More Hits! [Expanded]

by: The Shadows

If the first Shadows hits collection was an unimpeachable masterpiece, their second is, if you'll pardon the pun, a mere shadow of its brilliance. Not that there is anything whatsoever amiss with the contents. "Foot Tapper," "Atlantis," "Shindig," and so on were all remarkable hits -- remarkable, that is, not only for their instrumental prowess, but also because they proved the Shadows were still a vibrant concern, long after rock and pop had moved into the middle-age crisis of the mid-'60s. "The Rise and Fall of Flingel Bunt," "Genie With the Light Brown Lamp," and the admirably raucous "Rhythm and Greens" are all here for hit completists -- and so is "Mary Anne," the group's first vocal hit and proof that there was life beyond the trademark tang. Indeed, a dozen hits take the band's story up through the release of the mawkish masterpiece "Don't Make My Baby Blue," while two quaintly oddball cuts from the Rhythm & Greens EP complete the set. Even at the band's best, however, little here has more than a passing resonance in comparison with the megaliths of the past. In their prime, a new Shadows single hit you with all the physical and emotional impact of the first date of your dreams. By 1965, they were more like old friends -- you'd pass on the street, swear you'd get together again sometime, then dismiss them from your mind. There's some great music here. But once you've got the first hits collection, do you really need anything more? [The 2004 expanded edition of More Hits! included the full album in both stereo and mono.] ~ Dave Thompson

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