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The Albums [Box] *


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  • Though they only had two songs that hit the charts ("New York Groove" and a cover of the girl group nugget "Tell Him"), the U.K. glam rock band Hello are fondly remembered for their fashion sense, brilliant logo, tight rocking sound, and some tracks that didn't chart but survive as under-the-radar glam staples, namely "Teenage Revolution" and "Another School Day." The best place to start collecting Hello is probably a singles compilation, but if you want the full trajectory of their career, and a look at how the sound of popular music in the '70s changed, getting your hands on this collection of all their albums, plus singles and rare tracks, is a good idea. The band had three albums, 1976's Keeps Us Off the Streets, 1977's Shine on Silver Light, and 1978's Hello Again, all of which have singles and B-sides added. As one might expect, their first album was their most exciting. It rides the tail end of glam rock with style, mixing rocking '50s-inspired newly written songs with energetic covers of oldies like "Carol" and "Then She Kissed Me." Their big hits are also included here, helping to make it their definitive album. The singles and B-sides are a blast, too. The next two records see Hello smoothing their sound out considerably as they got further from the charts, with some soft rock creeping in and, inevitably, some disco as well. Just a set with the three albums and their singles would have been good enough for the average glam aficionado. What makes the set extra-special is the disc called Glam Rock Rarities. Packed with rifftastic tunes, it's the heaviest, most energetic and fun side of the band all captured in one place, plus it includes demos of "New York Groove," "Keeps Us Off the Streets," and "Little Miss Mystery." It makes the set an essential purchase for glam and glitter fans and shows that the band was more than just the guys who did "New York Groove" before Ace Frehley did. ~ Tim Sendra
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