The Anthology 1967-1971 [Hip-O]

Ten Years After

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The Anthology 1967-1971 [Hip-O] Review

by Richie Unterberger

Since Ten Years After's albums weren't stand-alone classics, this double CD of their prime years is the best bet for those who like the band but don't want to sit through some pretty mediocre and monotonous stuff to get to the best bits. The 26 cuts are pretty well chosen, including naturally their most famed songs: "I'm Going Home" (the live Woodstock version), "I'd Love to Change the World," and the British hit "Love Like a Man." Even as it draws from the cream of their work, it can't quite make the argument for them as a major band, but it does show that they were a more versatile act than many would remember. There are some reasonable pop- and folk-rock-flavored songs from the pen of Alvin Lee; a fair amount of jazz influence from time to time, as on "Me and My Baby" and "Woman Trouble"; a song ("50,000 Miles Beneath My Brain") that borrows rather too liberally from the Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for My Devil"; and even a bit of Grateful Dead-like vocal harmony on "Hear Me Calling." There's still, of course, quite a bit of blues-rock, flash guitar, and boogie, which sound better when broken up by more subdued and varied cuts and also benefit from the wise decision not to include too many covers. It's also nice that the collection includes both sides of two 1968 singles, although those were released on LP in the early '70s as part of Alvin Lee & Company.

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