Draw the Shades and Hide the Cats, Because the British are Coming

British SterlingArguably the best 30 track compilation featuring the monstrously influential British Invasion ever to be pressed to wax, this 1981 collaboration between Warner Special Products and Lake Shore Music marries the pinnacle of head-spinning talent that the Queen of England’s own had to offer… up to and including the 1961 single, My Bonnie, featuring Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers. The Beat Brothers, as you know, would eventually change their name to The Beatles… the band name this track is credited to on this compilation.

I’m not going to bore you with the A-1 list of exceptional talent highlighted here (The Hollies, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Unit 4+2, Donovan, Manfred Mann, The Zombies, Them, Chad & Jeremy, The Beatles, The Spencer Davis Group…), but I will (briefly) mention that someone off Discogs offered to buy my copy of British Sterling, which I appropriately, and respectfully declined. One of these days I’m going to gather enough motivation to digitize this double LP, but until that (dreadfully long and labor intensive) day, two flips for 30 tracks suits me just fine.

My BonnieAlthough I don’t consider A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum a pivotal part of the British Invasion, there is something striking about the 1-2 punch of Procol’s Shade followed by Tell Her No by The Zombies. Somebody knew what the hell he or she was doing when they made this compilation. To whomever that is… (raises Sun Records coffee mug) I salute you!

5 thoughts on “Draw the Shades and Hide the Cats, Because the British are Coming

  1. I found this album in near mint at my local audio shop today. My heart pounded… two dollars later… in a spin, It brings me to joyful tears with memories of wailing, most all of these songs, with the boys while Mom N’ Dad were gone, plugged into a Craig machine, mic taped to a vacuum cleaner pipe, propped between couch cushions and/or on street-corner, often accompanied with fruit of the vine on frozen Buffalo nights. These songs are the background track of youth, while reminding me of what a wonderful time that was, and still is. I couldn’t grow out of this music if I tried. Thank you Brothers Warner.

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