No doubt this will stand as the most definitive single-disc compilation of Uruguay's Shakers (referred to as "the Shakers" on some releases and "Los Shakers" on others, including this one). There are 32 tracks, and 79 minutes, taken from all three of the LPs they issued in South America between 1965-1968, along with three cuts from 1966 singles, almost everything sung in English. It cements their well-deserved reputation as the top Beatlesque 1960s band from South America -- as if any further proof were necessary -- and indeed one of the most uncannily Beatlesque bands from anywhere, at any time. Does that mean that this is as good as, or nearly as good as, the Beatles themselves? No, but it's good fun all the same, even if much of the disc sounds like inverted, or at times barely altered, ideas from Beatles riffs and arrangements. They were at their best, perhaps, when mimicking the A Hard Day's Night-era Fab Four, as they did on their 1965 debut LP, Los Shakers, most of which is here. They did, however, evolve to some degree artistically, albeit rather in tandem with how the Beatles' own records changed in 1965-1967, adding some (but not much) native rhythmic styles and riffs here and there; putting Revolver-type vocals and meters into cuts like "Picking Up Troubles" and "Got Any Money?"; putting some down-beat, jazzy riffs into the fine "Too Late"; using freaky backwards guitar and drones in "I Hope You'll Like It," their most advanced cut; and adopting the march-beat, mid-tempo, and sunny harmonies of many 1967 Beatles tunes on numbers like "On a Tuesday I Watch Channel 36." This anthology is not, incidentally, the last word on the Shakers' output: there are no tracks from their U.S.-only 1966 LP, Break It All (which featured re-recordings of their early South American sides), and a handful of other numbers show up on the Brazilian EMI CD All the Best.
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