The Primitives

Bombshell: The Hits & More

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For the first few years of their existence, the Primitives had to weather an endless stream of comparisons to Blondie, even though all the two groups had in common was a devotion to pure pop songcraft and way-cute peroxide-headed lead singers (in the Primitives' case, the adorable and euphoniously named Tracy Tracey). In reality, the Primitives were like the Buzzcocks by way of the Jesus and Mary Chain, with a heavy dose of the Archies as well. Guitarist Paul Court's songs were terrifically catchy, and as this well-chosen hits selection (heavy on their terrific first two albums, justifiably light on the disappointing third) shows the group's surprising versatility, from the full-on buzzsaw pop of "Stop Killing Me" to the winsome, plaintive "Don't Want Anything to Change." As a bonus, this set adds noisy lo-fi demos of their twin pinnacles "Secrets" and "Crash" and a dose of B-sides, including a lovely version of Marianne Faithfull's arrangement of the Rolling Stones' "As Tears Go By."

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