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Spanky and Our Gang: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection

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Spanky and Our Gang

Spanky and Our Gang: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection

The Bottom Line

Although it's perfect for acolytes of sunshine pop and listeners new to the group, this latest budget collection doesn't go far enough for most fans.
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Pros

  • The sound on these lush gems is better than ever.
  • All of the band's big hits are here.
  • The price is right.

Cons

  • This compilation doesn't show the other facets of the group.
  • The CD is missing even a few songs from the original "Greatest Hits."

Description

  • Greatest hits
  • Single disc
  • Sunshine pop
  • Sixties
  • Folk-pop

Guide Review - Spanky and Our Gang: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection

Spanky and Our Gang were a unique group in their late Sixties heyday, and not just because of their name, which started as an in-joke and somehow became permanent. If you've never heard hits like "Lazy Day," "Like To Get To Know You," and "Sunday Will Never Be The Same," just think of a junior-league Mamas and the Papas that's at once jazzier AND more bubblegum. That's not a backhanded compliment: the Papas were the epitome of L.A. pop for many people, and if Spanky and co. didn't let their folk roots show nearly as much, they made up for it with more assured harmonies, more complex arrangements, and a sunnier outlook.

This new budget compilation, part of a series of comps issued under the Universal conglomerate's many labels, is a great place to go for those new to the band's sound or fans who remember those three big hits and would like to own them without reaching too deep in their pockets. More serious fans will probably be disappointed, however, seeing as how this disc lacks two of the non-hits off of the original Greatest Hits album/CD. Moreover, the 1999 remastered Greatest Hits on Mercury delves a little deeper into the overlooked jazz-pop elements in the band, elements so advanced that they provided inspiration for future jazz vocal groups like Manhattan Transfer. If you like what hits there really are by the group, though, this is worth the price.

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