Four massive albums from Average White Band – served up in one 2CD package! Feel No Fret is a great set that showcases the group's best second suit – their smooth compressed late 70s soul sound – a great evolution of their earlier groove, and one that showed them as a great mainstream soul act! The tunes are a bit mellower overall, but still have a lot of crackle and warmth – and Hamish Stuart's lost none of his vocal charm, and in fact may even sound better in a more laidback, less funky heavy setting! With the great break track "Stop The Rain" – and the cuts "When Will You Be Mine", "Please Don't Fall In Love", "Walk On By", "Feel No Fret", "Atlantic Avenue", "Ace Of Hearts", "Too Late To Cry" and "Fire Burning". Volume VIII is something of a greatest hits record by the group – one that bore the original tag "This album gives the listener a rare opportunity to taste the past and present of the Average White Band." What does that mean? Well, it means that the band only came up with 4 new songs for the record – including "Kiss Me", "Love Won't Get In The Way", "Love Gives Love Takes Away", and "Growing Pains" – all good numbers, though, and expanded here with the bonus track "Miss Sun". Shine features great later grooves from Average White Band – a real gem from the point when the group was settling nicely into a mellow soul vein! By this point, the combo wisely realized that they couldn't keep things going forever as a funky group – so they laid back and fell into their second strongest suit – the kind of mellow stepping rhythms that sparkled nicely between the bigger cuts on earlier records, produced to perfection here with a shimmeringly soulful feel! The album's got a mature feel, and the lyrics are often understated and well-balanced – no easy crossover soul or adult contemporary cliches – just the kind of warmth the band was always known best for. Titles include "Into The Night", "Our Time Has Come", "Catch Me", "For You For Love", "Help is On The Way", "If Love Only Lasts For One Night", and "Shine". Also features bonus tracks "Wasn't I Your Friend" and "Let's Go Round Again (12" version)". Cupid's In Fashion is from the early 80s, but still totally great – a record that has the Average White Band stepping along in smooth jazzy style – still with all their best 70s roots intact! The group are tight, yet still far from commercial – beautifully suited to the warmly soulful sounds they'd reached by this point – less of the hard funk of before, but in its place a mature groove that's totally great. Titles include "You Wanna Belong", "Cupid's In Fashion", "You're My Number One", "Love's A Heartache", "I Believe", and "Easier Said Than Done".
(Includes original slipcase.)