Hit Single Anthology

Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders

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Hit Single Anthology Review

by Richie Unterberger

In 1965, Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders struck with one of the British Invasion's greatest one-shots, the number one hit "Game of Love." After Fontana split for a solo career shortly afterwards, the Mindbenders scored another mammoth hit that was nearly as memorable, "A Groovy Kind of Love." This 23-song anthology -- featuring the most successful singles by Fontana & the Mindbenders, both together and as separate entities -- does not, unfortunately, offer anything in the same league as those two smashes. They did manage a couple other U.K. hits, "Um Um Um Um Um Um" and "Just a Little Bit Too Late" (both included here), in their original incarnation, but neither are especially memorable. Dependent upon outside writers for virtually all of their material, Fontana & Co. had little to distinguish them from literally hundreds of other middling British Invasion-era groups except their extraordinary luck in latching on to a couple of pieces of great material. Upon splitting from the Mindbenders, Fontana pursued a Tom Jones-like balladeering direction that has worn badly; the Mindbenders, while remaining rock-oriented, offered nearly as little. Stick with the two hit singles, on which they miraculously secured masterful pieces of tuneful and dynamic British Invasion pop.