Mix a Fix: UK Floor Fillers, Vol. 2

Various Artists

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Mix a Fix: UK Floor Fillers, Vol. 2 Review

by Mark Deming

Sometimes it seems as if everyone in the United Kingdom who was between the ages of 16 and 25 during the '60s was in an R&B band, given the seemingly endless supply of blue-eyed soul rarities that emerge on compilations like this, but Nick Saloman (of the Bevis Frond) and his partners at Psychic Circle Records have dug up 20 mod-era R&B obscurities that are actually worth hearing four decades after the fact. As is his habit, Saloman has included a few unknown sides from folks who enjoyed at least 15 minutes of fame, such as Simon Dupree & the Big Sound (who would later evolve into Gentle Giant), Haydock's Rockhouse (featuring Eric Haydock, who was briefly bassist with the Hollies), and Louisa Jane White (who was England's representative in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest and cut the theme tune for Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World -- hey, we did say 15 minutes of fame!). But the real highlights come from the relatively obscure, such as "Baby, Don't Look Down" by Eddie's Crowd, "Until My Baby Comes Home" by the Mojos, the jazzy "Cloud 9" by Winston G., "Out of My Depth" by Carl King, and "She Gives Me Good Loving" by Ansley Gordon. There are also a few pleasant surprises, including the rollicking "I'll Be Doggone" from Merseybeat heroes Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas, and "My Life Ain't Easy" from Gene Latter & the Detours, which hovers around the border of garage rock. Mix a Fix is hardly the last word on British R&B, but it's potent stuff for those who've acquired the habit, and as always, Psychic Circle have assembled this set with tender loving care.

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