Various Artists

British Invasion All-Stars

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This self-titled debut album by the British Invasion All-Stars was released in 2002, but if you didn't know better, you might assume that it was recorded in the mid- to late '60s. That's because their music is a celebration of '60s British Invasion rock, and all of them know a lot about that subject -- they were members of bands like the Yardbirds, Procol Harum, and the Nashville Teens. All of the material sounds dated, and that is true of new songs (including the moody "Heavy Weather") as well as covers of '60s hits like the Yardbirds' "Shapes of Things," the Who's "Shakin' All Over," and Booker T. & the M.G.'s "Green Onions" (which ends up with a British blues-rock outlook rather than a Stax/Volt outlook). Even the production sounds dated; if producer/arranger Mike Ober wanted to make this CD as '60s-sounding as possible, he accomplished his goal. But dated isn't necessarily a bad thing if you are a die-hard fan of a particular era; in fact, it can actually be a plus. And for fans of '60s British Invasion rock, this release is dated in a good sense -- dated as in being an enjoyable celebration of an era that gave fans great bands like the Beatles, the Yardbirds, the Zombies, the Who, and the Kinks. The British Invasion All-Stars' performances fall short of mind-blowing; none of their covers are superior to the original versions. But the album is generally decent, and it is worth hearing if you are a serious admirer of '60s rock.

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