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RIVER CITY PEOPLE (What's Wrong With) Dreaming? The Best Of
EMI Download (2006)

River City People were a great little band who never received the recognition they deserved. Formed in Liverpool in the mid 1980s, and with a line-up of Tim and Paul Speed (guitars and vocals), Dave Snell (bass) and Siobhan Maher (vocals), their debut album (What's Wrong With) Dreaming? was an absolute gem.

Long since deleted, it was perfect female fronted pop/rock - great songs, fantastic vocals and a rock solid band. Properly promoted they could have been the Fleetwood Mac of their generation, but it wasn't to be. They scored minor success with the singles (What's Wrong With) Dreaming? and Walking On Ice before making their greatest impact with a cover of the Mamas and Papas California Dreamin'. The album was hastily repackaged to include the single, but still failed to find widespread favour in a period where popular music was dominated by synths and guitar bands were simply not de rigueur.

Their second album True Stories From The Revolution was a strong follow up but suffered from the dreaded second album curse and almost immediately sank without trace. As a result the band were dropped by the EMI and split up shortly afterwards.

Some clever marketer at EMI has now realised it would be a whizz idea to make long since deleted back catalogue material available for download only. Great marketing ploy - virtually no overheads, so every sale is a profit. Every penny, as they say, counts.

To that end they've put together this 16 track Best Of collection. And as a bonus for those of us who followed the band, the final single is included - never released - a 7" version of True Stories From The Revolution and the b-sides - acoustic versions of The Sea and Hurt You.

While it's a great package, its appeal is likely to be limited, which is a damn shame because you won't find a better collection of pop/rock this side of a copy of Rumours.


Review by Pete Whalley

Related>> Special feature

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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Why should I buy this CD?

Perfect female fronted pop/rock from a band who should have been contenders.

Burn baby burn

(What's Wrong With) Dreaming?, Walking On Ice, Carry The Blame, Standing In The Need Of Love, Special Way