Ro-d-y-s

Complete Collection [Bonus Tracks]

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All 38 songs released by the Ro-d-ys on their singles and LPs are on this comprehensive two-CD set, which adds four tracks from 1969-1970 by the spin-off band Zen, a couple from 1973 by Harley Jay (another group with Ro-d-ys singer/songwriter Harry Rijnbergen), and a couple Rijnbergen solo tracks with a 2003 date. It's a little hard to know what to make of the Ro-d-ys, as they tried out so many different styles that they didn't have much of a signature sound. Something like "Take Her Home" isn't far off the Spencer Davis Group, but the 1966-1967 singles on either side of that 45 release were somewhat foppish midtempo mod-pop tunes with a "doin' my thing" bounce. Rijnbergen's voice and viewpoints can slightly recall British songwriters like Ray Davies, and the odd tempo changes and twists in the songs can recall some of the work of bands like the 1967-1968-era Kinks, but without anything close to their flair for melodies, cogent lyrical insight, and hooks. Some of the outsider lyrical stances resemble those of another Dutch band of the period, the Zipps, with more fluency in English but less eccentricity. Some freakier psychedelic influences and more mainstream soul-pop make their presence felt too, and sometimes the arrangements take on a faint Continental folk flavor. It's far more quirky than it is great, without particularly outstanding songs, though aficionados of '60s Eurobeat will find some rewards. Most of the Zen/Harley Jay tracks go in a slightly more progressive/hard rock direction, including a good version of the folk standard "Wayfaring Stranger" and the very early-'70s Pink Floyd-ish "Let Me Try to Cry" (both by Zen) and "Lifetime" by Harley Jay, which likewise recalls early-'70s Pink Floyd at their more song-oriented. The two Rijnbergen solo tracks have a far more modern rock sound. Incidentally, while there's no faulting the thoroughness of this compilation, it might have been a better listen had the tracks been sequenced chronologically; instead, all of the A-sides and B-sides are chronologically sequenced on discs one and two respectively, followed by album and spin-off tracks.

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