Rock Review Vinyl

The Shadows’ are pretty fantastic, according to Doxy

Title: The Fantastic Shadows
Label: Doxy

A real rarity for Shadows fans is this 12-track LP (with a free, CD as part of the package) that was originally released by Columbia in Italy in 1964 and featured tracks from the group covering the period from 1961-1963.

More to the point, five of the include tracks are rare B-sides while the sleeve features the original Italian sleeve notes. Tracks include Shazam, Sleepwalk, My Resistance Is Low, That’s My Desire and I Want You To Want Me.

The easiest things to do when remastering old mono classics like this album is to not only ignore the inherent compression but push the effect to extremes and add a slice of excessive peak limiting too. To their credit, Doxy has not done this. On the contrary, the label has opened up the restricted mono soundstage to provide some very creditable instrumental separation which means that Bruce Welch’s acoustic rhythm guitar is beautifully light, airy and quite fragile during his Spanish style strumming on Geronimo. Similarly, Hank Marvin’s lead guitar not only has immediate and bold presence as a lead ‘voice’ during the same track but the bass frequencies of his meaty lead guitar gives the track a solid strength and weight, adding a measure of gravitas. Again, on Shindig, a wholly lighter ‘fun’ track, the percussion is impressive with spacious cymbal work giving the track a new dimension.

On one of the rare vocal tracks, such as Baby My Heart, the voice is placed exactly on the heart of the stereo image and pushed a touch towards the listener to provide an essential stage effect.

This is an excellent release. In fact, I was surprised just how exciting this album sounded – I look forward to hearing more from Doxy.

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