12 TOPS – VOLUME 9 (STEREO GOLD AWARD MER 105) MARCH 1973

“20th Century Boy”

The solid gold sound of today’s 12 Tops hits

This “12 Tops” album has an almost identical track list to ‘Top Of The Pops – Volume 30’ which I reviewed last week. Go here for more details. The remakes are all different though so clearly the stereo gold award label probably used different studios and musicians to lay down their versions of chart hits.

The guy ‘singing’ Slade‘s “Cum On Feel The Noize” is almost at breaking point with his pebble-dashed throat shouty shouty. Full marks for trying to capture Noddy Holder’s wild screams but I suspect that he may have done permanent damage to his larynx.

The Who‘s “Pinball Wizard” gets the treatment but it’s a disappointment – the male / female vocal interchange doesn’t work and I’m not keen on the interference of brass either. Back to the drawing board with this number.

“20th Century Boy” is a very good version complete with a dirty lead guitar and military drum action. The percussion sounds just like I like ’em to sound. Nothing synthetic about analogue drums – just a hairy bloke with thick arms pounding away and keeping a primitive beat like he’s the Boss.

Side two flashed by me without anything in particular being noteworthy, mostly soul ballads and orchestrated pop numbers which have never been my scene. A special mention for the version of “Baby I Love You” which appears to have been recorded inside a fish bowl in a vain attempt to get that unique Phil Spector wall-of-sound power.

All in all though this is still a worthy compilation of “12 Tops” – worth my two quid outlay for the T Rex copy of “20th Century Boy”.

Back cover liners:

Top of the Pops sounds while they are hot on the BBC Charts. The original hit sounds that are selling millions. Look for an exciting new album of up-to-date hits each month. Build the most exciting collection of pop tunes in your neighbourhood.

Detailed information about the “12 Tops” series can be found here.

charity shop purchase @ £2

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