Pub rock is the frequently forgotten forefather of punk rock, although on the surface the two genres don't appear to have much in common. Punk rock was about revolution and pub rock was about tradition, at least superficially. But place pub rock in its proper context, and it was nearly as revolutionary as punk. In the early '70s, rock & roll was dominated by heavy metal, art rock, and blues-rock, all genres that required skill. The simple, laid-back three-chord shuffles of pub rock -- ranging from straight-ahead rock & roll, to country and blues-rock -- didn't require much skill, but it was a working class, do-it-yourself movent that took rock & roll back to its roots, which is essentially what punk rock did. Furthermore, pub rock bands established a circuit of nightclubs within England, which is where all the original punk bands played. Naughty Rhythms: The Best of Pub Rock is the first comprehensive colllection of the scene, featuring every major pub rock band, as well as nearly every minor band. Compiled by former Kursaal Flyer Will Birch with Paul Bradshaw, the double disc set effectively traces the development of the genre, from its country-rock roots with Brinsley Schwarz to the pounding, proto-punk of Eddie & the Hot Rods. In between, there are 34 other songs that cover all the aspects of pub rock, from the relaxed acoustic rock of Eggs Over Easy and the Stonesy groove of Ducks Deluxe and Dr. Feelgood to the commercial gloss of Ace and the eccentric rock of Kilburn and the High Roads. The double-disc set provides all the worthwhile songs from almost every band featured on the collection, with the notable exception of Brinsley Schwarz, who were already represented with five tracks. Naughty Rhythms is the definitive document of pub rock and for most listeners, it will be all they need to know.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2