Various Artists

In Crowd: Ultimate Collection 1958-67

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AllMusic Review by

This four-CD set drawn from the Universal Music archives (which include MCA, Chess, Motown, Polydor, etc.) will seem a little strange to come people. That's mostly because it is aimed at re-creating the mod music experience of the mid-'60s in England, which was heavily steeped in a mix of American soul and its British counterpart, white as well as black. Thus, it manages to juxtapose American international soul legends from across the 1950s and 1960s, including Marvin Gaye, the Temptations, and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (as well as too-often-ignored Motown workhorses like Earl Van Dyke and lesser-known Motown acts like the Elgins), Philadelphia acts like the O'Jays, Northern soul figures such as Tony Clarke, jazzmen like Ramsey Lewis, and New Orleans fixtures such as the Showmen, all alongside a spread of U.K. rockers ranging from superstars like the Who, the legendary Small Faces, and Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames down to fascinating anomalies such as organist Alan Haven, with a smattering of ska performers. There are a lot of rarities, U.S. and British, spread through these 100 songs, not to mention some familiar material heard in new and different contexts -- "I'm the Face," for example, by the Who (working as the High Numbers at the time), comes off more in the vein it was intended to be heard in when it's sandwiched in between tracks by Little Milton and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. This is the way that, say, the Who's (or the Creation's or the Small Faces') own audiences of the time heard the stuff, and it's not only all worthwhile listening for pure pleasure, but downright educational on that level. It's fun, it's different, the sound is good, and the programming is very generous for the price -- the only drawback is the physical design of the booklet, which is set up horizontally and is printed on flimsy paper.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:51
2 2:44
3 2:44
4 2:31
5 2:40
6 2:57
7 2:52
8 2:22
9 2:28
10 1:55
11 2:25
12 2:38
13 3:11
14 2:34
15 3:24
16 2:33
17
2:55
18 2:25
19
2:10
20 2:48
21 2:36
22 2:15
23 2:47
24 2:45
25 3:01

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:07
2
2:25
3 2:36
4 2:45
5 2:18
6 2:29
7
2:47
8 2:33
9 2:30
10 2:17
11 2:27
12 2:33
13
3:09
14
2:27
15 3:20
16 2:40
17 3:47
18 2:58
19 2:40
20 2:48
21 2:43
22 2:44
23 2:18
24 2:33
25 2:54

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:03
2 2:46
3
1:43
4 3:16
5 2:45
6 2:45
7 2:44
8
2:39
9 2:36
10 2:17
11 2:40
12 2:48
13 2:38
14 2:19
15 3:12
16 2:25
17 2:51
18 2:53
19
2:48
20 2:34
21 2:23
22 2:45
23 4:52
24 2:58
25 2:59

Track Listing - Disc 4

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:41
2 2:24
3 3:17
4 2:41
5 3:01
6 2:46
7
2:41
8
2:38
9 2:08
10 2:22
11
2:06
12 2:37
13
2:37
14 4:14
15
2:11
16 2:34
17 7:55
18 2:32
19 3:03
20 2:48
21 2:26
22 2:51
23 2:33
24 2:56
25 3:23
blue highlight denotes track pick