Various Artists

The Sixties Groovy Hits [2002]

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On the surface Boxsets' three-disc set The Sixties Groovy Hits looks like a well-chosen, wide-ranging overview of '60s pop music with loads of soul, rock, and pop classics by great artists. Guess again. This is yet another tacky and unlistenenable collection of hits redone in a modern style by the original artists (or in the cases of the bands, as many of the original members as they could dig up). Hearing the Association stumble through a tuneless "Cherish," the Kingsmen trying in vain to recapture the rambunctious energy of "Louie Louie," or Wayne Fontana limping through a stiff "Groovy Kind of Love" isn't just painful, it's sad. On the bright side, some of the vocals aren't terrible. Reg Presley sounds good on the Troggs' "Wild Thing," Tommy Roe is okay on "Dizzy," and there are even a few original version of songs (the Archies' "Sugar Sugar," the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack"). But really this is the king of record you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. So many great songs are trashed and so many great artists are reduced to mediocre karaoke artists, it is really a shame. Avoid this like dental surgery.

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