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The Definitive Collection

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Bay City Rollers 28//2000

Review

This very straightforward selection is based almost exclusively on the Bay City Rollers' British and American singles file. It opens, of course, with "Saturday Night" -- in U.S. terms, their most memorable release -- but thereafter adheres to strict and joyful chronology. The original hit version of "Keep On Dancing," featuring founding vocalist Nobby Clarke, sets the ball rolling with lovable exuberance; two years later, "Remember" finds Les McKeown installed at the front, Bill Martin and Phil Coulter entrenched in the writers' seat, and the Rollers themselves preparing to assume world domination. With hindsight, it seems staggering that the quintet's heyday was so brief. As early as "Money Honey," the first cracks are beginning to show and, though their American breakthrough at least postponed the day of judgment, by the time Ian Mitchell replaced original guitarist Alan Longmuir, in time for the Dedication album, the entire edifice was teetering. The inclusions from that period are uniformly, and deceptively, elegant: "Love Me Like I Love You," "I Only Want to Be With You," "Dedication," "Rock'n'Roll Love Letter," and "Yesterday's Hero" mark the apogee of the Rollers as both a creative and a commercial force. But Mitchell's sudden retirement finally sent the whole shebang over and, as The Definitive Collection approaches its close, the entire affair takes on a very different complexion. Five tracks recorded first with makeshift replacement Pat McGuinn, then with the returning Longmuir, catch the band striving desperately for critical acclaim and musical credos -- too desperately. Where once the Rollers were effortless effervescence, now they are po-faced pretension. Where once they were bouncing boppers, now they are boring balladeers. And where once their most meaningless lyric seemed impossibly profound ("shang a lang" indeed), now their profundities are tacky, trite, and shallow. Four final singles pass by with barely a hummable note between them and, though this album closes by turning back a few years, to the title track from the all-powerful Wouldn't You Like It album, the damage has already been done. Wouldn't you like it? Not anymore. ~ Dave Thompson
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Saturday Night Bay City Rollers 2:53
  3. 2 Keep on Dancing [Single Version] Bay City Rollers 2:7
  4. 3 Remember (Sha la la La) [Single Version] Bay City Rollers 2:31
  5. 4 Shang-A-Lang Bay City Rollers 3:1
  6. 5 Summerlove Sensation Bay City Rollers 3:16
  7. 6 Bye Bye Baby Bay City Rollers 2:52
  8. 7 Give a Little Love Bay City Rollers 3:20
  9. 8 All of Me Loves All of You Bay City Rollers 3:5
  10. 9 Money Honey Bay City Rollers 3:14
  11. 10 Love Me Like I Love You Bay City Rollers 3:19
  12. 11 Rock & Roll Love Letter Bay City Rollers 2:54
  13. 12 I Only Want to Be With You Bay City Rollers 3:32
  14. 13 Yesterday's Hero [Single Version] Bay City Rollers 3:44
  15. 14 Rock & Roller Bay City Rollers 3:35
  16. 15 Dedication [Single Version] Bay City Rollers 3:55
  17. 16 It's a Game Bay City Rollers 2:59
  18. 17 You Made Me Believe in Magic Bay City Rollers 2:44
  19. 18 The Way I Feel Tonight Bay City Rollers 3:53
  20. 19 Turn on the Radio [Single Version] Bay City Rollers 3:47
  21. 20 Wouldn't You Like It Bay City Rollers 3:24

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