Remo 4

Smile!

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The Remo Four's lone album is an above-average slab of mid-'60s British mod-soul, with a tinge of jazz. Tony Ashton's organ playing could hold its own with that of better-known players in the same style, such as Graham Bond, Alan Price, and Georgie Fame; Colin Manley's vocals were first-rate blue-eyed soul; and Phil Rogers' bass was very assertive and well-recorded by the standards of the era. Although Smile! consisted wholly of covers, these were imaginatively and energetically executed, especially when they stretched out into some jazz-soul grooves on "Brother Where Are You" and "Jive Samba"; on "No Money Down," they sound quite a bit like the early Animals. The CD reissue on Repertoire adds eight important bonus tracks, half of which are from 1966 and 1967 singles, and half previously unreleased. Of these, the highlight is their storming version of Mike Settle's "Sing Hallelujah"; these also include a couple of original songs, although they aren't so hot.