If only for his stewardship of the Who, Kinks and
Creation, American Shel Talmy is revered as the
producer responsible for distilling the cathartic, kinetic
sound of mod rock to disc. Yet within his mid-60s
production catalogue lie many other fabulous examples
of a genre that wields considerable influence to this
day, while remaining very much a way of life for those
"Planet Mod" assembles two dozen examples of
Talmy's work in the field, all drawn from a fresh
excavation of his rarely tapped, thoroughly ear-opening
tape vault. Many, such as the Thoughts, Wild
Uncertainty and Tribe were recorded for his short-lived
Planet label, while the Trackers and Pros & Cons and
others were independent productions Talmy farmed out
to major labels.
The playlist balances black US acts John Lee Hooker,
Ray Gates and Screaming Jay Hawkins with the
homegrown club R&B of the Soul Brothers,
Groundhogs and mod heroes the Untamed. There's
rare early compositions from Bowie (Kenny Miller's
'Take My Tip') and Bill Wyman (the Preachers'
'Goodbye Girl'), while the beans are spilled on
mysterious outfits the Total and the Corduroys.
Complete with copious notes and illustrations drawn
from the Talmy files, "Planet Mod" is a fitting tribute to
the American who injected some much-needed muscle
into British rock in its glory days.