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Various Artists: Millions Like Us: The Story of the Mod Revival 1977-1989 [PA] [Digipak]

Track List

>Just Another Teenage Anthem - New Hearts
>Fashion Plague, The - The Exits
>I Can't Resist - The Reaction
>All the Sounds of Fear - Strangeways
>Sema 4 Messages - Sema 4
>No Survivors - Speedball
>See Saw - The Jolt
>They're Back Again, Here They Come - The Cigarettes
>Why Should It Happen to Me? - Killermeters
>What I Want - The Donkeys
>Time for Action - Secret Affair
>Millions Like Us - Purple Hearts
>Now It's Gone - The Chords
>Your Side of Heaven - Back to Zero
>Walking Down the Kings Road - Squire
>Plastic Smile - The Merton Parkas
>Modern Boys - The Crooks
>Untamed Youth - The Untamed Youth
>Beat Is Back, The - First Steps
>Gabrielle - The Nips
>Strength of the Nation - The Teenbeats
>Go Steady - The Lambrettas
>1970's Boy - Long Tall Shorty
>Career Girls - Les Elite
>Don't Throw Your Life Away - Beggar
>Let Me Be the One - The Mods
>Opening Up - The Circles
>Saturday Night - The Odds
>Bank Holiday Weekend - Seventeen
>Carefree - The Most
>Hey Girl - The Scene
>Wild About You - The Same
>Bank Holiday - Vandells
>Three Bands Tonite - Directions
>Maybe Tomorrow - The Chords
>School Days - Sta-Prest
>Pack Fair and Square [Previously Unissued Demo] - Nine Below Zero (previously unreleased)
>Blood Spattered with Guitars - Accidents
>Television Screen Heroes - Mi5
>My World - Secret Affair
>S.Y.S.L.J.F.M. (The Letter Song) - Q-Tips
>That Driving Beat - Red Beans & Rice
>Choose You - Dead Beats/Deadbeats
>Nobody Loves Me - The Letters
>Fuck Art Let's Dance [Demo] - The Names/The Name
>D-a-a-ance - The Lambrettas
>My Mind Goes Round in Circles - Squire
>I've Had Enough - The Scene
>I Can See Through Walls - D.C.10's
>Soho - Run 229
>No Way Out - The Fixations
>Don't Lecture Me - Two Tone Pinks
>Kid, The - Small Hours
>Tina's Party - Weekend
>Only for Sheep (Previously Unissued) - The Upset (previously unreleased)
>Can We Go Dancing? - The Amber Squad
>Red with Purple Flashes - The Times
>Go - The Heartbeats
>Blind to Fiction - The Dodos
>Would You Listen Girl? - Retreads
>Win or Lose - Long Tall Shorty
>Faker, The - The Gents
>No Vacancies - The Clues
>You and I - Onlookers
>Love Is Dead - Small World
>Plane Crash [Respond Version] - Purple Hearts
>One Step Ahead - The Stripes
>Modesty Blaise - Direct Hits
>I'll Keep on Holding On - The Diplomats
>Confusion (Hits Us Everytime) - The Truth
>Hurricane - The Prisoners
>I Don't Need No Doctor - Fast Eddie
>Wednesday Girl - The JetSet
>Jump Back - Dee Walker
>Time Moves Us On - The Way Out
>Nothing You Can Do - Manual Scan
>I Am with You - Mod Fun
>Something That You Said - The Scene
>Bend Don't Break - Stupidity
>In This Town - The Moment
>Free Yourself - The Untouchables
>Dreams Come True - The Combine
>Guilty - The Alljacks
>Here Is My Number - Makin' Time
>Kiss and Make Up - The Co-Stars
>One Good Reason - The Boss
>Last Man in Europe, The - The Blades
>Catcher in the Rye - 5:30!
>Train to London Town - Solid State
>I Want to Sleep with You - Eleanor Rigby
>Looking for You - The Rage
>Step Back - The Threads
>Jobs for the Boys - The Risk
>Blow Up - James Taylor Quartet
>Julie London - The Kick
>All I Want to Be - The Reflections/The Reflection A.O.B.
>Get Out of My Hair - Studio 68
>Paint in a Day - Leepers
>Worming - The Clique
>Arthur C. Clarke - The Aardvarks

Album Reviews:

Mojo (Publisher) (p.115) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The Who/Jam spectre looms, but quirks and talent abound."

Album Notes

Audio Remasterer: Simon Murphy .

Spread out over four discs and lovingly packaged, Cherry Red's Millions Like Us tells the tale of the mod revival, one of the most insular and focused music scenes to ever come out of the U.K. Inspired by the success of the Jam, who played with all the pent-up energy of the Who and sported the dress sense of the nattiest '60s mods, and the release of the film Quadrophenia, England exploded with bands eager to follow in the Jam's wake, and Millions collects up most, if not all, of them. From the most obscure corners of the scene to the bands who almost made it (the Lambrettas, Secret Affair, the Chords, Squire -- each of whom get two songs), there are tons of groups made up of young lads in stylish gear looking to express their frustrations, celebrate their small freedoms, bash out ringing chords, and impress the young modettes in the crowd. For the most part, the bands involved play with enough energy and fire to obscure their obvious debt to the past, and the Jam, and the collection is filled with tons of great songs. Split between rave-ups about scooters, bank holidays, and girls, and empowering mini-epics about the "kids" and the scene, there's a positivity to the music that must have provided a nice alternative for people who wanted loud and aggressive music, but also wanted to hear good melodies and look smart. To that end, a great deal of the songs here share a lot with the power pop scene that was operating in the U.S. at the same time. Check out Secret Affair's "My World," which sounds like it could have been on a Raspberries album. There's also a strong R&B thread running through the scene, mostly in a good Northern soul/Motown-inspired way, sometimes in a corny, overly reverent way (like the Q-Tips' tepid cover of "S.Y.S.L.J.F.M [The Letter Song]"). The set takes a few interesting detours here and there, gathering up some music on the fringes of the scene like L.A. band the Untouchables' "Free Yourself," the twee pop psych of Direct Hits' lovely "Modesty Blaise," the modern girl group snap of Dee Walker's "Snap Back," and the bubblegummy pop of the JetSet's "Wednesday Girl." These diversions show how far the mod revival's reach extended, and it keeps the set from being merely four hours of bands who wanted to be the Jam's little brothers. The fourth disc shows that this urge was very strong and long-lasting, since even by 1989 there were still bands in deep thrall to the classic mod sound, though peppered by psychedelic leanings (the Leepers' "Paint a Day") and early acid jazz (the James Taylor Quartet) too. Like most box sets, Millions Like Us isn't perfect and goes on a little too long, but overall it's a fun, exhaustive, and inspired look back at a vibrant scene that tends to be overlooked, but really shouldn't be. ~ Tim Sendra


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