REVIEW

 

BAY CITY ROLLERS
Great Lost Rollers Album

No matter how worthy the recent (2003), long-awaited release of the Rollers catalog on CD may have been, the fact remains that many of the Tartan terrors’ most in-demand material still awaits an official release - namely the clutch of 45s released before they became the biggest thing since sliced Beatles, and the host of b-sides that followed their elevation.

The Great Lost Rollers Album corrects this omission by rounding up positively every significant non-CD cut in the band’s repertoire, beginning with the "Keep On Dancing"/"Alright" coupling that marked their 1971 debut, and traveling on through both sides of the European mini-hits "We Can Make Music," "Manana" and "Saturday Night." Later, the UK Top 5 smash "Give A Little Love," pops up amid a stream of b-sides, together with the Rollers’ prototype rendition of "The Bump," and "Bye Bye Barbara," a flipside that really should have been a hit in its own right. We also get "Mama Li" - a barely disguised rewrite of Wings’ "Rock Show"; a ghastly disco mix of "Don’t Stop The Music"; and the original rendering of "Remember," that was pulled from sale and rerecorded when Les McKeown took over from Nobby Clarke. Oddly, it sounds more like the record you remember than the "familiar" Les version.

Completing the album, a 1976 interview directed at the band’s Japanese audience contributes some additional period charm, but (like "Don’t Stop The Music"), it’s little more than a spacefilling after thought. The 19 tracks that precede it are the real meat, relics from a day when five men in tartan trousers made some of the most deliriously delicious pop records of all time. So, altogether now, "S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y NIGHT!" - Dave Thompson

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