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20 tracks, all previously released
EMI PLUS  725357619721

Standard chronological CD set with a bonus CD.

Please Don't Touch (Heath-Robinson) 1959

Feelin' (Heath-Robinson) 1959

If You were The Only Girl In The World (Grey-Ayer) 1959
You Got What It Takes (Gordy-Davis-Gordy) 1960
Shakin' All Over (1) (Heath) 1960
Yes Sir, That's My Baby (Donaldson-Kahn) 1960
Restless (Wadmore-Kidd) 1961
Linda Lu (Sharpe) 1961

Please Don't Bring Me Down (Kidd) 1961

Hurry On Back To Love (Westlake) 1962
A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues (Thompson) 1963
I'll Never Get Over You (Mills) 1963
Hungry For Love (Mills) 1964
Always And Ever (Ruvin) 1964
Doctor Feelgood (Smith) 1964
Jealous Girl (Mills-Weske) 1964
Whole Lotta Woman (Rainwater) 1964 *
Your Cheatin' Heart (Williams) 1964
The Birds And The Bees (Newman) 1965
The Fool (2) (Ford Hazlewood) 1966

"The Story" (2000)

The latest collection, "The Story" is one of a series of releases on a new EMI label from the European division, EMI Plus. The title alone promises what could be a mouth-watering selection with a bonus CD-rom covering the groups' history for good measure. The 20 track CD is a solid affair containing the first fifteen A-sides in chronological order with five B-sides thrown in at the appropriate place for good measure. Fairly rare sides are "If You Were The Only Girl", "Hurry On Back To Love" and the last of the Gordon Mills beatsters, "Jealous Girl". Strangely, the groups' final three 45rpm topsides don't get a look-in, "Shakin' All Over 65", It's Got To Be You" and "Send For That Girl" (although the clatters' B-side "The Fool" makes a welcome re-appearance), all of which (to my mind) are as valid as "Please Don't Bring Me Down", "Hungry For Love" and "Whole Lotta Woman". Why not simply have ALL the A-sides plus a few rare tracks in their original glorious mono?

There are no new surprises and are probably culled from the (once again) double CD set masters. All tracks sound in good condition, even "Hungry For Love" has had its intro restored after losing it on the previous outing. Six tracks are in stereo but mono would have given the CD as a whole a consistent sound, plus there is the odd track that has not yet made it onto CD in it's original mono form, in this case "Jealous Girl". The original single was essentially one take with the second middle eight copied over the original first middle eight plus an alternate take of the final chord tacked on. Hence, the stereo track presented here is that basic, unadulterated twin-track take. Trivia: The same year's "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann was constructed in much the same way where a copy of the first middle eight is pasted over an instrumental break where the second middle eight now appears.

The accompanying CD-ROMThe accompanying CD-rom is an interesting idea that is not fully realised. It contains a single executable (barely 2 megabytes in size) of a presentation in four languages and gives you a (very) brief and inaccurate resume of the band's history. At one point it states that the original Pirates re-formed "minus Kidd" in the mid 70's, continuing to play Kidd's best songs. Actually, it was the late-'62 to mid-'64 version that re-formed, all mention of Green, Spence & Farley being dealt in one sentence amounting to "A few years later" which neatly avoids any mention of them at all! The discography is a nonsense, you must guess if each 'entry' is a 45, LP or CD. Ah well. To make up you can install a screensaver (I haven't tried it), go to the EMI Plus site from the link, or view the five good quality and extremely rare photographs, a couple of which show the classic line-up in front of what appears to be the legendary Galleon backcloth they used onstage. They're almost worth the price alone. But overall more could have been done with the format. The Jewell case cover boasts another rare photo of the classic line-up which is repeated inside and out, plus on the audio CD itself, while a negative version (above right) adorns the cardboard CD-Rom cover. Available from Amazon.

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