Various Artists

The Essential Pebbles Collection, Vol. 2

  • AllMusic Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

The Essential Pebbles Collection, Vol. 2 Review

by Richie Unterberger

To be cruel, this might have been more appropriately titled "The Inessential Pebbles." True, there are two discs and 55 songs' worth of rare '60s garage cuts here, none by anyone remotely famous even on a cult level (no, Neal Ford & the Fanatics do not count). Aside from a few reprises from the early Pebbles volumes on the first disc, though, it's pretty insubstantial stuff. It sounds worse than it would have in the late '70s, when this genre's existence was barely even acknowledged; by 1998, however, so much of it has been reissued that this collection really sounds second-rate next to, ironically, the original ten-volume Pebbles series. True, much of this has been previously unreissued, but as in any musical style, simple rarity and adherence to basic parameters of the idiom don't necessarily make for memorable music. Or, to put in language a rock fan can grasp, fuzz guitars, snotty vocals, put-down lyrics, and wild-and-craziness do not necessarily classics make. Garage/'60s collectors will already be familiar with the best cuts -- the Wig Wags' ominous "On My Way Down the Road," the Four Fifths' Byrds-like "If You Still Want Me," the Live Wires' bright and raw pop-psych-garage tune "Love," and the Soul Survivors' cover of the Isley Brothers' "Shakin' with Linda" -- from their early Pebbles vinyl volumes, although the addition of the Denims' compelling, minor-key "I'm Your Man" is nice. Other than that, surprisingly, some of the highlights are shopworn covers, like the Why Four's "Not Fade Away," the Night Watch's fuzz-and-organ-driven "Shake," and the Berries' "Baby Won't You Follow Me Down."

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1
Purple Haze 02:18 Amazon
2
The Dawn 5 01:42 Amazon
3
Denny Noie & the Catalinas / The Catalinas / Denny Noie 02:21 Amazon
4
The Fading Tribesman 02:22 Amazon
5
The Lost Souls 02:05 Amazon
6
The Spirits of Oxford 02:42 Amazon
7 The Vistas 02:33 Amazon
8
#38
The Vistas 02:28 Amazon
9
The D.C. Drifters 03:23 Amazon
10
Dean Kohler 02:52 Amazon
11
The Children 02:29 Amazon
12
The Why Four 02:06 Amazon
13 The Why Four 02:13 Amazon
14
Doo & the Diddits 02:51 Amazon
15 Nightwatch 02:17 Amazon
16
Nightwatch 02:12 Amazon
17
Rick & the Rivals / The Rivals 02:33 Amazon
18 Sinders 01:33 Amazon
19
Abstracts 02:09 Amazon
20
The Crying Shame 02:36 Amazon
21 The Berries 02:34 Amazon
22
The Outcasts 01:58 Amazon
23
The Lunduns 03:30 Amazon
24
Ye Court Jesters 02:07 Amazon
25
The Checkmates 02:17 Amazon
26
The Inner Prism 02:48 Amazon
27
The Classics 5 02:12 Amazon
28
The Inn Crowd 02:14 Amazon
29 Lawson & Four More 02:41 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick