The Twilights

The Way They Played: Best of 1965-1969

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In 1989, Raven released a 20-track collection called The Way They Played, which rounded up the cream of the crop from the Australian beat group. Twenty-four years later, the label expanded the collection to 29 tracks, adding singles and deep cuts from the band and its leader Terry Britten, to make the definitive retrospective, also called The Way They Played: Best of 1965-1969. Everything that was on the original Raven collection is here, along with scattered cuts from the group's career, plus a single from Britten's solo career. Generally, this extra material doesn't affect the trajectory of the Twilights, but it doesn't need to, as this is a tuneful, somewhat clever '60s guitar pop group who eagerly followed every fad of their decade. Some of this is certainly due to their distance from the mainlands -- they weren't necessarily aping the now sound of the U.S. or U.K., but following a path carved out a few years prior -- and they wound up with several songs that feel as if they belong to the '60s but aren't beholden to them. As such, The Way They Played plays like an ingratiating alternate history, beginning with a few garage blues stomps before descending into slightly fruity psychedelia. It's solid but not revelatory, but that's part of the charm: this is strong '60s pop from the garage to the studio, elevated slightly by the Twilights' Down Under outsider position. It's not as compelling as some groups that never received a proper shot, but this compilation certainly proves the Twilights were a strong guitar pop band that could navigate the shifting fashions of the '60s.

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