The Sound Of The Valentines: Complete Recordings 1966-1970
RPM Records/Cherry Red
From the littlest seeds, giant redwoods grow. Such it was for the Australian beat group The Valentines, a group who released but six singles in its brief existence, but are essential in the history of rock and roll. The Sound Of The Valentines: Complete Recordings 1966-1970 capture this young group’s recorded output, plus a few bonus tracks of its previous incarnation, the popular TV covers band, The Spektors; the four bonus tracks are live recordings, including numbers by The Beatles (“Yesterday”) and Them (“Gloria”).
The Valentines’ sound du jour was Beatlesque pop and mod rock; though the word “bubblegum” gets bandied about in the liner notes, they really don’t have much in common with the bands normally associated with that genre. Well, except for their one hit, “My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man,” and its bizarre follow-up, “Nick Nack Paddy Wack,” which is…yes, the children’s song. But those uncomfortably twee numbers aside, the band excelled at making lush pop; early singes “Everyday I Have To Cry” and “She Said” are quite enjoyable, and the band’s final single, “Juliette,”released in 1970, is a lush number that shows that the band had only improved over the years, more indebted to the sound of the forthcoming decade’s singer/songwriter fare.
That they never got the final chance to follow up that wonderful single is a shame; the band would implode after the dismal chart and sales performance of “Juliette,” with the members of the band moving on to other things.
Oh, the pretty-boy co-frontman who sang these songs with the bluesy intensity of the best pop stars of the era?
Oh, that was Bon Scott.
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