Serious 60s/70s music collectors will be delighted with a new 3 Cd, 74 track compilation from Chery Reed imprint, Grapefruit. ‘Miles Out To Sea’ (more of that later) is subtitled ‘The Roots of British Power Pop 1969-1975’ and, obviously, no soul here but archivists and serious music buffs (many of whom regularly visit this site) will be intrigued by the collection.
‘Power Pop’ was a phrase coined the Who’s Pete Townshend to describe his band’s music. So, yes, here you can expect plenty of crashing chords and bombastic vocals but the sub-genre also went on to include the sounds of jangling Rickenbacker 12 strings and harmony-laden melodies.
There are plenty of big names amidst the 74 tracks – amongst them the aforementioned Who, the Kinks, Gerry Rafferty, the Move, Sweet and Slade whose ‘Miles Out To Sea’ opens proceedings and gives the album its title. Of course, there are lashings of wannabees and no hit wonders too – bands like Starry Eyed and Laughing, Champion the Underdog and the Fab Ratbites From Hell… maybe with names like those they didn’t deserve to succeed!.
Given the collection’s bookending dates, it’s hardly surprising that the spirit of the Beatles hangs heavy over much of the music. The best Beatles’ homage though is the closing track – Rupert Holmes’ ‘I Don’t Want To Hold Your Hand’, which namechecks plenty of Fabs’ songs and sounds with a delicious irony.
Again, date-wise no shock to see plenty of Liverpool artists including Rockin’ Horse, Liverpool Express, Billy Kinsly, Jimmy Campbell and Neil Harrison who went on to carve a good living “being” John Lennon in the Bootleg Beatles.
The excellent, picture-packed 48 page booklet is stuffed with facts just like that, adding to the vintage pleasures of ‘Miles Out To Sea’. It’s released 22nd July.