The Mighty Wah!

The Maverick Years '80-81

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The title of this compilation consisting of new and reworked songs is a bit misleading. One, Madonna's label had yet to exist, and there ain't a chance in hell that the Candlebox fan would have signed the Mighty Wah! to her label. Second, the title also implies that it could be a greatest hits or singles compilation, which also isn't the case. The title Maverick Years does prove to make sense within the context of this release, since Pete Wylie had grown restless with then-label Warner Bros.' clogged release schedule and higher priorities. So Wylie combined new demos with tweaked versions of older songs and released them on his own Wonderful World of Wah! label. Done without Warner Bros.' consent, it obviously upset Wylie's employers and resulted in his imminent disposal from the major label ranks. Most of the new material is stillborn or half-baked at best. The alternate versions are pointless to anyone but a devout fan. One glaring exemption from this rule is the optimistic blast "Remember," which would have been a surefire highlight of Nah = Poo. "Shambeko" is a point of interest for its eerie keyboard structure and isolated chill. Reissued with re-vamped versions of Nah = Poo and A Word to the Wise Guy in 2001, Castle's version adds ten additional tracks that should appeal to diehards. The nine-minute version of "The Story of the Blues Pts. 1 & 2" will be welcomed by someone, and a cover of the Three Degrees' "Year of Decision" hasn't aged well and sounds like a commercial. As with the other 2001 versions, the liner notes contain many photos and commentary by Wylie.

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