Bay City Rollers

Shang a Lang

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A mid-price overview of the Bay City Rollers' German singles output -- which is not, in fairness, all that different to their output elsewhere around the world, but does throw up a few odd anomalies. Was "It's a Game" really their greatest hit in that country (number four in May 1977)? Did "Shang a Lang" truly bottom out at number 41? And did anybody seriously believe that "Strangers in the Wind" had a hope? A full account of the band's German hits is already available on the Starke Zeiten collection; sensibly, this set duplicates just seven of that album's highlights, heading off instead into the untapped pastures of the group's B-sides and the occasional album cut. A masterful version of Eric Carmen's "Let's Pretend" was a genuine highlight of Dedication, while "Marlena" was always far too delightful to truly merit an obscure berth on the back of "Saturday Night." David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel," wryly produced by Station to Station overseer Harry Maslin, is another welcome inclusion, but other souvenirs of the band's desperate dog days are less appealing. There are, indeed, a lot better ways of getting your Rollers fix than this.

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