Bobby & Laurie

Bobby & Laurie

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Divided about equally between good original material and (for the era) surprisingly obscure and imaginatively chosen covers, Bobby & Laurie's debut LP was one of the best early British Invasion-style albums not to actually come out of Britain. While a gutsier Peter & Gordon might serve as a rough point of comparison, actually this duo had more of a full band sound, as well as a greater affinity with rootsier country and R&B influences. "Judy Green" is certainly one of the best Merseybeat-style tracks from outside of the U.K., but "Lucky Me" and "I Belong with You" aren't far behind in that department. If not exactly R&B rave-ups, "She Don't Know" and "It Ain't Fair" show they could rock in a convincing tougher style. A few other numbers hint at their future country direction, but even one of those, "I Won't Be Back," benefits from a spooky organ that never would have made it onto a Nashville record. Surely they must have been paying close attention to records coming out of the U.K. to cull for cover material that weren't exactly obvious choices, doing a good version of Heinz's "I'm Not a Bad Guy" and, more impressively, the Mojos' B-side "Give Your Lovin' to Me" (here retitled "Give All Your Lovin' to Me"), which they utterly outclass with a far tougher interpretation. The original Australian LP is quite hard to find, and though all the tracks are on the Australian CD compilation I Belong with You, that disc itself isn't too easy to locate for non-Australians.