The Turtles

Happy Together: The Very Best of the Turtles

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Happy Together: The Very Best of the Turtles is a very fine single-disc collection of songs by one of the best pop bands of the '60s. It hits the highlights of their folk-rock era with "It Ain't Me Babe," "Let Me Be," and "Eve of Destruction"; charts the peak of their popularity with the omnipresent "Happy Together" and lesser (but still big) hits "She'd Rather Be With Me," "You Showed Me," "Elenore," "She's My Girl," and "You Know What I Mean"; and picks up a few strong cuts like the rocking, Warren Zevon-penned "Outside Chance" and the brilliant blue-eyed soul of "Can I Get to Know You Better." The Turtles' melodies, brains, and musical imagination shine through this collection like the first rays of summer; you could easily put the best four or five songs on this collection up against almost any pop band and have at the very least a close fight. That being said, the collection is a bit of a botch job if only because it omits one of the band's most impressive songs: the symphonic sunshine pop masterpiece "Me About You." They could have easily bumped "Eve of Destruction," which Turtle member Mark Volman rightly says "wasn't quite us" in the insightful and funny liner notes, to make room. Other omissions are less shocking, with strong songs like "The Story of Rock and Roll" and "Love in the City" nowhere to be found. Shout Factory probably had to keep the number of tracks down to keep the disc in the mid-priced range. Fans of the band who want all their best work on one disc should probably opt for a copy of Rhino's superior 20 Greatest Hits, which includes the aforementioned omitted tracks plus three more.

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