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25 tracks, 0 new  July 1998
EMI MFP (7243 4 95480 2)

Mono & Stereo - all tracks previously released

Shakin' All Over  (Heath) 1960
Please Don't Touch (Heath-Robinson) 1959
You Got What It Takes (Gordy-Davis-Gordy) 1960
Restless (Wadmore-Kidd) 1961
Linda Lu (Sharpe) 1961
A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues (Thompson) 1962
I'll Never Get Over You (Mills) 1963
Hungry For Love (Mills) 1963 *
Always And Ever (Mills) 1964 *
Oh Boy (West-Tighman) 1964 *
The Fool Version 2 (Ford-Hazlewood) 1966
Send Me Some Lovin' (Richard-Maralasco) 1964 *
Let's Talk About Us version 1 (Blackwell) 1961
Some Other Guy (Glick - Glick - Barren) 1963
Whole Lotta Woman (Rainwater) 1964 *
Your Cheatin' Heart (Williams) 1964 *
You Can Have Her (Cook) 1961
I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Dixon) 1961
I Can Tell (Smith-McDaniels) 1962
I Know (Mills) 1964 *
If You Were The Only Girl In The World
Feelin' (Heath-Robinson) 1959
Yes Sir, That's My Baby (Donaldson-Kahn) 1960
The Birds And The Bees (Newman) 1965
Doctor Feelgood (Smith) 1964

"25 Greatest Hits" (1998)

The Complete Collection (available as a bootleg in Russia, I believe, don't ask me where) gave collectors almost everything they wanted. In the wake of the formers' legal demise "25 Greatest Hits" is a worthy release for new fans with a decent cross-section of Kidd's catalogue although there's no new stuff.  It was inevitable that after the formers release further compilations would draw on the expanded range of lesser - known recordings that had lain dormant in some forgotten corner of EMI's vast archives, having been classified as sub-standard at the time of their creation. 

All tracks are in the same format that they appeared on the twin-CD set, although seven re-appear in the twin-track style of their recording.  The first nine tracks represent Kidd's hit entries in chronological order, although "Hungry For Love" sounds like a mastering error deprived it of its 5-second intro (it may just be MY CD player).  Only three other cuts are original single A-sides including "Whole Lotta Woman", "The Birds And The Bees" and the rare second A-side from 1959 "If You Were The Only Girl In The World", leaving room for more rarities.  The latter's B-side "Feelin" is also present (a fine cut which is more in keeping with the groups' identity of the time) along with "You Can Have Her" from 1961 or 1965 as well as "I Just Want To Make Love To You" which the the Pirates must have been the first group in the UK to record. 

The cover sports a rare early photo and inside is a good photo of the 'classic' line-up of Johnny Spence, Frank Farley, Mick Green and Johnny in full gear, a smaller version of which was previously seen on the reverse of the original "Best Of" compilation LP in 1978.  All in all this selection gives the budding fan a good idea of the groups' style and output from the early rock 'n' roll, through the experimental R 'n' B and the 'lost' album tracks and out to a few later singles.  With the BBC having allowed the release of a lot of the original early 60's "Saturday Club" programmes (in one way or another), I feel now a timely reminder for EMI to realise an opportunity and properly release the rest of Kidd and Pirate tracks . . .

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