Scotland's No. 1 Group

released July 2005

1. With You By Me (pre-Oldham demos 1964)
2. Why You Still Go On (pre-Oldham demos 1964)
3. Miss Queen Bee (pre-Oldham demos 1964)
4. This Woman Mine (pre-Oldham demos 1964)
5. Love Is Fading Away (pre-Oldham demos 1964)
6. Now We're Thru
7. There Are Some
8. That's The Way It's Got To Be
9. I'll Cry With The Moon
10. I Am So Blue
11. I Love Her Still
12. I'll Keep My Pride (unreleased acetate 1965)
13. It's So Different Now (unreleased acetate 1965)
14. Some Things I Can't Forget
15. Call Again
16. I'll Come Home
17. Baby Don't You Do It
18. Wooden Spoon
19. In Your Tower
20. With You By Me (late 1963 demos)
21. Why You Still Go On (late 1963 demos)
22. This Woman Mine (late 1963 demos)
23. Why Willows Weep (late 1963 demos)

Great collection of Scottish beat/R&B garage band of rare singles/demos '63-'67. 23 tracks.

The Poets:Scotland's No. 1 Group (Dynovox). For most purposes, this is a fine and definitive
overview of the output by the band that was indeed Scotland's number one group in the 1960s,
in quality if not commercial success. Both sides of all six of their 1964-67 singles are here,
as well as no less than eleven demos that were not released at the time. One flaw worth noting
is that the singles are not mastered from the best possible tapes, but really the difference in
fidelity between this and a compilation from more, shall we say, above-the-board sources is so
minimal as to be almost meaningless. Fans of the Poets (and they are more numerous than you might
suppose) might well already have another, quite similar compilation, In Your Tower, which includes
much but not all of the contents from Scotland's No. 1 Group. So, how do you choose? Well,
that's a tough one. Each disc has the essential core of their discography: both sides of those
half-dozen singles. Each also has the quite good, if a little scratchy and muffled, 1965 demos
'I'll Keep My Pride' and 'It's So Different Now'.  In Your Tower, however, does have some
items not on Scotland's No. 1 Group, and although some of those are pretty dispensable, two are
noteworthy: the hypnotic George Gallacher post-Poets track  'Dawn', and the mysterious
unreleased late-1960s song 'Never Thought She Would'. Scotland's No. 1 Group, however, has no
less than nine 1963-64 demos not on the other compilation, and although their fidelity veers
from substandard to downright treacherous, these include some very good originals: the
folk-rockish 'Love Is Fading Away',  the doomy pseudo-Merseybeat of 'This Woman Mine', and the
chipper 'With You By Me' (the last two of these songs are each presented in two different
versions). If you're interested enough in the Poets in the first place to want a compilation,
you should throw in the towel and get both. It's still frustrating that the optimum Poets
anthology - which would include all the singles from the master tapes, everything from
these two discs, and other unreleased tracks rumored to exist in the vaults -- has yet to
be assembled. -

Easily dismissed for their dodgy Austin Powers frilly shirts, the Poets are actually Scotland's greatest
export to the 60's mod scene and I'm sure we've all had a little dance to their 3 great classics 'That's The
Way It's Got To Be', 'Baby Don't You Do It' and 'Wooden Spoon', all of which are included here.
The rest of their official releases are open to discussion but, although often great songs, were generally
quite dramatic beat ballads with the best being 'Now We're Thru' and the classic b-side 'In Your Tower'. As
well as all the usual A and B sides, this compilation comes with 9 early 60's demos and 2 tracks from an
unreleased acetate. Whilst these unreleased tunes do have their moments, especially with the R+B stormer
'Miss Queen Bee', the quality is well rough at times and this compilation is probably best suited to those who
need another Poets fix and want to hear what would have possibly made up the extra tracks on the unreleased, but planned, album. - Mark McNulty

Half A Cow
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