THE ACTION - 'The Ultimate Action' (Edsel ED 101) 1980
I'm going through a huge Action phaze at the moment, a group who I've had a rather love/hate relationship with for many years. I still much prefer their later material, such as their last UK single on Parlophone, that being of course 'Shadows And Reflections'/'Something Has Hit Me' from June 1967, and their unreleased demos from 1968 which are WAY superior than most of their Parlophone records.
I'm not fixated with soul music, it's just not my bag. That's probably why I'm not that keen on the first four Action singles except for the songs 'Never Ever', 'I'll Keep On Holding On' which I CAN listen to because it's pop-art mod with crunchy guitars and in my opinion slays the original. 'Hey Sha-Lo-Ney' is also superb with it's cool 60s guitar riff..... but I can do without 'Land Of A Thousand Dances', 'Since I Lost My Baby' and the unreleased 'Harlem Shuffle' which is compiled here on this Edsel collection.
I just wish The Action recorded more music like 'Hey Sha-Lo-Ney' instead of the Motown/soul covers....if they had done, I think they would have broken through the underground and into the charts....the 60s mods probably preferred buying the original motown releases than copies from a blue eyed soul group.
'Something Has Hit Me' is a killer with Association style 'bah bah bah's over a crunchy mod rhythm, scattergun drums and Reg King's vocals are a treat....the slightlydelic fade out is a hint that The Action were moving into a much more trippy area and it's a shame that they were dropped by Parlophone and George Martin's AIR productions when 'Shadows And Reflections'/'Something Has Hit Me' flopped.
The liners for this Edsel compilation were written by Paul Weller in 1980. If you can't afford the original Action records this is the best place to find their 1965-1967 recordings on vinyl and in glorious MONO.