THE MOCK TURTLES: Turtle Soup (Expanded Edition)

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The Mock Turtles are an English indie rock band, formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1985, who enjoyed some success in the early 1990s. Their song “Can You Dig It?” which was released in 1991, charted in the UK top 20 in 1991 and again in 2003. Led by former Judge Happiness singer Martin Coogan, older brother of actor/comedian Steve Coogan, the band began to pick up attention around 1990, with tracks such as “Lay Me Down” and “And Then She Smiles” on the Imaginary label. It was “Can You Dig It?,” however, which gained them wider attention. Originally a b-side to “Lay Me Down,” the band’s new record label, Siren, re-issued it with additional guitar work, and “Can You Dig It?” breached the Top 20 in the UK Singles Chart.

This is a digitally remastered and expanded two CD edition, which represents their complete Imaginary catalogue, all of the Mock Turtles’ non-album singles and B-sides are included, together with the many cover versions they recorded for Imaginary’s popular tribute albums (covering The Byrds, Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, The Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart and The Kinks). In addition, Martin Coogan has unearthed no less than fourteen previously unissued Mock Turtles demos from his personal archive. Sleevenotes are by Mark Hodkinson (The Guardian, etc.), who was the first-ever journalist to review the band back in the mid-1980s. This collection features a massive forty-one tracks and with the great remastered sound, is a real treat for fans.

Being a DJ, and huge music fan, I was always on the hunt for something new to play in my set, I was downtown shopping and saw their original release as a cut-out in a store for $3 and having heard of them from reading the British music rags, I grabbed this CD and took it home. I played it as soon as I got there and loved what I heard and added it into my rotation and got good responses. Does this still hold up after all of these years? Hell yeah it does! Yes the singles are still as good as before, and the rest of the album still is great, but the bonus songs are what really makes this a winner. The end of disc one is filled out with tracks from the Pomona EP, singles and live tracks. Disc two has tracks that the band recorded for a comeback album in 2003 some of which made it on to the band’s Can You Dig It Greatest Hits CD, the great demos that give you an idea of where the band was both coming from and going, and some great covers of Syd Barrett’s “No Good Trying,” Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?,” The Byrds’ “Time Between and Why” into one killer tune, and, two Kinks songs, “Shangri-la” and “The Big Sky.”

With so many songs and the great sound and booklet, this is definitely a collection that goes beyond most reissues and is worth every penny. Get this album and relive one of the lost albums of the early ’90s and treat your ears to a listening experience that you won’t soon forget.

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