April 15, 2003
Pop/Rock, Psychedelic, Blues-Rock, Instrumental Rock, Soul, Surf, British Invasion, Garage Rock, AM Pop, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Rock & Roll, Electric Blues, Early Pop/Rock, Blue-Eyed Soul, Hot Rod, Sunshine Pop, Frat Rock

Album Review

Like the previous two volumes in Ace's Chartbusters USA series, this assembles as much music as is possible to fit onto a single-disc compilation of quality, though thematically unrelated, American chart hits from 1963-1969. The latest tracks here are actually from 1968, but it's still a good survey of smashes from the golden age of '60s rock, mixing superstars with one-shots. Classic hits from several genres are on hand here: surf and hot rod music (the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun," the Hondells' "Little Honda"), British Invasion (the Zombies' "She's Not There"), blue-eyed soul (the Box Tops' "The Letter"), Motown (Junior Walker's "(I'm A) Road Runner" and Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"), garage rock (the Music Machine's "Talk Talk"), instrumentals (Booker T. & the MG's' "Soul Limbo," Hugh Masekela's "Grazing in the Grass"), Chicago soul (the Impressions' "People Get Ready"), Stax (Wilson Pickett's "In the Midnight Hour"), novelties (Henry Mancini's "The Pink Panther Theme"), psychedelia (Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild"), blues-rock (Canned Heat's "Goin' Up the Country"), and even blues (Slim Harpo's "Baby Scratch My Back"). As for tracks that don't often show up on these kind of anthologies, there aren't many, but there are a few, those including the Rose Garden's one-shot pop-folk-rock hit "Next Plane to London," the Marvelows' superb clapalong harmony soul single "I Do," and Timmy Shaw's "Gonna Send You Back to Georgia," which is certainly the most off the beaten track song here, and is better known to many in its cover version by the Animals (who changed the title to "Gonna Send You Back to Walker"). Many '60s collectors will already have most of this, but for more general fans it's a rollicking good time, buttressed by Ace's usual excellent, thorough liner notes.
Richie Unterberger, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. (I'm A) Road Runner
  2. The Letter
  3. Fun, Fun, Fun
  4. She's Not There
  5. Ode to Billy Joe
  6. Along Comes Mary
  7. I Got You Babe
  8. Next Plane to London
  9. Down in the Boondocks
  10. You Turn Me On (Turn on Song)
  11. Guantanamera
  12. Goin' Out of My Head
  13. I Do
  14. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  15. In the Midnight Hour
  16. Gonna Send You Back to Georgia
  17. Just Like Me
  18. The Pink Panther Theme
  19. Goin' up the Country
  20. People Get Ready
  21. Soul Limbo
  22. Baby Scratch My Back
  23. Grazing in the Grass
  24. Little Bit O' Soul
  25. Talk Talk
  26. We'll Sing in the Sunshine
  27. Lies
  28. Little Honda
  29. Born to Be Wild