For anyone who wants to get more Turtles than a greatest-hits collection offers, yet isn't interested in getting everything the Turtles did, this 51-song, two-CD compilation is the ticket. Mind you, most average '60s rock fans will still be more than satisfied by the average greatest-hits collection, as the band's familiar hits were truly the best things they did. If you want to fill in the gaps with lesser-known (and sometimes downright flop) singles and relatively seldom-heard LP tracks, this does so well. However, though the Turtles were more adventurous than much of their AM radio competition, those lesser-known efforts are pretty erratic and often not that interesting, which might disappoint those wondering if this set could lead to a serious re-evaluation of the group's importance. On the plus side, on disc one there are some good, and not great, solid folk-rock obscurities, like their cover of P.F. Sloan's "I Get out of Breath"; the little-known, very early Warren Zevon songs "Outside Chance" and "Like the Seasons"; the almost early Kinks-like "Almost There"; and the spooky pop/rock of "She'll Come Back." On the minus side, much of the non-hit material on both discs is well-crafted pop/rock without the hooks of the hits and without the inspiration of greater bands like the Beatles, the Kinks (the cover of Judee Sill's "Lady-O" sounds rather like a blend of early solo Paul McCartney and turn-of-the-decade Ray Davies), and the Byrds, though it's apparent they were trying to reach those heights with their more sophisticated and/or stranger tracks. Just two cuts were previously unreleased, neither of them special: demos of "Marmeny Mill," later done by Flo & Eddie, and "How You Loved Me" (re-recorded for Turtle Soup), in which the Ray Davies influence was especially strong. As a minor criticism of a very well-assembled package, it would have been good if one or two items from the surf band the Turtles evolved from (the Crossfires) had been included at the expense of some of the more dispensable selections, like their cover of Kenny Dino's "Your Maw Said You Cried."
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2