Bim Skala Bim

The One That Got Away

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You can learn a lot about a band from its B-sides and outtakes (who knew that the members of R.E.M. had such a Velvet Underground jones?). In this case, the revelations come in the form of an unexpected X cover (a charming, Cajun-flavored version of "In This House") and a straight-up ska rendition of the Beatles classic "Rain." The rest of the program is what you'd expect: outtakes from Universal and Eyes & Ears (including a homemade demo tape of the rollicking "Set Me Up"), a great version of an old mento song about getting caught with someone else's wife, and, most fun of all, dub versions of two Universal tracks mixed up by the great Mad Professor. Of course, collections like this invariably have a few clunkers, and the plodding "Burning Underground" fills that function quite nicely, with "Sequoia" not far behind. This collection will probably appeal primarily to the band's fans, but anyone with an interest in American ska will get a kick out of it.

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