Sunday, January 8, 2012
A Record a Week: Flashback Fever (V/A)
SUMMER IN THE CITY - The Lovin' Spoonful
SURFER GIRL - The Beach Boys
KICKS - Paul Revere & The Raiders
THIS DIAMOND RING - Gary Lewis & The Playboys
AIN'T SHE SWEET - The Beatles
MR. TAMBOURINE MAN - The Byrds
RUBBER BALL - Bobby Vee
YOU ARE MY DESTINY - Paul Anka
RUBY BABY - Dion
LITTLE LATIN LUPE LU - Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
DOWN IN THE BOONDOCKS - Billy Joe Royal
FEVER - The McCoys
(THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN) MASSACHUSETTS - The Bee Gees
SURF CITY - Jan & Dean
HANKY PANKY - Tommy James and the Shondelles
TWENTY FOUR HOURS FROM TULSA - Gene Pitney
(WE AIN'T GOT) NOTHIN' YET - Blues Magoos
SWEET TALKIN' GUY - The Chiffons
SILENCE IS GOLDEN - The Tremeloes
BREAD AND BUTTER - The Newbeats
1-2-3 RED LIGHT - 1910 Fruitgum Co.
GREEN TAMBOURINE - The Lemon Pipers
BE MY BABY - The Ronettes
ALONG COMES MARY - The Association
GIMME LITTLE SIGN - Brenton Wood
This records promise starts when you read the cover and see a number of notable names. The promise continues into the first few songs and even holds you through much of the first side (even though there a few misses). I flipped it over, though, and it began to lose me quickly. The artists are not ones I had heard of and the songs by those artists, and even the songs of the artists I did recognize, were forgettable ones.
A little bit of research and I found out a few things that told me most of what I needed to know. First of all it is called Flashback Fever and it was released in 1970. What this tells me is that it is less of a flashback (except the songs that were from 1960 or '61 maybe) and more of a recent retrospective or chronicle of the past decade. At least when I think of a flashback, I think farther back than even say the 90's at this point. So maybe if the album were called 'Looking Back on the Past Decade' it might be more representative. The second is tied in with the same thing. If you don't have a good solid record, why the dozen or so songs on each side? It is conceivable to have less on an LP, even if it's a greatest hits or other type of collection. Plus the 'hits' selection would be much greater.
The last thing ties into the first. If you do want to make a flashback album (at the proper time), then there is another reason to do it many years later than just the name. At that point, you can take a look at which songs and bands have stood the test of time. It is alright to include a few diamonds in the rough that people may not have heard of, but this certainly rings true for the popular bands. If you made this album in the later 70's you might have come up with different tracks that became more popular in later years by these, or other artists. On a personal note, I would rather see Hang on Sloopy than this McCoys song (and it was #1 in 1965, so no excuses there).