From: Shadsfax Issue 36 (2002) 9–10
The Five Chesternuts Teenage Love* / Jean Dorothy*
The Drifters Feelin’ Fine* / Don’t Be A Fool (With Love)* / Chinchilla* / Driftin’ (Live 1959) / Jet Black (id.)
The Shadows Lonesome Fella* / FBI (stereo version) / South Of The Border / Granada / Adios Muchachos / Valencia / Las Tres Carabelas / Geronimo* (AV) / Genie With The Light Brown Lamp* (acoustic lead) / Rhythm And Greens / Ranka-Chank (proper stereo version) / Main Theme / The Drum Number / The Lute Number / Razzmataz (AV) / Chu-Chi / Spanish Music (+ Fiesta) / Scotch On The Socks (stereo remix) / Trying To Forget The One You Love* (AV)
* = mono
Bernard Broche explains in the brief annotation that this last Magic issue covering Shadows’ material from the 60s presents numbers not released in France. By this he presumably means numbers not released in France at the time of UK release, since tracks 3–5, for example, appeared on a French EP in 1963, and all four ‘Los Shadows’ tracks are to be found on the 1972 French LP ‘The Shadows’.
Anyway, this issue is notable for legitimising what many will possess already on the Italian CDs ‘Atlantis’ (Teenage Love, Jean Dorothy) and ‘Dakota’ (FBI stereo version, Geronimo mono AV, Genie ‘acoustic’ version). New to CD is the 1968 mono single without overdub (the stereo version without overdub is on the CD ‘Everything Of Value’) of Trying To Forget The One You Love, which does not sound wonderful but is better than nothing. I was disappointed likewise by FBI: the reproduction is thin and brittle, and in contrast to the ‘Dakota’ version, for whatever reason, I do not find the left-channel resolution very satisfactory (24-bit processing is no magic cure for poor sources). The best FBI is still the powerful mono cut on the Swedish CD ‘20 Rock ’n’ Roll Hits’.
Sonic quibbles aside, this is an enjoyable enough selection, at least after the very early stuff. I am not convinced that Peter Chester (tracks 1, 2, 4, 8) really found his feet as a composer until ‘Me And My Shadows’ came along. Certainly Jean Dorothy strikes me as pretty desperate, even by the standards and tastes of its time, and Don’t Be A Fool is only marginally better. Spanish Music by the way is not stopped in its tracks, but the immediate follow-on, Cliff’s Fiesta, is there too, though not listed. Razzmataz and Scotch On The Socks are the Abbey Road offerings.
The final CD prompts a final query. Magic has produced an exemplary series in many ways, but does it really have to end here?
It would be good to have a run of CDs taking in all the distinctive French EPs, perhaps with a pocket in each (as on the Les Fingers’ CDs, for instance) to hold a card or two illustrating all those great front covers in brilliant colour.
My thanks to Les Woosey for clarifying some points about vinyl while my collection is temporarily out of reach.
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