On his third Denon release Berg ventures into a few jazz standards while maintaining a strong hold on his fusion roots. Jim Beard is featured on keyboards.
This double-disc, 50-track collection of the Shadows can only be recommended to avid collectors. After breaking off with singer Cliff Richard (they were his backing band), the Shadows chalked up numerous instrumental hits in the early '60s, including "Apache," "Man of Mystery," and "Kon-Tiki." They became the British equivalent of the Ventures. While the first disc is more than satisfying, the second disc takes a quick nosedive and consists mainly of filler along the lines of "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," "Theme from The Deer Hunter," "Nights in White Satin," and "Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto de Aranjuez." With the exception of Shadows fanatics, 50 Golden Greats would have been a much better value cut in half.
A straightforward summary of the Shadows' first three years of habitual hit-making, opening with the pounding flurry of "Apache," then tracing through the next eight smash singles, with a handful of attendant B-sides (and one EP cut, the title track from The Boys) to round the package out. There is no denying the sheer brilliance of this early sequence. Hits like "Wonderful Land," "FBI," and "Man of Mystery" utterly rewrote the guitar's role in rock, not only musically, but culturally as well. Unquestionably, the Shadows' importance and impact diminished as the years passed, but at the outset of their career – the period documented here – they were untouchable. It is for that reason that The Shadows' Greatest Hits is still regarded in some quarters as the finest Shadows album of them all, an accolade which no other compilation (and goodness knows, there's been enough of them) has ever been able to dismiss. Even the sleeve screams "masterpiece."