The Bottom Line
A generally solid selection of remastered mid-Sixties British crossover hits, with great sound. Not definitive, but how can a 3-CD set possibly be definitive with this subject?
- Generally solid selection of British Invasion fave raves.
- The remastering is brilliant, revelatory in spots.
- Lush packaging and detailed liner notes.
- 18 tracks per CD seems somewhat skimpy.
- Some odd song inclusions and omissions.
- British Invasion
- Box Set
Guide Review - The British Invasion 1963-1967
In those glowing, bygone days of Camelot, nobody would have predicted that the next great wave of rock and roll would in fact arrive from England's shores. But arrive it did, and this 3-CD set, filled with newly-remastered versions of the British Invasion's greatest hits, is a welcome addition to the parade of new, post-Dolby 5.1 sets flooding the market.<p>
Lots of the acts you love and/or remember are here, of course - the Kinks, Dusty Springfield, Gerry and the Pacemakers, etc. The most notable groups MIA here are Herman's Hermits, the Stones, and the Beatles (save for the decidedly inferior pre-Beatlemania cover of "Ain't She Sweet"), but those last two are notoriously difficult to get the rights for, anyway. Like previous Brit Invasion comps, this set compensates for the loss of the Fab Four's classics by including famous Beatle covers that hit the charts by bands like The Silkie and Billy J. Kramer. The sound is everything one could ask, circa 2004, but the variety of cuts (and the notoriously bad state of some of Britain's studios during this era) mean that sound quality fluctuates quite a bit.
Of course, with a set like this, one could pick nits all day about track selection, such as why the Animals are only represented by "See See Rider" or why The Move and Cilla Black are here when they never translated stateside. The selection's main flaw, however, is its brevity: at only about 45 minutes per CD, this invasion is almost over before it's begun.