Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Forgotten.... Liner Notes? Nuggets Box Set

I think I have a bead on the kind of people that follow the FFBs, and one thing that I think many of you will find something to like in is the Nuggets set of 60s Garage Rock tunes and the accompanying liner notes.  While the music on the set is some of the greatest Rock and Roll tunes ever recorded by bands like; The Electric Prunes, The Castaways, The Sonics, The Amboy Dukes and The Standells to name just a few, it’s the liner notes that I really want to focus on today. For those not in the know, Garage Rock in it’s 60s form was really about young bands inspired by 50s Rock, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Dylan, playing teen clubs, writing fast furious and sometimes primal pop songs.

 Running just under 100 pages the booklet included with the box set a work of art by itself.  It is to the point where the last two entries in the Nuggets series of sets by Rhino Records have been in book form with the attached. The liner notes in the first set include lots of photos and reproductions of the cover art from the singles that the tunes are drawn from. Nuggets started as and LP collecting many of the one hit wonder singles of the late 60s; it was released in 1972, and included in the booklet is the original essay written by compiler and music critic Lenny Kaye. A couple of other essays are included in the book, but the real story is the track-by-track reviews of the songs.  The box covers 118 songs across 4 CDs, and each of them is given a history, context and information on labels, where the band was from, and chart date. On it’s own it is a history and puzzle that is worth checking out… and of course the music is first rate.

The Nuggets box set was enough of a hit that of course Rhino had to follow it up with others.  Nuggets II focused on non-US bands, Children of Nuggets focused on the neo-garage movement of the 80s, and the last two Love is the Song We Sing (about the San Francisco scene) and Where the Action Is? (about the LA scene) have been region specific. In many ways the last two have been a bit of a let down, and I haven’t bothered to pick them up… however if a Seattle, Scandinavian or Detroit set appears you can bet that I will be in line to pick up a copy.

Rather than the standard call for thoughts, comments and the like, I think this time I am going to call for your Juke Box picks from the bands and songs on this set….

While I love so many of these songs, the one that today calls out to me is … Cold Outside by The Choir

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