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.
Hit Single Anthology Review
by Richie Unterberger