From: Shadsfax Issue 47 (2005) 3

The Shadows
"Essential Collection"
EMI Gold 7243 5 77491 2 1 [2CD]
Released 26 April 2004

CD1 (7243 5 77492 2 0) Apache / Guitar Tango / Mary Anne / Bridge Over Troubled Water / Parisienne Walkways / Donít Cry For Me Argentina / The War Lord / Black Is Black / Back Home / Itís Been A Blue Day / Youíre The One That I Want / Donít Make My Baby Blue / Shazam! / Genie With The Light Brown Lamp / Les Girls / Theme For Young Lovers / Walk Donít Run / The Dreams I Dream

CD2 (7243 5 77493 2 9) Kon-Tiki / Dance On! / Midnight / Rodrigoís Guitar Concerto / The Frightened City / Atlantis / Stardust / Peace Pipe / Geronimo / 36-24-36 / Chattanooga Choo-Choo / FBI /1861 [mono] / The Rumble [mono] / Brazil / See You In My Drums [mono] / Good Vibrations / A Place In The Sun

It is time now to come down to earth after considering the discs masterminded by Rob Bradford (Shadsfax 46). Here we have 17 A-singles, 6 B-singles, a solitary EP track, 12 from albums (three in mono, for no good reason I can think of): a haphazard selection reminiscent of the kind of compilations marketed with tiresome regularity by Disky in particular.

On the plus side though you get a 10-page booklet with five pages of group history (which peters out midway through the 1970s, even though some of the tracks on offer here were later) courtesy of Martin Hutchinson; and this Theme For Young Lovers has the lead guitar in the right channel (located left on its first stereo release) but does not have a mismastered double note at the beginning (see previous review): the first time that EMI UK has got this one right since 1990. The set is presumably targeted at those attending the concerts (or who have been put in mind of the group again by all the publicity) who donít want a big box set, or hit albums they have seen in various guises before. But it is the 4CD set and the two revamped albums reviewed above that represent outstanding value for money, not this offering.

A worthwhile alternative, for which there would surely be great demand, would have been a 2CD collection of stereo tracks drawn from choice EPs, together with their mono equivalents, largely unavailable on CD. How about it EMI? After all, a skilled annotator is ready and waiting, one who has already worked on three acclaimed volumes of EP material for the now defunct See For Miles label. And some of that striking EP artwork, often used pretty indiscriminately on general compilations from overseas, could be given a proper home.


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