4 Ace early Reid but too many covers at own material's expenseOldEnglandsEyes69 | 19/04/2008 | See all OldEnglandsEyes69's reviews (401)Top 100 Reviewer Top 10 Music Reviewer From the singer/guitarist who turned down the offer of lead vocalist with Led Zeppelin due to his own touring commitments and recommended Robert Plant - oh dear, 0/10 for foresight and judgement - this excellent value double CD is as it suggests basically a compilation of Reid's 1960s recorded output, comprising his first two albums "Bang Bang You're Terry Reid" (allegedly issued without his knowledge or approval in the USA by Mickie Most as a cash-in on what seemed to be an artist about to hit the big-time) and "Terry Reid", his first sanctioned album release, plus 1966/67 mono tracks with him fronting Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers and a 1968 solo single. If you treat the pre-album early stuff for what it's worth - historic Reid and very much of its time - then you won't be disappointed as it's an excellent-value way to pick up those first two albums from 1968 and 1969. Also included are the bonus tracks from the most recent CD issues of those first two albums. The first album originally had to be bought as a US import as there was no GB release at the time and by the early 70s both were only available on import.As I hinted, the early material, with the odd exception, such as Reid's own composition "Fire's Alive", relegated to B-side status, could best be described as "historical", really of interest to the discerning Reid collector only.The first album was supposedly an unfinished rough mix but to be honest, if that was indeed the case, then it probably benefits from that no-frills roughness (no "finished" mix was ever issued). Reid's sandpapery voice is on fine form, as is his band, Bill Bonham on keyboards/sax and Keith Webb on drums, though the sound is a bit on the thin side so you need the bass cranked up full. I think that this is due to the amount of music crammed onto the discs though I haven't played my original vinyl albums or CDs recently to compare. The first album suffered from too many cover versions, despite their obvious quality, comprising "Summertime Blues", "Bang Bang", "Something's Gotten Hold of my Heart" and a particularly impressive, mind-blowing 10 minute version of Donovan's "Season of the Witch" plus in the bonus tracks from the "Bang Bang" sessions "Ain't That Peculiar" and "I've Got News for You" (beginning Reid's future (and still current) obsession with cover versions, despite his plethora of excellent and mainly superior original material such as "Without Expression", which Crosby, Stills & Nash dropped their own cover version of at the last minute from their debut album).Though the second album is a more polished affair (good or bad - only you can judge that) covers still abound with "Superlungs My Supergirl" (another Donovan tune), "Stay With Me Baby" and Dylan's "Highway 61 Revisited". Whilst this is no bad thing in itself, and they are all excellent, they are a bit thick on the ground, especially when you consider the quality of Reid's own material such as the excellent "Silver White Light" and "Friends" (a massive hit single in the form of a cover version by Arrival at the time).Buy this to get all Reid's early stuff, after you've bought "River" (his best album and the first you should buy).