Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Everything you've ever wanted to hear by this British Invasion band


If you were a first generation Beatles fan in 1965, the Unit 4+2 and their hit song "Concrete & Clay" surely caught your attention. Now, RPM Records has released "Unit 4+2: Concrete & Clay: The Complete Recordings," a two-disc, 43-track set available from Amazon.co.uk that has everything the band released between 1964 and 1969, including their work from Decca Records, and later Fontana Records. "Concrete & Clay" peaked at #28 in 1965 on the Billboard charts. The group had one other chart hit, "You've Never Been In Love Like This Before," which hit #95 on the singles charts two months after "Concrete & Clay." (You can get both songs as digital downloads together from Amazon.com in the U.S. in one purchase at this link.)

The set, which has their 14 singles, an EP and two albums, is as musically diverse as the song "Concrete & Clay" suggests. These guys weren't a one-note group. Their music had a wide range, which you can gather just from some of the songs they covered -- "La Bamba," "500 Miles," "Butterfly" (by the Bee Gees), "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (who didn't cover or imitate Dylan?) and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." On stage, the group also performed songs by the Beach Boys, Doris Troy, the Everly Brothers and the Temptations. In their later years, they tackled psychedelic pop

The group included Russ Ballard pre-Argent. It was Ballard and another musician from whom the monicker "+2" on the group's name came from. The booklet has  new interviews, vintage pics and graphics and a detailed history. In short, "Unit 4+2: Concrete & Clay: The Complete Recordings" is a great look back at the complete legacy of a group that most Americans knew for only the one song that stuck in a lot of people's heads (it did ours) then and now.