Now, it could be said that a band releasing a compilation of their three studio albums, which includes four re-recorded songs, sounds a bit suspect. But, hold your horses, because you can always trust The Speedways. While this album is aimed at a fresh audience in the States and elsewhere, for the uninitiated, it’s a perfect introduction to the Kings of UK power pop.
For a start, their debut album ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ was written and almost entirely played/recorded by Matt Julian, after which he found a solid band line-up with Mauro, Adrian and Kris. Hence, four tunes re-recorded as a band with a fair few gigs under their belt. ‘In Common With You’ is still one of my favourites, and while I love the original recording, the 2023 version gives you what you’d hear at the gigs, a fleshed-out sound. ‘Seen Better Days’ also benefits from added keyboards and hand claps, and ‘Tonight You’ll Find Love’ now sounds radio ready. ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ has clearer backing vocals and more gloss, but doesn’t lose it’s charm.
The ever reliable Jez Leather has also used his production skills to brighten up four songs from ‘Radio Sounds’; ‘Kisses Are History’, being a near perfect pop song, is a joy to hear again, melancholy and beautiful. ‘In A World Without Love…’ and ‘Number Seven’ are already etched into my memory, whilst ‘The Day I Call You Mine’ should be in every record collection, exquisite stuff.
All this plus four songs from the recent ‘Talk Of The Town’, of which ‘Shoulda Known’ is another case of “I wish I’d written that one” syndrome. I really hope this wins them yet more followers around the world. There are a few, great bands playing similar music at the moment, but The Speedways are still ahead of the pack.
Author: Martin Chamarette