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The Honeycombs: All Systems Go

Album Notes

Despite downwardly spiraling commercial fortunes, the Honeycombs recorded a second album in 1965 that featured as many intriguing production flourishes and oddball British pop songs as their first effort. No hits were included on this LP -- and be warned that the version of their minor hit single "I Can't Stop" (probably their best song) featured here is an inferior, drastically slower remake. This album also includes a mighty obscure ballad by Ray Davies, "Emptiness," that was never recorded by the Kinks (or any other artist but the Honeycombs, for that matter). It's not much of a song, but it's a find for Kinks fanatics. The record's highlights are the sparkling guitars of "Love in Tokyo" and the soulful ballad "Something I Got to Tell You" (featuring drummer Honey Lantree on vocals), which sounds like an honest-to-god hit-that-never-was. The CD reissue of the album adds six non-LP cuts from 1965-1966 singles. The best of these are the tense, overwrought ballad "Should a Man Cry?" and the up-tempo "Can't Get Through to You," on which producer Joe Meek took his vari-speed vocals and neurotic rhythms to their farthest extremes. ~ Richie Unterberger



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