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Side Tracks & Smokers

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Album Review

Believe it or not, the title of Ducks Deluxe’s 2010 compilation Side Tracks & Smokers explains it all: this is an odds-and-ends collection of B-sides from the band’s heyday, live cuts of a recent vintage, and a new studio track. Skipping through the decades might seem like a recipe for disaster, and while there’s no denying that the live tracks showcase a more seasoned band, this all hangs together very well and provides plenty of highlights. While the vintage tracks are undeniably strong — “Saratoga Susie” swings nicely, “Hearts on My Sleeve” flirts with power pop — those new live tracks find a reunited Ducks in a fiery fashion, capable of riding out elongated reggae rhythms or stretching out “Teenage Head” to nine minutes. Perhaps this is something only of note to the dedicated, but those who still love Ducks Deluxe in 2010 will find this Side Tracks worth a few spins.

Biography

Formed: 1972 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s

If the old scientific adage is true — that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction — then British pub rockers Ducks Deluxe were purely and simply a reaction. With the mid-'70s English pop scene dominated by glitter/glam rockers like Gary Glitter and Sweet or blustery, chops-heavy art rockers like Yes, Jethro Tull, and Genesis, then Ducks Deluxe represented none of the above. One of the first pub rock bands, the Ducks played basic American-style blues and boogie with remarkable...
Full Bio
Side Tracks & Smokers, Ducks Deluxe
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