Launched in the mid-'70s, Polydor's Flashback series was one of the first major-label archive series to be aimed purely at the record collector, at least in the U.K. Whereas plenty of other labels were mining their back catalogs for compilations, their eyes were most firmly on the hits collections. Polydor took the opposite tack -- hits were almost an irrelevance, and so the label churned out budget-priced best-ofs for a host of half-forgotten talents. Not that their timing was completely haphazard. The Pink Fairies volume arrived within months of a New Musical Express article on psychedelia, within which the band's first single, the non-LP "The Snake," was revealed as a very pricey artifact indeed. And now, here it was on Flashback, luring in even those fans who'd already picked up the band's original three albums, and then thrilling them even further with the inclusion of "Well, Well, Well," the one and only release by the band's short-lived union with former Junior's Eyes guitarist Mick Wayne. The remainder of the album, of course, stuck to those long-players, serving up four generally well-chosen tracks from the band's debut, followed by three apiece from its successors. One can, of course, argue endlessly over whether the resultant brew truly represents the Pink Fairies in their pomp -- there's no room for their incendiary demolition of "Walk, Don't Run," while "Uncle Harry's Last Freakout" is sorely missed as well. But Larry Wallis' "City Kids" anthem is revived at the same time as Wallis himself was renewing it with Motörhead, and you can never go far wrong if "Do It" is in reach.
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