Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
These 20 tracks are proof positive that in the ’60s England did indeed swing like a pendulum do. Their contributions culled from British TV and ad soundtracks, groups like the Ray McVay Sound, Johnny Keating and the Z-Men, Paraffin Jack Flash Ltd., and the Alan Tew Orchestra add a brassy bounce to the mod beat on songs whose titles give everything away: “It’s Murder,” “Revenge,” “Staccato,” “On the Scene.” The disc gets off to an auspicious start with “The Shake” by the Laurie Johnson Orchestra. After a slight reworking, Johnson turned this suave number into the Avengers theme, for which he also did the score. In fact, many of these tracks radiate secondhand James Bondian bombast, particularly Johnson’s “Echo Four Two,” “Kinda Kinky,” by the Ray McVay Sound, and the blaring “Lunar Walk,” from the Johnny Hawksworth Orchestra. Of course, while the British were invading us, the American counteroffensive was also gaining a beachhead, as evidenced by the Alan Tew Orchestra’s version of the theme to Ironside, and a psychedelic “Superfly” by Synthesonic Sounds. As gospel-trippy as John Schroeder Orchestra thinks “But She Ran the Other Way” is, it pales in comparison to the 10:37 epic from the Harry Roche Constellation, “Spiral.” If nothing else, this would-be mind-blower proves that only Pete Townshend should attempt rock opera.