The EP was a much more popular format in the U.K. in the early 1960s than it would be at any subsequent time, so naturally many of Joe Meek's productions got issued on extended-play discs. This box set doesn't come close to containing all of the EPs with Joe Meek-produced tracks; there were way too many for that. But this 12-CD set does have a dozen EPs of Meek-overseen material issued between 1960 and 1963, each replicated as a four-track CD in sleeves that exactly duplicate the original artwork and liner notes. These include a couple EPs each by Meek's most popular acts of the time (the Tornados and John Leyton); an EP each by artists whose chart success was occasional-to-nonexistent (Mike Berry, Heinz, Houston Wells, Don Charles, the Packabeats, the Flee-Rekkers); and a couple EPs credited to the Blue Men (the second of which were actually canceled before issue) that were taken from Meek's concept album about life in outer space, I Hear a New World.
Because most, and possibly all, of the 48 tracks have been issued on CD on one of the many other reissues of Meek's productions, this box is really an indulgence for specialist collectors who crave that original artwork in some form. Many conventional listeners will certainly find it inconvenient to keep getting up and down after each four-track disc has played in order to hear the box in its entirety, though the four dozen tracks could have easily fit onto two CDs. Note, too, that the quality of the music itself is also extremely variable. Sure, some of Meek's greatest hits (the Tornados' "Telstar," Leyton's "Johnny Remember Me," Berry's "Tribute to Buddy Holly") and obscurities (the Packabeats' Shadows-like instrumental "The Traitors," the Tornados' tremendous "Ridin' the Wind") are here. So, too, is quite a bit of unmemorable teen idol fluff, pop
ock and instrumentals, and (on the I Hear a New World material) some inane silliness. If you are that Meek fanatic who wants this as a collectable souvenir of sorts, however, the original artwork is nice to gaze at, and David Wells' liner notes give a great deal of background information on the sounds they contain.
Performance CreditsJoe Meek Primary Artist
Technical CreditsJoe Meek Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Music Direction
Derek "Castro" Johnson Liner Notes
Ivor Raymonde Music Direction
Nigel Hunter Liner Notes
Paul Bevoir Artwork
Tony Barrow Liner Notes
Charles Blackwell Director
Geoff Goddard Composer
Will Grosz Composer
Rod Freeman Director
David Wells Liner Notes,Annotation
Alan Applegate Cover Design