Take your mind back to 1966, at your local hop - dressed in your red tags and button-down shirt and grooving to the sounds from the jukebox. We didn't have such luxuries as an informative DJ, like London's Mike Raven or Guy Stevens, to spin anything like the Mad Lads. Our ears were filled with the magical soul sensations of the well-known Otis Redding, Eddie Floyd, Carla Thomas, Booker T and the MGs - the Stax sound...or so we thought. More delights were tucked away from us all. You had to be in the "know" or have contacts to hear, let alone purchase American imported soul music. Supply was the key and it was not always easy. Luckily for us, the English public and record companies alike became obsessed with American soul music and an underground scene developed. 1966, thus saw the introduction of 3 releases by the aptly named Mad Lads. Rob Bowman's informative sleevenotes, containing anecdotes about the group, reveal all. Don't Have To Shop Around hit the R&B chart at #11 and squeezed into the top 100. The Mad Lads had arrived for soul fans everywhere. Here we have their Complete Early Volt Recordings, consisting of 24 superb soul numbers, including unreleased cuts and stereo versions. No expense has been spared by the compilers in what is an atmospheric compilation with musical tempos to suit soul fans of all shapes and sizes. Having grown up through 4 decades of soul exposure this compilation certainly raised the goose pimples on my neck. It's refreshing to re-acquaint the senses with the Mad Lads style, which my old club did not pursue until the ultra-violet lights were dimmed. Standout tracks for me have to include Come Closer To Me and I Don't Want To Lose Your Love. Even the cover versions such as Michael (The Lover), made popular by the C.O.Ds and Candy originally by the Astors are quite unique. So there you have it - forgotten soul made available, more so now than back then. The story does continue into 1985 and beyond. The Mad Lads recorded a club smash You Blew It for Express Records. This was also released in the UK and rekindled old flames for the Stax pranksters - the lads are back in town!