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Shadows Are Go!

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Album Review

The Shadows enjoyed 20 British hits between 1960 and 1965, and this is their first American compilation. So we probably don't even want to wonder what that says for the Great American Record-Buying Public, smug, snug, and secure behind their piles of Ventures vinyl and sorry surf compilations, blissfully oblivious that a mere ocean away, entire generations were shaking to the Shads. You know the songs, of course, effortlessly magnificent guitar standards one and all: "Apache," which Jorgen Ingmann took to copycat heights back in 1960; "Wonderful Land," which Mike Oldfield later executed with heart-aching majesty; TV's "Thunderbirds Theme," "FBI," and "Perfidia." These melodies are scored into your brainpan regardless of whether you know, or even care, that the Shadows used to be Cliff Richard's backing band, or that the horn-rim headed Hank Marvin has been cited as a major influence by every guitarist from Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on down. The Shadows' story isn't all rosy, of course. As the smashes dried up in the mid- to late '60s, their efforts did become desperate and drippy. Shadows Are Go!, though, has no time for torment; it's just bang bang bang, through the hits till they hurt — and with a cutoff date of 1966, there's not a vocal cord in sight. Through "Kon Tiki," "Atlantis," "Guitar Tango," and "Frightened City," its 23 tracks take your senses by storm, easy listening burned through with a vitality that makes a mockery of the unhip reputation the band (like their boss man) acquired après Beatles. Indeed, though later sensibilities found the band's music frequently included in the lounge kitsch hall of fame, the Shadows shake that specter off in the same way as Elvis Presley retained his rock sensibilities long after his life turned to schmaltz. The fact is, this band was kicking butt while you were still saying "bottom," and this isn't a retrospective after all. It's a manifesto.

Customer Reviews

Original Versions With Great Sound

Contained herein is the original version of the instrumental hit "Apache", although if you were living in the USA you likely heard Jorgen Ingmann's version first. The Shadows were in the top 10 in England when the Dane recorded his cover hit for the U.S. market. I like both of these about equally. The Shadows have a fuller sound, but Ingmann's "Apache" sounds like the original to my American mind. You need to be a careful shopper to get the original hit versions for either artist. The Bacci Brothers are doing some nice remasterings of old rock tunes, improving but not changing the original sound. This is the Jorgen Ingmann "Apache" to choose, in my opinion. "Perfidia" is on this album as done originally by The Ventures. "Kon-Tiki" is found on many surf music compilations and I believe the original is on this album. Overall some nice instrumentals here as repackaged by The Shadows' original English label.


Formed: 1960 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Shadows are usually thought of as the quintessential British instrumental group and, along with the American band the Ventures and the Swedish group the Spotnicks, one of the most popular instrumental groups in the world. But that barely tells the story of their true significance in the history of British rock & roll -- including the fact that they were the first home-grown British rock & roll band to dominate the U.K. charts; or that they weren't originally an instrumental group, either. The...
Full Bio
Shadows Are Go!, The Shadows
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  • $12.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Pop, Britpop, British Invasion
  • Released: 1996

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