Jan & Dean


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It's frustrating that this (probably unauthorized) release doesn't have any recording or release dates to help out those of us whose knowledge of Jan & Dean isn't encyclopedic. But at least it does have brief liner notes about each track, and gathers some very obscure stuff from their vaults, much of it apparently never officially released, spanning the late '50s to the '80s. There is, for instance, the original Jan & Arnie recording of "Jenny Lee" without overdubs; the obscure 1968 "Laurel and Hardy" B-side with different lyrics; "The Magic of Love," the first post-accident recording with a Jan Berry lead vocal; the complete version of the 1974 Jan Berry single "Blow Up Music"; the 1972 Berry solo single "Mother Earth" without horn and female vocal overdubs; the Dean Torrence solo single "Louisiana Man"; a version of "Easy as 1, 2, 3" with Berry's girlfriend Jill Gibson on lead vocals and background harmony; "Come On Baby," sung by Gibson and Dean Torrence's girlfriend, Judy Lovejoy; and the a cappella doo wop track "There in the Night," performed by the Barons, a high-school group in which Berry and Torrence sang that even preceded "Jenny Lee." There's also a silly live 1980 butchering of "Drag City." You get the idea -- it's ephemera of interest only to the devoted fan, not something to stack up against "Surf City" or any reasonable anthology of the duo's official output. If you are a devoted fan, it's fun enough, even if there's nothing outstanding, and there's some bad rock & roll revival material from their comeback days. And even at this mediocre outtake level, the unable-to-take-things-too-seriously humor of the duo can usually be heard.