Thursday, 8 November 2018

Mud - A's, B's & Rarities


  

There are some excellent compilations in this RAK series - CCS, Suzi Quatro and Hot Chocolate. The sound quality is excellent on all of them and they are a chronological document of singles, 'b' sides and a few rarities ear the end. Of all of them, this is probably the least credible, mainly because of the quality of the 'b' sides. Mud's self-penned efforts cannot hold a candle to those of CCS, Hot Chocolate or even Suzi Quatro. In fact, they are pretty awful, I have to say. Glam rock groups were notorious for self-penned, poor quality 'b' sides. Sweet were another offender.

That said, Mud's singles from the Nicky Chinn/Mike Chapman songwriting team were excellent, from the slightly strange, Kinks-influenced early hit singles - "Moonshine Sally", "Crazy" and the excellent, little-mentioned "Hypnosis", which saw the group dressed up in dandyish 1920s gear before their classic glam rock period, when they adopted the teddy boy look and the big glam drums came in and that "blokes" dance they used to do with their shoulders. The hits were huge, effervescent and infuriatingly catchy - "Dyna-Mite", "The Cat Crept In" and "Tiger Feet" were classics of the whole goofy, fun genre. It is a strange compilation in that glam classics like "Tiger Feet" are followed by wistful 'b' sides like the country rock of "Mr. Bagatelle". It all sounds very incongruous, then "The Cat Crept In" is next, completely changing the mood.

"Rocket" is a singalong slice of typical mid-seventies chart pop, while "The Secrets That You Keep" and a great slowed-down cover of Buddy Holly's "Oh Boy" are both excellent too.

The rest of it is made up the afore-mentioned decidedly average 'b' sides, some instrumentals, rock'n' roll covers and their moving Christmas song, "Lonely This Christmas". Let's be honest, Mud were by far the least credible of the RAK artists, along with the short-lived Arrows, so it is a bit unfair to expect too much from this collection. Still, I own it and am happy to do so as it brings back some nostalgic teenage seventies memories.

C

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