Alan Price's 1960s recordings have often been hard to find on reissues, particularly for listeners in the United States. This two-CD set clears that difficulty up in exemplary fashion, gathering all 43 tracks he recorded for Decca (usually as leader of the Alan Price Set) from 1965-69, and adding ten previously unreleased tracks the Alan Price Set cut for the BBC in 1966-67. It's a worthwhile but somewhat strange journey, as Price's first few singles, and debut LP, found him still very much in the R&B-soul-British Invasion style of his former group the Animals, though perhaps with a jazzier flavor. Then he discovered the work of then-unknown songwriter Randy Newman, and from early 1967 through the rest of his time on Decca, he went into far more lighthearted, almost music hall-ish pop, on both his numerous Newman covers and his own material. Animals fans will like the earlier stuff better, particularly his marvelous cover of "I Put a Spell on You" (which was also a British hit), and they'll appreciate the inclusion of obscure, early B-sides, some of which sound like a cross between the Animals and Georgie Fame. Randy Newman fans, meanwhile, will enjoy the nine Newman covers, some of them quite obscure, though one of them ("Simon Smith & His Amazing Dancing Bear") was a big British hit. While it might be a lot to ask of those who already have Price's early work to buy this double CD for just ten tracks, certainly the items here of greatest interest to seasoned collectors are the previously unavailable BBC cuts. All are in good fidelity, and all are soul-R&B covers of hits by the likes of Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke, Percy Sledge, and Stevie Wonder that Price didn't put on his official '60s releases. Very much in the jazzy soul-R&B style, these enjoyable performances also include Price's own version of "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which of course had been a hit for his previous band, the Animals.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2