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Joe Meek was the UK’s first independent record producer. Between 1960 and his untimely demise in 1967, he churned out hundreds of discs from his home-made studio at Holloway Road in London. He had nearly 50 UK chart entries, with 3 number 1s.
This double CD contains all of what music journalists would call the ‘essentials’. All Meek’s top 10 productions are here – Johnny Remember Me, Telstar, Have I The Right, Just Like Eddie, Don’t You Think It’s Time etc. Some of the rest are pretty weak, however, proving that a song didn’t need to be top-notch to get into the charts. Most of Meek’s classic non-hits are on other compilations, or not on CD at all, sadly.

This is 85% right, as far as Meek fans would put out on a compilation. Due to Meek’s prolific and diverse output, though, a ‘definitive’ compilation would be 3 or 4 times as long. For early 60s music fans who just want the basics to go with their existing collections, this is great. For those wishing to get a more complete picture of Joe Meek’s output, then ‘Alchemist Of Pop’ is a good place to start, but they should investigate the CDs of the major artists on here (Leyton, Tornados, Heinz, Glenda Collins etc.)

-M. Laurenson,

Various Artists-JOE MEEK: THE ALCHEMIST OF POP (2002 compilation)


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