Various Artists

Rare 60's Beat Treasures, Vol. 7

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The final volume of this extensive if obscure series of British Invasion rarity compilations, like the previous installment, focuses more on late-'60s psychedelia and hard rock than most of the series, though there are some poppier mid-'60s tracks, too. Like each of the volumes, it's really no great shakes as far as unearthing hidden gems, but it's a little better and more consistent than some of the others. The prime catch here is probably Svensk's "Dream Magazine," which is wonderfully hazy, dreamy, organ-clouded psychedelia, and quite infrequently reissued, even on special interest anthologies such as these. There's just a bit of marquee value, too, in the presence of Billy J. Kramer's surprisingly suggestive 1967 B-side "Chinese Girl"; "Fight for My Country," the sole (and pedestrian hard rock) single (from 1971) by Balls, who included Trevor Burton of the Move, Denny Laine, and Steve Gibbons; and the post-Stevie Winwood lineup of the Spencer Davis Group. But while a pretty wide spectrum of '60s British rock is represented -- going, in fact, into the early '70s with that Balls track -- there's little in the way of songs that you'll especially want to hear again or call to the attention of fellow enthusiasts. In fact, some of the tracks border on the poor, like Linda Laine & the Sinners' unnecessary revival of the doo wop hit "Get a Job," or Cat's Pyjamas' "Camera Man," which is fey British character study pop-psychedelia at its most simplistic. Anita Harris' dramatic "The Playground" almost gets there in terms of a worthwhile orchestrated pop tune with a whiff of trendy psychedelia, but doesn't quite make it. British Invasion fans -- even very big British fans -- are much better served by more selective rarity compilations that cherry-pick the truly outstanding obscurities than the ones in the Rare 60s Beat Treasures series.