Tuesday, December 12, 2017

DUCKS DELUXE/COAST TO COAST: THE ANTHOLOGY review!


DUCKS DELUXE

COAST TO COAST: THE ANTHOLOGY 
(3CD)

Available NOW!

When Ducks Deluxe arrived on the scene in 1972, they were one of Pub Rock’s finest outfits. Born in the pubs of England in the early ‘70s, Pub Rock was essentially a short-lived musical movement inspired by American Rock ‘n’ Roll, Rhythm & Blues and Country Music of the ‘50s all reinterpreted by British musicians at the tail end of the hippy movement.  Rubbing shoulders with contemporaries like Brinsley Schwarz, Ace, Eggs Over Easy, Dr. Feelgood, Kilburn & The High Roads and Eddie & The Hot Rods, Ducks Deluxe was a popular live draw during their short three-year existence. While they only released two mildly successful studio albums in ‘74 and ’75, the band’s musical legacy continued long after their split 42 years ago. Like Brinsley Schwarz, the band’s members formed musical projects that were much more successful: Nick Garvey and Andy McMaster formed The Motors, Sean Tyla formed The Tyla Gang and guitarist Martin Belmont went on to play in Graham Parker & The Rumour as well as being Nick Lowe’s guitarist in the ‘80s.




Instead of writing a book-length post about Pub Rock’s influence on New Wave and Punk, let’s just focus on the Ducks’ recorded output, which has been collected on an excellent three CD set entitled COAST TO COAST: THE ANTHOLOGY (Cherry Red). This set not only includes their albums DUCKS DELUXE (1974) and TAXI TO THE TERMINAL ZONE (1975) plus their 2009 reunion mini album BOX OF SHORTS, it also contains live tracks, b-sides, EP sides, previously unreleased mixes, demos and rare solo efforts. 61 tracks total!


While a good portion of the music contained here has been released in some fashion before, it is wonderful to be able to experience it all in one place. Since the Ducks’ version of Pub/Rock ‘n’ Roll was timeless, the recordings here have dated extremely well and still sound amazingly fresh and exciting four decades on. Their blend of Boogie, Rhythm & Blues, Pop, Country, Folk and Rock is energetic and filled with passion, love and honesty. Sure, it may seem strange that a British band could sound so ‘American’ but they certainly didn’t lose their Britishness in the process. Like their previously mentioned Pub Rock mates, Ducks Deluxe knew how to write a hook. One just needs to hear “Please, Please, Please” (off their self-titled debut) or “Love’s Melody” (from TAXI TO…) to realize that these unassuming rockers were destined to be somehow associated with Power Pop (ironically, the former song was covered by Segarini and the latter was given to The Searchers). And let’s not forget gems like “Coast To Coast,” “Something’s Going On,” “Fireball,” “Cherry Pie” and so many more classic Ducks tunes.


Ducks Deluxe continue to be referred to as a Pub Rock band (as stated several times here) but let’s be honest: they are definitely one of British Rock ‘n’ Roll’s greatest unsung bands of the ‘70s. Bursting with talent and overflowing with great ideas, Ducks Deluxe deserve your undying love. COAST TO COAST: THE ANTHOLOGY is an easy and inexpensive way to kickstart that love affair…




Keep on truckin',
Stephen SPAZ Schnee

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