British Invasion: The Essential Album

Various Artists

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British Invasion: The Essential Album Review

by Steve Leggett

While it's difficult to deem an album of British Invasion tracks essential when it has nothing by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Dave Clark Five, or even Herman's Hermits, this collection still has enough gems to make it worth a listen. Songs like the Tremeloes' cover of Cat Stevens' "Here Comes My Baby" and the Honeycombs' "Have I the Right?" are always refreshing to hear, although one has to wonder about including Chris Farlowe's tortured version of "Paint It Black" instead of the much better original by the Rolling Stones. The compilers also seem to extend the so-called Invasion a couple years past what most folks would consider appropriate, with songs like Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" and Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" hailing from 1968, deep into the psychedelic age. Pick this collection up if you just want a brief sampler of the era; otherwise, Rhino's nine-disc set is the closest thing to a complete history.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 The Kinks 02:23 Amazon
2 Manfred Mann 02:24 Amazon
3 The Spencer Davis Group 02:51 Amazon
4 The Tremeloes 03:07 Amazon
5 The Hollies 02:57 Amazon
6 The Zombies 03:33 Amazon
7 Chris Farlowe 02:58 Amazon
8 Gerry & the Pacemakers 02:36 Amazon
9 The Honeycombs 02:57 Amazon
10 Freddie & the Dreamers 02:08 Amazon
11 The Yardbirds 02:28 Amazon
12 The Swinging Blue Jeans 01:45 Amazon
13 Twice as Much 03:10 Amazon
14 The Dakotas / Billy J. Kramer 02:46 Amazon
15 Peter & Gordon 02:39 Amazon
16 Deep Purple 04:24 Amazon
17 Status Quo 03:10 Amazon
18 Small Faces 02:46 Amazon
19 The Hollies 03:09 Amazon
20 Donovan 03:13 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick