Various Artists

English Freakbeat, Vol. 3

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An LP by this title came out in 1989, but the 25-track CD version can almost be considered an entirely separate release, as it drops four tracks from the vinyl version and adds 13 new ones. This is mid-level mid-'60s British rock for the collector, with the occasional surprise: the protest folk-rock of the Mockingbirds' "One By One" (featuring Graham Gouldman), the weird cover of "Surf City" by the Raving Savages (Screaming Lord Sutch's backup band, with Ritchie Blackmore and Nicky Hopkins), and Bryan & the Brunelles' Zombies soundalike "Jacqueline." The biggest surprise, however, will bring this to the attention of listeners who don't collect these kinds of compilations: there are three 1963 demos by the Ravens, a pre-Kinks group led by Dave Davies. Actually, it sounds suspiciously like Ray Davies is singing on these tracks, liner notes to the contrary. It's bound to create excitement, and controversy about their actual origin, among Kinks collectors, but in any case, "I'm a Hog for You Baby" is a respectable R&B cover, "I Believed You" a poppy number in the spirit of the Kinks' two pre-"You Really Got Me" singles, and "This I Know" a more introspective, folky tune that (like "I Believed You") certainly sounds like an unreleased Ray Davies composition.

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