Various Artists

What a Way to Die

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One of the very best '60s garage compilations; considering that there are probably over a thousand entries in that field, that's not a light compliment. Many of the best garage-pop treasures are here: the Enfields' "She Already Has Somebody" (which both recalls and stands up to the best of the Zombies), Richard and the Young Lions' odd clash of snotty punk and pop production ("You Can Make It"), Larry & the Loafers' exhilarating frat-rock clarion call "Let's Go to the Beach," and an extremely cool surf rarity by the Standells. Especially great is the single by Detroit's Pleasure Seekers, one of the very few female '60s garage bands, and possibly the best, featuring a teenage Suzi Quatro. "What a Way to Die" is probably the raunchiest female-sung garage record of the 1960s; its flipside, "Never Thought You'd Leave Me," is more subdued and just as good, showing an unexpected Zombies influence. A nice bonus is the cover shot (of Richard and the Young Lions), one of the best '60s garage band photos ever printed.

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