The Spencer Davis Group

Mulberry Bush

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With this 17-track disc, RPM has assembled the album that the Spencer Davis Group might have put out in late 1967. As it was, just two singles appeared from the April-December 1967 lineup (Davis, drummer Pete York, Eddie Hardin on keyboards, and Phil Sawyer on vocals), although some material would come out on the soundtrack to Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush and the 1968 With Their New Face On album. To make matters more confusing, some of the songs released by the group in 1967 and 1968 were re-recorded or remixed for subsequent releases, sometimes replacing or overdubbing the vocals on the first versions. The important thing, though, is: does the music merit this kind of vault combing? It's kind of ho-hum, to be honest. All of these tracks were from the lineup Davis assembled just after the departure of Stevie Winwood and Muff Winwood. They were acceptable, but just a face in the crowd, really, with the absence of Winwood. From a strictly collector-oriented viewpoint, though, this CD is valuable for the inclusion of the original single versions of "Time Seller" and "Don't Want You No More"; the fey psych-pop B-side of their second single, "Sanity Inspector"; the original versions of "Morning Sun" and "Feel Your Way"; and previously unissued alternate versions of four songs from the Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush soundtrack. This also has all of the official versions of the songs the band got onto the Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush soundtrack (except "Waltz for Caroline," as that was recorded with Stevie Winwood still in the lineup). Got all that? The one thing you might want to know, when all the discographical complications are pushed aside, is that this is likely the best post-Winwood Spencer Davis Group disc available.

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