If glam-era rockers Geordie are remembered for much these days, it is for handing on vocalist Brian Johnson to AC/DC at a time when most observers reckoned both he (and they) were long past their sell-by date. Geordie, in particular, had scarcely been heard of in seven years, failing even to impact on the one recent movement that seemed custom-built for them, the so-called New Wave of British Heavy Metal. But AC/DC knew what they were getting, and anyone casting their ears back to Geordie's prime will realize they weren't kidding themselves. Reiterating (of course) the string of singles that Geordie cut between 1972-1975, The Singles Collection opens with the solid quartet upon which their reputation is still based, the hits "Don't Do That," "All Because of You," "Can You Do It," and "Red Eyed Lady." Glam without the glitter, all are loud and stomping, all show a sizeable debt to the then all-conquering Slade, and it is that, perhaps, which scuppered the band's chances of advancing any further than they did. By late 1973, Slade themselves had realized it was time to move on. Geordie never did, and, though four final singles all pack a mighty punch ("Black Cat Woman" is an absolute powerhouse), they said nothing that one or other band had not already shouted loudly before. Looking deeper, however, the group's B-sides offer an alternate direction that they were rather silly not to have followed -- the traditional "Geordie's Lost His Liggie" might only have succeeded as a novelty hit, but it remains utterly captivating long after the likes of "She's a Teaser" and "Ride on Baby" have lost their punch. Rounding out the collection, both sides of a 1975 Brian Johnson single predict Geordie's demise several months before the band itself called it quits -- they might also, though nobody knew it at the time, offer a hint of what he would be doing a mere four years down the road. But that is another story entirely, and this album should be owned by many more people than mere AC/DC archaeologists.
|Label:||Glam / 7t's|