Watch Your Step, Volume 3 of the New Rubble compilation series released by Past & Present in conjunction with Radioactive, mines a completely different territory than Volume 2, this time spotlighting British Beat singles released between 1964 to 1966.
Watch Your Step will appeal to those who are curious to dig further than the Rolling Stones, Animals, and Mersey beat type sounds emanating from Britain, but that has remained unreleased in this CD age.
Watch Your Step combines the retro beat sound with the more sophisticated pop sound of the British Beat sound. So it does take some digging to find what makes this compilation so worthwhile.
Some retro beat songs include Tommy Bruce & The Bruisers' Boom Boom (Tommy Bruce first starting rocking in the 50s), Freddie Ryder's Slow Down (Freddie was also known as Freddie Self and was a member of The Fourmost), the Laurie Jay Combo's Teenage Idol (Laurie Jay started drumming in the 50s and has a Chuck Berry sound here), Dave Davani & The D-Men's rave up on Midnight Special (this group later became the Dave Davani Four), Danny King's version of Tossin' and Turnin' (Danny was the singer from the Mayfair Set, and this song was also covered by the Dave Davani Four) and The Huskies unreleased acetate of Matchbox.
These tracks are all fun and retro but nothing here is so superb that you will lose sleep if you miss them. The more sophisticated Brit beat pop sound can be heard on:
- The Little Darlings' cover of the John Carter/Ken Lewis track Easy To Cry - the John Carter version of this can be heard on the John Carter compilation on RPM Measure for Measure: The John Carter Anthology 1961-1977
- The Blue Chips fuzzed out Some Kind Of Lovin' released on Pye in '66
- The Toggery Five's It's So Easy - The Toggery Five's lead singer, Paul Young later was in Sad Cafe in the '70s
- Bobby Jameson's Please Mr Mailman - this fiery, intense b-side to Bobby's single Rum Pum released on the Brit Records label has a killer electric guitar and Bobby's always intense vocal style - this was the Bobby Jameson that released an album as Chris Lucey called Songs Of Protest And Anti-Protest that was reissued on Rev-ola; Bobby also worked with Frank Zappa and went to the UK at one point to work with the Rolling Stones; Rum Pum was also released as the flipside of I Wanna Know; Bobby later released a classic soft pop album called Color Him In as Jameson on Verve
- The Boston Crabs's As Long As I Have You, has a sweet tenor vocal style - a song which was also covered by Junco Partners
- The Blackwells' Mersey beat style on Why Don't You Love Me - a group featured in the movie Ferry Cross the Mersey
- Michael Leslie's Troggs' like Make Up Or Break Up - a Pete Dello/Grant Tracy song which is also featured on Here Come the Boys, Vol. 1; there's an RPM compilation for Grant Tracey & The Sunsets called Everybody Shake - The Complete Recordings - that doesn't include this song however
- and the intense echo-fest that is Ray Singer's What's Done Has Been Done with some awesome acrobatic vocals from Ray - Ray was in the first lineup of Nirvana (the British 60s group with that name)
These more sophisticated Brit beat pop tracks are definitely the bigger reason to hunt this compilation down, though there's nothing wrong with the 2nd tier retro Brit beat tracks except that they aren't as well done as the cream of the crop would do that sound.