Various Artists

The Best of Planet Records

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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger

In 1965 and 1966, producer Shel Talmy -- famous for his work with the early Who, Kinks, and other British groups -- ran his own label, Planet Records. It folded about a year after it started, but during that time it released 22 singles and two albums by a wide variety of artists, none of them well known, unless you want to include the Creation. Twenty-two songs from the Planet catalog are featured on this compilation, none of them British hits, save the Creation's "Making Time" and "Painter Man" (and even those charted low). Planet made some interesting records, but in truth -- whether Talmy was the producer (as he was for much of these) or not -- they're not in the same league as his most famous work, and not wholly devoted to the raw mod rock for which he was renowned. As for what might be thought of as characteristic Talmy sounds, there's the power pop-with-guitar distortion of the Creation, one of the most esteemed cult groups of the '60s (represented by both sides of their first two singles); the Untamed's more soul-oriented mod music; and the Thoughts' "All Night Stand," a cover of a quality Ray Davies composition not released by the Kinks in the '60s. Otherwise it's quite a mixed lot: blue-eyed soul from John Lee's Groundhogs (later to evolve into the blues-rock Groundhogs featuring Tony McPhee); folk-influenced pop by Dave Helling and Tony Lord; a cover of Brian Wilson's obscure song "Guess I'm Dumb" by Dani Sheridan; generic mod rock from A Wild Uncertainty; sub-Kinks social comment from National Pinion Pole; and a host of undistinguished soul tunes. It's lacking in the strong material of Talmy's most famous protégés, and the most important tracks (the four by the Creation) have long been available on Creation anthologies.