Various Artists

Uppers on the South Downs

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Originally released in the mid-'80s, Uppers on the South Downs collects some rarities from the mod-revival, particularly a number of bands from south coast resort towns like Brighton -- a favorite mod location and the site of many battles between the mods and the teddy boys. Included are some of the best, though overlooked, bands of the scene: Teenbeats, Missing Persons, Purple Hearts, and the Same. The only questionable inclusion is the South Coast Ska Stars -- a mysterious group of old-looking men who dressed in parkas and played ska-revival-style instrumentals. As it turns out, Ray Fenwick, a former member of the Spencer Davis Group who produced the collection, was the founding member. This odd diversion aside, Uppers on the South Downs works well as both a nostalgia trip and as enjoyable listening.

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