From: Shadsfax Issue 31 (2001) 6–7

Hank Marvin & The Shadows
"The Singles Collection"
Two issues: (i) Music Club MCCD 452 (ii) Crimson CRIMCD 302
Released March 2002

Equinoxe (Part V) / Mozart Forte / The Third Man / Telstar / Imagine: Woman / Don’t Talk* / The Trouble With Me Is You* / Treat Me Nice / The Theme From ‘Missing’ / The Hawk And The Dove* / Invisible Man* / Diamonds / Going Home / On A Night Like This / Moonlight Shadow / Dancing In The Dark / Themes from ‘Eastenders’ And ‘Howards’ Way’ / Pulaski / Walking In The Air / Mountains Of The Moon / Shadowmix / We Are The Champions** / Wonderful Land***

* Hank Marvin
** Hank Marvin featuring Brian May
*** Hank Marvin featuring Mark Knopfler

A casual glance at the track-listing might suggest that “The Singles Collection” is just another run-of-the-mill Polydor compilation, but that is far from being the case. Every Shadsfaxer, indeed any fan who wants his/her Shadows in digital format, will need this new budget collection: it provides the first airing on CD for the only remaining undigitised track among the Polydor releases, the 7-inch remix of Dancing In The Dark, which has close affinities with the lengthier 12-inch version made available in 1998 on the CD “Guardian Angel Plus”.

There are other reasons to put this 79 mins of music on your shopping-list. Informed sleeve-notes have been contributed by Michael Heatley, editor of “Record Buyer and Music Collector”. (The Crimson issue, however, for sale in Woolworths and other chain-stores, dispenses with the annotation, preferring to use the lure of brightly-coloured Fender guitars.)

The finely judged programme is the work of our very own Uncle Tony: a properly ordered series of singles titles from 1980 through to 1989, with a judicious admixture of Hank Marvin tracks dating from 1982/83 and 1992/93. Those deserving special mention are the 7-inch edit of Equinoxe, and the remixed (single) version of The Trouble With Me Is You, along with the promo edits of Going Home and We Are The Champions. Among numerous CD rarities is the rousing version of the Leiber/Stoller classic Treat Me Nice (on “Life In The Jungle”, now deleted).

Some tracks are faded prematurely by a few seconds (including Dancing In The Dark). This is common practice on CD with music of every description, and not by any means confined to discs bursting at the seams. It’s a shame though that On A Night Like This, with its neat finale, had to be stopped in its tracks at 2:33 in order to squeeze everything in. This sort of trick has been played before with Shads releases, remember how Johnny Staccato was cut down to size for the 1989 Pickwick “Shadows Collection” — from 3:50 to a measly 2:31?

Nevertheless, disappointing as the end result might be for those involved in the project, it is certainly the case that “The Singles Collection” is a very worthwhile set. These days many (most?) compilations do not appear to have a long shelf-life: definitely one (or two) to add to your collection sooner rather than later.


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