Pebbles, Vol. 12: The World

Pebbles, Vol. 12: The World

CD

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Overview

This collection features 27 mid-'60s beat/punk singles from bands outside North America and the U.K., although a few of these bands were actually British outfits that moved abroad (the Rokes to Italy, and the Shamrocks and the Scorpions to Germany). Most of these singles have not been previously reissued. To their credit, the compilers have cast their net far and wide, encompassing not just continental Europe, but also New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and even Lebanon. The chief flaw of the volume is one that afflicts many such '60s anthologies: there are too many covers of songs (often R&B classics, like "Roadrunner" and "I Can Tell") that were done better by much more famous British bands. Nonetheless, there are some class selections here, particularly when the bands go out of the routine R&B rave-up orbit into poppier or more psychedelic territory. Among the more satisfying entries are the Four Rockets' (from Belgium) "The Place Where She Lives," with its mod chords; the Shamrocks' hot R&B single "Midnight Train" (which is not on their cult-favorite album); and Noel Deschamps' fine French cover of John Mayall's "I'm Your Witchdoctor" (retitled "Curieux Docteur"). Los Salvages' (from Spain) "Las Overjitas" is as raw a bash as continental bands managed; Japan's Bunnys merge British Invasion guitar with the Shadows on "Moanin'"; and Sir Henry & His Butlers' (from Denmark) "Pretty Style" is trance-inducing pop psychedelia with sitar.

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