Wild in the Streets: Best of 1977-1983by Garland Jeffreys
Garland Jeffreys made albums before and after the 1977-1983 period covered by this Australian compilation, but his years with A&M and Epic Records found him at his commercial apex, charting six LPs in the U.S. and scoring a major European hit with "Matador." For compilers Peter Shillito and Glenn A. Baker, the key album is 1977's critically acclaimed Ghost Writer, from which they choose eight tracks, including the song that gives this collection its title. The follow-ups, One-Eyed Jack and American Boy & Girl, were not as well received, and the compilers are more selective, drawing only five tracks from them, including, of course, "Matador" (a catchy if essentially lightweight and uncharacteristic tune for Jeffreys). That covers the A&M period, on which Jeffreys alternated rock and reggae rhythms while investigating his conflicted background and expressing his artistic aspirations. By the time he got to Epic for 1981's Escape Artist, Jeffreys was more interested in, as he put it in a song title, "R.O.C.K.," and he put together a studio backing band made up of members of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and Graham Parker's Rumour to play it. With them, he covered ? & the Mysterians' "96 Tears," and came up with his own rock/power pop numbers, such as "Modern Lovers." The compilation achieves the task of making Jeffreys' catalog sound strong even if, in their entirety, some of the albums from which it was assembled were better than others. And the artist's passion always comes through.
- Release Date:
- Raven [australia]
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