Friday, January 7, 2011

Sugar & Spice - The Cryan' Shames

Sugar & Spice
The Cryan' Shames
Columbia CL 2589

This is a contemporary mono re-issue, not an original pressing.  I think Columbia does a nice job on their re-issues with decent quality artwork and pressings.  I have no qualms about picking them up instead of originals.  I don't think this album is really worth the price that a near mint original copy would fetch.  "Sugar and Spice" is a classic single but the rest of this is largely derivative.  It is also pretty skimpy, less than half an hour long.  I first encountered "Sugar and Spice" on the original vinyl "Nuggets" comp and really liked the guitar sound and the driving beat.  The album itself is basically ersatz Byrds folk-rock, it even includes a Byrds cover with a faithful version of "She Don't Care About Time" - at least they chose a B-side rather than something obvious.  They also pick up a couple of songs that the Byrds covered, "Hey Joe" and "We'll Meet Again" and deliver arguably superior versions although that isn't saying much.  The other covers on the record "Heat Wave", "If I Needed Someone" and "We Gotta Get Out of this Place" are useless filler.  The original compositions on the record are considerably better - especially the rocking "Ben Franklin's Almanac" and the sweet "We Could Be Happy".  Recommended for folk-rock fans.

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