The Wildweeds

No Good to Cry: The Best of the Wildweeds

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Although this doesn't get into the group's later, brief stint as a country-rock band on Vanguard Records, this truly is the best of the Wildweeds, focusing on their best and earliest output. Both sides of all four of their 1967-1968 singles are here, along with ten previously unreleased tracks (one of them a stereo version of their debut single, "No Good to Cry," another an instrumental version of the same tune). There was another, odd Wildweeds collection back in the late '80s, but this is superior, as the sound (remastered from the original tapes) is better, and the liner notes tell the full history of the band, with quotes from most of the members, including Al Anderson. The music itself is uneven, but it's an interesting and usually good meld of soul-rock with some garage, pop, and psychedelic touches. The Rascals are an unavoidable reference point, though the Wildweeds were indubitably rawer, and their original material wasn't in the Rascals' class. They're also separated from Rascals comparison by the distinctive upper-range, almost strangled blue-eyed soul vocals of Anderson. No other song is quite as good as their biggest regional hit, "No Good to Cry," though actually one of the outtakes, "Where Is Our Love," comes close. The rest of the unreleased material likewise comes close to the standard of the singles, perhaps with a greater pop leaning on some cuts. All of those outtakes are original songs, except a cover of "I Can't Stand It," though the instrumental "Fuzzy Wuzzy" is something of a throwaway. Note that this isn't a collection of the entire Wildweeds discography: There's the entire country-rock album they did for Vanguard (reissued in Italy on CD), and also the late-'80s LP Greatest Hits...& More! has a few other stray outtakes.

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