Various Artists

The Best of Young Blood Records

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Young Blood was something of an anything-goes British independent label, making its most lasting mark with singles that mixed pop, rock, soul, and bubblegum, though it made artier ventures into folk-rock and prog rock too. There were a handful of singles that made an international impact -- Apollo 100's classical rock instrumental "Joy," Mac & Katie Kissoon's "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep," and Don Fardon's "Indian Reservation." Those are all on this 25-track compilation of material spanning 1969 to 1975. But most of the songs are not going to spark memories in most listeners, even if the liner notes are keen to point out that several of these had some success on the European continent. It's a mixed bag of cuts that for the most part sound like they could have been played on Top 40 radio or its British equivalent circa the early '70s, but weren't. In part that's because they generally weren't great songs. But fill-in-the-gap collectors might enjoy this, reflecting as it does common-denominator upbeat commercial pop/rock of the era without being tired and familiar. Some of the more interesting names and/or performances would be Paintbox's soul-pop "Get Ready for Love," featuring Harry Vanda and George Young (of the Easybeats) along with George Alexander (of Grapefruit); Chain Reaction's "Working in the City," a John Carter-Ken Lewis composition; Chakchas' "Stories," betraying a blaxploitation film soundtrack influence; Bearded Lady's "Rock Star," esteemed as one of the most desirable, obscure mid-'70s glam singles; Tramp's "Vietnam Rose," a Vanda-Young composition, though performed by a band with Bob Brunning (very briefly an original member of Fleetwood Mac); and "Sweet Consolation" by Python Lee Jackson, the group mostly known for "In a Broken Dream," their song that featured Rod Stewart's lead vocals. In a completely different frame of mind, you get a couple of cuts from the 1970 debut album of obscure British folkys Dando Shaft and a song from the fine, also-obscure early-'70s progressive rock album by Julian's Treatment.

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