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Groovies Greatest Grooves (2008)

Flamin' Groovies

... read moreDuring their early period with Roy Loney as lead singer, the Flamin' Groovies made one great album (Teenage Head), one very good one (Flamingo), and one that was flawed but enjoyable (Supersnazz). When Cyril Jordan took over as the band's unquestioned leader following Loney' s departure, the...

Review

During their early period with Roy Loney as lead singer, the Flamin' Groovies made one great album (Teenage Head), one very good one (Flamingo), and one that was flawed but enjoyable (Supersnazz). When Cyril Jordan took over as the band's unquestioned leader following Loney' s departure, the Groovies shifted gears from supercharged roots rock to neo-British Invasion pop, and while every record they released had more than a few brilliant moments, they seemed incapable of making an album that was solid from front to back. Thankfully, some bright penny at Sire Records got the idea of putting together a Flamin' Groovies compilation CD, and the result, Groovies' Greatest Grooves, makes a superb case for the inconsistent but undeniable brilliance of their post-Loney repertoire. Groovies' Greatest Grooves harvests pretty much every great track from the group's three albums for Sire (Shake Some Action, Flamin' Groovies Now!, and Jumpin' in the Night) and tosses in one superb cut with Loney (the masterful "Teenage Head"), two hard-to-find ravers with short-time vocalist Chris Wilson (including the much-covered "Slow Death"), and a rough but exciting demo of "River Deep, Mountain High" cut for a proposed collaboration with Phil Spector. While Jordan's edition of the Flamin' Groovies may not have rocked as hard as Loney's, that doesn't say that they couldn't rock hard when they wanted to, as "Jumpin' in the Night," "Tallahassee Lassie," and "Please Please Girl" easily prove, and "Shake Some Action," "You Tore Me Down," and "All I Wanted" are as transcendent as pop music gets. A satisfying 75 minutes of pure bliss, Groovies' Greatest Grooves is a one-stop shopping place for anyone wanting the cream of the Flamin' Groovies' faux-Brit era, and a fine introduction to one of the best American bands of the period. ~ Mark Deming

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