Various Artists

Modmania

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Caveat emptor: Modmania doesn't contain a single track by the Who, so if you're looking for the definitive mod compilation, look elsewhere. However, if you're in the market for a pretty good little mod-themed mix CD for your next party, this compilation will fit the bill nicely. For purists, there's a strong mix of original hard-driving mod hits such as the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night" and the Creation's "Making Time," coupled with some worthwhile obscurities like Georgie Fame's unexpectedly funky "Somebody Stole My Thunder." For more recent converts, there are danceable numbers from quasi-mod revivalists like the Jam and the Specials. And for anyone more interested in the roots of mod than in mod itself, there are quite a few smokin' tracks from inspirational figures such as Curtis Mayfield, Booker T. & the MG's, Smokey Robinson, the Temptations, and Aretha Franklin. Finally, there are also two clear highlights for connoisseurs of the unusual or rarely heard: Aretha's sister Erma Franklin checks in with her unjustly overlooked 1967 hit version of "Piece of My Heart," and obscure 21st century Montréal band the Datsons offer up a note-perfect pastiche of the 1966 mod sound on "I Am the Eye." Overall, Modmania might not cut it as a mod history lesson, but it's still quite an entertaining compilation, with a mix of well-known hits and total obscurities that should please both mod enthusiasts and newcomers alike.

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