From: Shadsfax Issue 25 (1999) 9

The Shadows
"The Shadows In The Seventies"
EMI 7243 5 21729 2 4
Released July 1999

Let Me Be The One / Don’t Cry For Me Argentina / Theme From The Deer Hunter / The Air That I Breathe / Bright Eyes / Riders In The Sky / Baker Street / Parisienne Walkways / Classical Gas / The Most Beautiful Girl / Montezuma’s Revenge / Black Is Black / God Only Knows / Lucille / Bridge Over Troubled Water / Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto / Colorado Songbird / Get Back / (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / Cricket Bat Boogie

The Seventies (which as far as this disc is concerned take in 1980, so let’s do the same) present the compiler with an interesting mix of cover versions and original compositions, extending to 66 different studio tracks (plus one or two only released in the Nineties). That other CD selection of Shads in the Seventies. the superb ‘Listen To The Shadows’ (1989, re-released 1997), devoted all but three of its twenty-two tracks to compositions by group members. This is a very different package, with only three self-penned titles out of twenty.

It was commissioned from EMI by Woolworths: the emphasis here is on instantly recognisable tunes, all for £5.99. Not surprisingly, a large share (eight tracks) goes to the 1979 ‘String Of Hits’, which had associated hit singles and was itself a number one album, enjoying a spell of twelve weeks in the Top Ten.

Of the other albums, ‘Shades Of Rock’ (1970) gets three, as do ‘Specs Appeal’ (1975) and ‘Tasty’ (1977), with the one novelty on ‘Another String …’ (1980), Black Is Black, also included. The disc is rounded off with The Air That I Breathe (recorded in 1974 but first released on the CD ‘More Tasty’, 1992), and the single version of Riders In The Sky (another 1980).

All in all, this isn’t a bad “commercial” package if you like that sort of thing. And it does have the whole of Cricket Bat Boogie! It is disappointing however that ‘Rockin’With Curly Leads’, surely the most accomplished of the Shads albums from this decade, is totally ignored (though note the front cover pic!). I would gladly have traded in the three ‘Shades Of Rock’ pieces for some of that.

On the subject of ‘Shades’: all three tracks are labelled “Digitally remastered 1999” (as they were for the recent Digipak issue), and they do have a clarity and punch lacking in certain other tracks in this compilation.

Let’s hope that EMI intends to work its magic on ‘Specs Appeal’ and ‘Tasty’ at the very least.


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