The Sorrows – You’ve Got What I Want: The Essential Sorrows 1965-1967 (Grapefruit Records)


After listening to this thirty-song compilation, you’d have a hard time arguing that The Sorrows were one of the best British bands of the mid-’60s. Too much of their material relied on copping the chords and faux-R&B attitude of early Kinks records to justify that distinction. Perhaps if they had a singer-songwriter with a keen eye for characters and simple storytelling like Ray Davies they could have accomplished more, but they weren’t that lucky, so chart success was almost non-existent (with the exception of Italy – where they were huge). While most of their output (an album and some singles) was run of the mill amped-up R&B with mindless lyrics (writing a song called “Let The Live Live” – long “i” followed by a short “i” – was probably a dumb idea even back then), they still had a few jaw-droppers in their arsenal which match up evenly with the best of any UK band active at the time. “You’ve Got What I Want”, which this collection is named after, is one of those songs: 120-seconds of pure energy, crazed machine-gun drumming, manic singing and Yardbirds-worthy manhandling of guitars. Slightly moodier, but no less essential, is “Take A Heart” which builds from a soft pitter-pattering heartbeat of drums, to a raging amphetamine-rush of heavily reverbed guitar squall in the chorus. They never reached the high watermark of those two songs again, but there’s still a primitive magnetism in many of their rough-hewn songs like “Let Me In” and “I Don’t Want To Be Free” which makes this an attractive purchase for 1960s Mod/Freakbeat/R&B connoisseurs.

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