Various Artists

Rare Mod

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As the reviewing cliché goes, this collection of rare British mod rock from the '60s is more rare than good, though of some appeal to the dedicated collector. Taken from rare releases and tracks that didn't see the light of day at the time (though some have previously appeared on obscure reissues), the chief interest might be the connection some of the selections have to later recordings by celebrated acts. For instance, a pre-Small Faces Steve Marriott is heard fronting the Moments; the Silence, represented by a couple of fairly crude recordings that were unissued at the time, evolved into Mott the Hoople, along with several guys from the Doc Thomas Group; Steve Howe was a ways from Yes and still in Tomorrow when he did the largely instrumental "So Bad"; the Shots became the Smoke; and . The trouble is that most of these 19 tracks are pretty undistinguished tunes, often energetic but bland R&B-oriented ravers. Indeed, one of the standouts isn't a typically guitar-slanted mod rocker, but Truly Smith's rare 1968 single "This Is the First Time," which is pretty good mod/girl group/soul-tinged female-sung late-'60s British pop. Another one of the better cuts, the brooding "Can't Get Enough of Your Lovin'," is credited to "the Unknown Mod Band."