Released back in the day when vinyl was still king, although compact discs were rapidly gaining ground and would soon seize the throne, 60s Collector Classics Volume Two was put together by renowned Australian rock writer Glenn A. Baker. Donned in an eye-pleasing pink and purple sleeve, the double album not only features a great mix of hit singles and mild obscurities from America and England, but Glenn’s signature attentive liner notes.
Any compilation that begins with the ringing bliss of “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds has to be boss, while an entry from Gene Clark, who headed down the solo path after departing the legendary band also rises to the occasion with “Echoes,” which inventively fuses classical music overtures with psychedelic imagery to chilling effects.
Situated in the soul section of the show, Otis Redding receives the royal treatment by way stirring covers of Aretha Franklin’s “Try A Little Tenderness” and Thane Russall and Three’s “Security,” and perched in the area inhabited by bands with food-oriented names, there’s the jubilant hippy sentiment of the Peanut Butter Conspiracy’s “It’s A Happening Thing,” a respectable remake of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da” from the Marmalade and the countrified hippy rock of “Hey Grandma” by Moby Grape.
Heart-gripping choruses, meticulously manicured hooks and sleek arrangements result in the stunning sunshine pop of the Millennium’s “I’m With You,” the Love Affair’s “Rainbow Valley” and “First Train To California” by the Cryan’ Shames, where the big and brassy sounds of horn rock are honored on “Kind Of A Drag” from the Buckinghams and “More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Starecase. A couple of Paul Revere and the Raiders gems, including the gritty garage rock razzamatazz of “Just Like Me” and the sizzling heft of “Just Seventeen” further appear on 60s Collector Classics Volume Two (CBS Records), along with a solo contribution, the lavish Tom Jones styled production of “Arizona” by the famed band’s lead singer Mark Lindsay.
The roots of heavy metal light the grooves on Gun’s fast and ferocious “Race With The Devil,” as Spirit’s “1984,” which paints a picture of an Orwellian future that has obviously turned into a reality, smokes to a hard driving temper as well. Clefs of Lavender Hill’s “Stop! Get A Ticket” plugs in as a merry slice of Merseybeat flavored magic, zippy hot rod rock takes center stage on “Hey Little Cobra” from the Rip Chords and the Zombies step up to the podium with “Time Of The Season” that illuminates to an evergreen beauty.
Other noted cuts on 60s Collector Classics Volume Two are the Cyrkle’s “Turn Down Day” that blends lilting Everly Brothers influenced harmonies with a spot of sitar-spiked paisley, the tough and toxic kick of “Don’t Look Back” from the Remains and the Third Rail’s “Run Run Run,” which marries boppy bubblegum rhythms to socially aware lyrics poking fun at convention and corporate greed.
Long out of print and not available in digital form either, 60s Collector Classics Volume Two is now a collectors item itself!