Various Artists

The In Crowd [Crimson]

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It's hard to figure out the impetus behind The In Crowd. The liner notes talk about the foundations of the mod scene and the almost crazed search for the rarest, freshest sounds from America, calling this a collection of mod classics. OK, how does that account for the inclusion of tracks that were released long after the mod scene was dead and buried, namely Freda Payne's "Band of Gold" from 1969, Desmond Dekker's "You Can Get It if You Really Want" from 1970, and Bob & Marcia's "(To Be) Young, Gifted and Black"? How does it explain the inclusion of tracks like the Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie," the Four Seasons' "Let's Hang On," and Tommy James' "Mony Mony," all songs that were hardly fresh and seem totally unrelated to the mod movement? And the appearance of Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle" has to be some kind of mistake made at the pressing plant, doesn't it? Apart from all that weirdness, there are a few songs that might be considered mod classics: Bob & Earl's "Harlem Shuffle," certainly, and also Dobie Gray's "The 'In' Crowd" and Ramsey Lewis' "Wade in the Water." The Small Faces, indeed, but not their late-'60s track "Tin Soldier." And that's about it for the mod connection. Better to just forget that angle and look at The In Crowd as a totally unfocused trawl through the music of the '60s. It is more successful in that capacity and hits some real peaks with the Equals' "Baby Come Back" and Chris Farlowe's "Out of Time," but still leaves something to be desired as a listening experience. Maybe the problem is "Time in a Bottle." Maybe "Louie, Louie." Hearing those tracks gives you the feeling that whoever put this disc together didn't really give a toss about what they were doing. It's hard to stomach that kind of carelessness, and hard to stand behind that kind of cluelessness. As the Osmonds didn't quite say, one (or two) bad apples do spoil the whole bunch, girl.

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