Not just Lenny Kaye's classic double album of garage-rock rarities, but 3 more CDs' worth of three-chord, one-hit wonders from the '60s! Disc one reprises the original double album, including such classics as I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) Electric Prunes; Dirty Water Standells; Moulty Barbarians; Psychotic Reaction Count Five, and Baby Please Don't Go Amboy Dukes, while discs two through four add other rare/seminal songs like Talk Talk Music Machine; Incense and Peppermints Strawberry Alarm Clock; Strychnine Sonics; Shape of Things to Come Max Frost & the Storm Troopers; Louie Louie Kingsmen, and more. 118 songs.
That the most famous garage-rock record of all time, the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie," is buried on the last CD of this four-disc box is very much in keeping with the spirit of the (often) one-hit wonders that people Nuggets. Here, "Louie Louie" is just another great song. An elaboration on the 1972 double LP, which is included in its original sequence, this set piles on dozens more great moments of inspiration, guts, chutzpah, and sometimes sheer commercial calculation. How else to explain the advice "Look at yourself" from the likes of the Strawberry Alarm Clock, whose idea of mind expansion seems limited to putting together two very vaguely related nouns--"Incense and Peppermints"--so their swinging Farfisa-led track will have something, anything, for verbal content? There's loads of such wisdom on display here, prefab and otherwise, usually delivered as rabidly as possible. (Try the Remains' "Don't Look Back," Mouse and the Traps' "Maid of Sugar--Maid of Spice," or the Music Machine's "Talk Talk," which was actually a hit.) And remember: "The sky is falling / The ocean is calling / The world ... is spinning 'round ... and 'round." For sure. --Rickey Wright