LOOKING STATESIDE: 80 US R&B, Mod, Soul & Garage Nuggets: Various Artists

This is the fourth collection in the highly successful LOOKING… series, and the series now takes a trip to the USA for its latest theme. The latest Looking set travels from uptempo R&B and Early Soul to Garage Punk, Northern, Frat Rock, Proto-Psych and wild instro’s. Paying homage to American Mod music from the Sixties. Beginning with turn-of-the-decade R&B, Frat Rock and Proto-Soul on Disc 1, a smattering of bonkers instrumentals, plenty of four-on-the-floor Northern Soul congregated on Disc 2, Nuggets-friendly fare on Disc 3 and tracks which flirt with Psychedelia as this four-hour soundtrack draws to a close. Many of the tracks here are drawn from the prestigious back catalogues of Challenge, Scepter/Wand, Etiquette, Swan, Shell, and Select, and a large number of those new to CD.

The three CDs are packed full of great songs that will get you dancing, wanting to bob your head and just plain rock out. You get some names that you’ve heard of, The Champs, Joe Tex, and Gene Vincent, but the real treat is in finding out new bands that you’ve never heard before and now love. The bad part of a collection like this, is that once you hear a band that you like, you now have to try to find more of their music, and that might be very difficult. The songs are a treat for someone who has never heard them before and has an interest in the more obscure tracks that are out there. The quality of the songs is amazing, with song after song of catchy and fun songs that work perfectly together. The compiler of this collection really did a great job finding these mostly underrated and hard to find songs where there is literally something for everyone, and no time to get bored because of the various styles mixed together on these three discs.

With great sound and a booklet full of stories about each of the songs, this is a collection that will keep you listening to it over and over again. This is a great way to hear songs that aren’t the typical, over-played songs from the time period and learn something new at the same time.

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