Chris Farlowe

The Very Best of Chris Farlowe [BMG]

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Yet another single-disc anthology of Chris Farlowe's Immediate Records sides, this one courtesy of BMG Music and sporting 20 tracks, focusing on the singles, hit and otherwise. There are five Mick Jagger/Keith Richards songs here, three of them opening the disc, and one supposes there's no escaping his relationship to the Stones and their work. Actually, "Think" comes out better than the U.K. number one charting "Out of Time" when the two are juxtaposed -- Arthur Greenslade's too-heavy-orchestration on the latter seems unfocused compared with the intensity that Farlowe brings to "Think." The first six tracks dispose of his chart history, including his wrenching performance of Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane's "My Way of Giving," and the sitar-laden blues piece "Moanin'," which is worth the price of admission by itself. The rest varies a bit, between the somewhat generic "Headlines" to the superb pop-soul of "Who Can I Turn To," and in between such oddities as the heavily Motown-influenced "You're so Good to Me," Farlowe's versions of the Michael D'abo compositions "Handbags and Glad Rags" and "The Last Goodbye," are also of special interest for the quiet intensity he brings to both. The sound is excellent throughout and there's a better than decent short bio on Farlowe, all of which makes this an attractive package for the casual listener.

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