added new lyrics and a vocal melody to the same musical track) called "Bam Bam Battering Ram," and a moody rocker, "Wake Up." None of these are particularly interesting, but they are like solid gold when compared to the other exclusive material. Arrow Alan Merrill went into the studio in 2004 to re-create some Arrows songs that were recorded for their TV series and went missing (the tapes did anyway). The five songs that came out of those sessions are not up to the standards of the Arrows' '70s work and while the tracks may appeal to a hardcore Arrows fan, they really have no place on this collection. It would have made more sense to dig up some album tracks to fill out the disc, or better yet, just leave it at 15 songs. Still, the damage is done, and what you are left with is a collection that is inferior to The Singles Collection Plus, which came out on 7T's in 2002 and presents a much more complete picture of the group..

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