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The Shadows - Shadows Are Go!

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Artist: The Shadows

Album: Shadows Are Go!

Label: Scamp

Review date: Mar. 31, 2002

Who can deny the lure of twangy guitars? Not me, so Iím pretty grateful to Scamp for compiling this swanky 23-song compilation of vintage Shadows material from 1961 through 1966. Besides backing Englandís reigning Elvis impersonator Cliff Richard for nearly a decade, this snappily be-suited foursome churned out hit after hit for the British pop market.

Behind Cliff or out alone, lead guitarist Hank Marvinís liquid, reverbed sound in the process inspired countless English lads (Richard Thompson, for one) to aspire to something beyond their appointed station. Even after the hits stopped coming, they soldiered on like good professionals, not quitting until 1986, but this disk wisely keeps its focus on their earliest, best work.

A superficial listen might invite one to dismiss the Shadows as tea-stained Duane Eddy wannabes, but thatís hardly fair. Sure, they lifted Eddyís twang, and thereís something conceptually dodgy about a London combo having a hit named ďApacheĒ; but listen to the tuneís stirring melody and youíll never peg it for the work of a fish & chips western outfit. Like Eddy, the bandís status as bona fide showbiz pros led them to successfully tackle a myriad of genres, but with greater success. The Shadows handled smoochy teen love themes, cha-cha novelties and exotica with as much aplomb as they did the western twang. The title says it all Ė Shadows Are Go!

By Bill Meyer

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