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The Mustangs

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Album Review

This CD, released as part of Bear Family's brilliant, mind-boggling Smash! Boom! Bang! German '60s beat series, will seem like complete ersatz to most listeners, who might wonder why they should reach out to a German rock & roll band that they likely never heard of. And the joke would be on them because, for anyone who loved the early singles of Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Beatles, the Roulettes, or the Dakotas, and who also has a fondness for the lean, melodic instrumentals that the Shadows were doing in the early '60s, the 16 songs on this CD represent a little slice of heaven. The group members harmonize well, they play hard but in an articulate fashion, and they have an honest, naïve enthusiasm, born of youth, that shows a genuine love for what they are doing. This reviewer had to resist the urge to dance to their rendition of "Please Mr. Postman," and they even have a handful of originals in here that are competitive with most of the in-house compositions being generated by the British beat bands of the period. There's also a beguiling innocence to their rendition of "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" — one of the few tracks sung in German — that would melt the heart of even the biggest skeptic. That single and the German-language "Oh My Baby" and "Einsamkeit" are among the bonus tracks added to the original Die Mustangs LP, and they raise the value sharply for any '60s music enthusiasts. Is this an essential CD? Not at all. But will anyone inclined to like the Beatles of "From Me to You" or the Gerry & the Pacemakers of "Chills" regret buying it, or file it away after one listen? Not at all.

The Mustangs, The Mustangs
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