Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
When it comes to remembering when time was a little less awkward, when the sun glasses caught the sight of the rose coloured memories and the hue of recollection with astonishing foresight, then the early seventies, the hangover from the 60s glory and the children of the revolution was one in which the reverie never actually died or faded. Unlike the beige to come, the un-dramatic and undemocratic staleness that was force fed down the throats of the populace of the time, the early 70s were awash with vividness and at the forefront of that could be found the awareness of Ray Dorset and the superb band Mungo Jerry.
Rewind to that time, listen to the tracks out of context and they might not stand up to scrutiny, they could be seen as a throwback to a time when the fashionable 60s became over dressed and burdened by the excess of the time. Yet delve closer, read about the period and let the politics and style enlighten your thinking and the words of Mungo Jerry don’t just stack up, they revel across the five decades since and the sound of Blues infusion with Rock sensibilities and the joy of sensitive rhythm is at the heart of it all.
The full explosive and groove ridden sound is captured across both discs in Rewind and from the early class shown in the surprise hits In The Summertime, Lady Rose and the fantastically intuitive reflection of the times and attitudes, You Don’t Have To Be In The Army To Fight In The War, to the maturity shown in realising that times change in Touch The Sky, I Only Had A Dollar, the positive lament in Good Times On Your Mind and Going Down To Mexico. It is the groove that makes both sides of the Mungo Jerry coin almost replete with dynamic fervour and the earnestness of enthusiasm to capture the summer sound forever.
Rewind by all means but never once forget that this is the band that captured and defined the rhythm in the rhythm and blues, rewind but understand that not everything about the beige 70s was the product of the political scene and dangerous divide in the country; that Mungo Jerry in their infinite playing wisdom were a breed apart and framed the joy of summertime blues perfectly.
A great best of collection which defies time, which allows the listener to confront the past and see that it wasn’t all a state of confrontation and resistance; sometimes you just went with the groove.
Ian D. Hall