Although countless Mud
compilations have been released over the years, none of them managed to cover every phase of the group's career. This was remedied in 1997 with the release of The Singles '67-'78
. This overwhelmingly generous collection spans two discs and includes the A- and B-sides of each single the group released. Of course, the most impressive tracks are the hits from the group's stint at RAK Records: the combination of pop hooks and guitar firepower utilized for stomping glam classics like "Tiger Feet" and "Dynamite" still sound fresh and exciting today. However, this set also unearths some surprisingly good tracks from the group's oft-overlooked periods at Private Stock and RCA Records: "L'L'Lucy" is a full-throttle rock tune built on a smile-inducing vocal stutter hook and the languid yet catchy "Slow Talking Boy" is unlike anything else in the Mud catalog. Unfortunately, this generous array of material means the listener has to sit through more than one dud along the way, like the pleasant but inconsequential covers of "Lean on Me" and "Drift Away." Even hardcore Mud fans may be tempted to scan through filler tracks like these. That said, The Singles '67-'78
remains the definitive way for any glam fan to explore the full history of this underrated group and it further enhances its value with a nice set of liner notes that include track-by-track commentary from lead vocalist Les Gray
. Casual listeners will probably be better off with a single-disc compilation, but The Singles '67-'78
is the collection of choice for Mud enthusiasts.