The Gants

I Wonder

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An identically titled compilation of Gants material, with identical liner notes, appeared as an 18-track LP on Bam Caruso in 1988. This is essentially a CD expansion of that album, retaining all 18 songs from the LP and adding a further dozen for a total of 30. Hence it's a preferable makeover from every vantage point, particularly as it includes three vital tracks that were somehow omitted from the LP configuration: "Roadrunner" (their sole national hit), their 1966 single "Little Boy Sad" (a crunching cover of a song previously done by Johnny Burnette), and the Rolling Stones-like original "(You Can't Blow) Smoke Rings." As with the 1988 Bam Caruso LP, star tracks include the country-rock beat ballad "Spoonful of Sugar" (which recalls the material on Beatles for Sale), the Merseybeat imitation "I Don't Want to See Her Again," and the poignant folk-rocker "I Wonder." A few tracks with strings produced by future Bread leader David Gates in 1967 are OK, but don't fit the group's best qualities. On the other hand, it has to be noted that most of the covers of rock and R&B hits (like "Kicks," "Out of Sight," "Rain," and "Good Lovin'") that comprise most of the newly added cuts are inessential, and that the original "I'm a Snake" is nothing more than a clumsy rewrite of "Roadrunner."

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