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62 tracks, 28 previously unreleased
EMI - 0777 79994 8 2 3 

Amazing CD set with all available tracks, some of which are issued in stereo for the first time.

"The Complete...." (1992)

Without doubt the release to end all releases, "The Complete" was a shock, albeit a welcome one as I picked my jaw off the ground and gingerly examined the case (pictured) in the mid-1990's.  By this time I had picked up most of the retrospective UK releaseswith the exception of the second "Best Of..." from the mid 1980's.  "Rocker" was yet to be added to my collection but this nugget in my hand potentially negated the necessity of finding it.  So what about the contents?

A quick look at the back of the CD case revealed that out of 62 tracks (for me at least), 28 would be new, if I counted the newly-released stereo mixes as you would a "remix," say.  A handful of these new stereo recordings differ markedly from the mono to the point that at least one is a totally different take to its mono counterpart.  A look at the booklet revealed another nine stereo mixes from the band's first eighteen months!?!  Er, no, it was a typographical errur(sic).  Ah well. The booklet contains an excellent potted recording history by Brian Hogg, a year-by-year list of the various line-ups and recordings made, some rare pictures and some exhaustively-detailed notes & release dates of each track.

This remains the definitive release for Kidd fans so its deletion some years back was mourned by new fans of the band.  So it was with much surprise that I found it available again this time as a DRM-free mp3 download from this page on the 7-digital website.  Click each song in the widget on the right to hear good-quality previews in mono or stereo as they appear on the set by clicking on each track in the 7digital widget on this page. 

There's not much left after this to collect.  However, recorded versions of two instrumentals originally published on the rare song sheet booklet which were attributed to Mick Green made a very welcome - if unexpected - debut in 2008's new "The Best Of..." 2-CD set.  "Popeye" drives along nicely while "Spanish Armada" is an altogether moodier piece hinting at subdued grandeur on the High Seas.  Other bits and pieces are rumoured to exist, but have yet to be found (or made known that they do exist?).  The downloadable iTunes 10-track album "Blues Masters" or the near-identical 7Digital version "Heroes Of Rock" contain mostly Pirate recordings which are nevertheless interesting in their own right, but also sport an unexpected alternate take of "Whole Lotta Woman" featuring the great man himself.  wherever this came from is unknown but hints that there may be just one or two more interesting items hidden away in the depths of the EMI vaults.

There's too much to to speak generally about this excellent release, so the tracks are listed below as they appear on the CD (in chronological order by recording dates), with appropriate notes concerning those that made their first appearance on this set, or was first issued in stereo here.

Green = mono, Red = stereo

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Compact Disc ONE

Please Don't Touch (Heath - Robinson) 1959
Growl (Heath - Robinson) 1959
Yes Sir, That's My Baby (version 2) (Donaldson - Kahn) 1959, released 1976
Not the first release, but escaped on the flipside of the 1976 reactivated "Shakin' All Over".  The more controlled version originally on the flip (version 1) was somehow overlooked.  This version is playful and almost typical of the way UK rock was going in the late fifties, but hardly Top Ten material.  It didn't help that Kidd had to be dragged from Bournemouth for this session....
Steady Date De Angelis - Marcucci) 1959, released 1983
Feelin' (Robinson - Heath) 1959
If You Were The Only Girl In The World (Grey - Ayer) 1959
You Got What It Takes (Gordy - Davis - Gordy) 1960
Longin' Lips (Heath - Robinson) 1960
Shakin' All Over (Heath) 1960
Yes Sir, That's My Baby (version 1) (Donaldson - Kahn) 1960
Restless (Wadmore - Kidd - Dale) 1960
Magic Of Love (Kidd - Dale - Robinson) 1960
Linda Lu (Sharpe) 1961
Let's Talk About Us (version 1) (Blackwell) 1961
Big Blon' Baby (Roberts - Jacobson) 1960
Weep No More, My Baby (Arnette - O'Dell - Murphy - Paterno) 1960
More Of The Same (De Angelis) 1961, released 1983
I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Willie Dixon) 1961, released 1983
Please Don't Bring Me Down (version 2 ,Also known as "Frantic Guitar") (Kidd) 1961, released 1978
Rather rougher than the version released.  Although its first UK release, this track originally turned up on the French double LP "Rocker" in 1976, imports of which found their way to UK shores.
So What (Cronpton - Jones) 1961
Please Don't Bring Me Down (version 1) (Kidd) 1961
First stereo Release.  From master tape E43371Z, the "Z" suffix usually meant a stereo mix at EMI.
Hurry On Back To Love (Westlake) 1962
First stereo release.  Remixed from the surviving 4-track tape E43896A-4T.
I Want That (Lewis - Weisman) 1962
First stereo release.  As above, remixed from the 4-track studio tape E43896B-4T.
I Can Tell (Smith - McDaniels) 1962
A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues (Thompson) 1962
Some Other Guy (Glick - Glick - Barren) 1963, released 1990
Then I Got Everything (Kidd - Green) 1963
I'll Never Get Over You (Mills) 1963
Ecstasy (Pomus - Spector)
First stereo release.
Hungry For Love (Mills) 1963
First stereo release?  While true in the case of "Ecstasy", the stereo "Hungry For Love" mix actually saw its first light of day on "20 Golden Hits of 1964".  Each one of Sir Jimmy Saville's "Time Travels" LP series (on EMI's budget label, Music For Pleasure) contained a good cross-section of (mostly) EMI company hits. Part of the proceeds went toward the rebuilding of the Stoke Mandeville Spinal Unit.
Castin' My Spell (The Pirates) )E & A Johnson) 1964
First stereo release.
My Babe (The Pirates) (Dixon) 1964
First stereo release.
Dr. Feelgood (Smith) 1964
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Compact Disc TWO

Always And Ever (Ruvin) 1964
First stereo release.  First LP appearance was on the Starline release from 1971, although that was in an electronically created stereo, with the usual "bathroom" type effect.  This true stereo mix lets the song breathe and many hours (all right then, minutes) can be spent trying to count how many voices actually appear on the vocal track during the "La La La chorus....
Whole Lotta Woman (Rainwater) 1964
First stereo release.
Your Cheatin' Heart (Williams) 1964
First stereo release.
Let's Talk About Us (version 2) (Blackwell) 1964, released 1990
First stereo release.
A Little Bit Of Soap (Russell) 1964, first released 1983 in an incomplete mono version.
First stereo release.  Also the first finished release of this song.  This track first appeared on "Rarities" in 1983 but as a complete unadulterated, "as Is" recording straight off the master tape.  Instructions made at the time by the producer were finally carried out, most notably editing a better "take" of the ending onto the end of the song.  On "Rarities" it is incomplete with the voice of Johnny Kidd commenting about it.
The Fool (version 2) (Ford - Hazlewood) 1964, released 1990
First stereo release.
Oh Boy (West - Tighman) 1964, released 1983 in mono
First stereo release.
Send Me Some Lovin' (price - Marascalco) 1964, released 1990
Big Blon' Baby (varsion 2) (Robert - Jacobson) 1964, released 1990
Please Don't Touch (version 2) (Heath - Robinson) 1964, released 1990
Right String Baby, But The Wrong Yo-Yo (W. Perryman) 1964, released 1983 in mono
First stereo release.  Also a completely different take of the song to the one on "Rarities".  That mono version also includes some studio chat where Kidd and the boys work out who should have come in where and when, before taking the listener into the take proper.  The offending mis-cue occurs after the Vaudeville-y tinkling piano break.
Shop around (Gordy - Robinson) 1964
I Know (Mills) 1964, released 1990
First stereo release.
Jealous Girl (Mills - Weske) 1964
First stereo release.  Although this is essentially the same take as the single, it is presented here as it was recorded.  The main differences are that for the single release a copy of the second middle eight replaced the unusual-sounding first middle eight, and a better alternate take of the ending was edited on, possibly an "edit piece"?   The track as released here sounds a little rough around the edges without the enhancements.
Where Are You (Swanson - Roberts) 1964, released 1983 in mono
First stereo release.
Don't Make The Same Mistake As I Did (Lynch - Schuman - Westlake) 1965
The Birds And The Bees (Newman) 1965
Can't Turn You Loose (Redding) 1965
First stereo release.
Shakin' All Over '65 (Heath) 1965
First stereo release.  Newly remixed from the surviving 4-track tape E55890-4T.
Gotta Travel On (Trad. arr. J. Kidd) 1965
First stereo release.  The other side, again newly remixed from the surviving 4-track tape E55890-4T.
Bad Case Of Love (Curtis) 1961?, released 1992
You Can Have Her (Cook) 1961?, released 1992
Two tracks previously unreleased.  This CD set claims the tape box in which they were discovered seemingly alludes to a 1965 vintage, hence their appearance on this part of the collection.  However, both are also credited to be found on master tape TL26604, which also holds the similarly-rejected "Please Don't Bring Me Down (Frantic Guitar)".  Each song's matrix number, listed in the booklet appears to back up this theory.  Also, the recording date for both tracks is stated as 25/05/65 as opposed to "Please Don't Bring Me Down/Frantic Guitar's" date of 25-05-61 - a typographical error?  Apart from all that, both tracks sound typical of the Caddy/Gregg/Cattini era, in this case slightly unfinished just like "Frantic Guitar".  All three tracks grow on you with a few listens.
I Hate Getting Up In The Morning (version 2) (Mitch Murray) 1965, released 1983
First stereo release, remixed from the surviving 4-track master tape E57349-4T.
This Golden Ring (Greenaway - Cook) 1965, released 1983
First stereo release, from the same session as above, remixed from the surviving 4-track master tape E57349-4T.
It's Got To Be You (Birch) 1966, Accompaniment directed by Johnny Harris
I Hate Getting Up In The Morning (version 1) (Mitch Murray) 1966, Accompaniment directed by Johnny Harris
Two tracks that made up Kidd's penultimate single came from the same session.  The tape number infers that they were mixed into stereo at the time although only the topside was released in this format first, on the 1983 See For Miles compilation "Rarities".  The B-side sees its first ever release on a (UK at least) compilation in any form.
Send For That Girl (version 1) (Barter) 1966
"Disc Dub - Digitally enhanced using the Sonic Solutions System."  This is the first release (as far as I can be sure) on any UK compilation since its release on 45 in 1966 (although it made the superb French 2-LP set "Rocker").  Presumably the master tape went missing at some stage. It must happen occasionally, considering the amount of stuff EMI still possesses.  This sounds like a remix from the same take that version 2 originated from, although the given recording dates seem to dispute this.  The orchestra, which sounds a bit "bolted-on" anyway, gradually increases in volume before the refrain and it was here that the 'echo' effect on the end of Kidd's line (on version 2, see below) was mixed out.  The additional orchestration is also allowed to increasingly drown out Mick Stewart's superb controlled solo.
The Fool (version 1) (Ford - Hazlewood) 1966
Send For That Girl (version 2) (Barter) recorded 1966, released 1983
As the master tape of this take exists I would say that this was probably the originally accepted mix for release until it was decided to dub additional orchestra parts on a remix, made to order from the same take.  This version also sounds slightly cleaner and crisper than the one released on 45, allowing the listener to just make out Ray Soapers' organ especially in the vocal piece that bridges Mick Stewarts' nicely picked solo with the final verse.  The other notable sound differences are at the end of each verse.  On this mix, Kidd's voice, fed into the Abbey Road Echo Chamber sings "Yeeaahhh" with reverb increased to good effect before the refrain.  On the actual released single this is mixed out in favour of the overdubbed orchestration.
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