Doug & the Slugs

Ten Big Ones

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A mid-career best-of, Ten Big Ones was also an end-of-their-RCA-contract kiss-off for Doug & the Slugs. Maybe that's why this is such a thin compilation; at only half-an-hour's playing time, RCA seems to be exploiting every last drop out of the Slugs' catalog here without giving fans much bang for their buck. Still, present and accounted for on Ten Big Ones are Doug and company's expected signature songs ("Too Bad," "Making It Work," and "Who Knows How to Make Love Stay"), as well as some fan favorites (e.g., "Nobody But Me" and "Partly From Pressure"). In addition, Ten Big Ones contains a couple of new tunes to entice the faithful -- neither of which, unfortunately, are especially good. Opening the album is the previously unreleased "Get Up and Go," which is a pleasant-enough Sam the Sham knockoff, but nothing more. It's certainly better than the other new track, however: Doug & the Slugs simply lack the raw power to drive home the potentially clever "It's Alright Medley," centered around Free's "All Right Now" and J.J. Jackson's "But It's Alright." Nevertheless, the Slugs give it a whirl, and the resulting three minutes is the sound of a decent bar band hopelessly over-reaching. Only the most dedicated Slugs completist, then, will need the two otherwise unavailable tracks on Ten Big Ones. Others in the market for a Doug & the Slugs best-of will be better served by the more complete (though not totally perfect) compilation Slugcology 101.