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TURN-ONS AND TURN-OFFS IN CURRENT HOME ENTERTAINMENT RELEASES : ****Excellent ***Good **Fair *Poor : COMPACT DISCS

October 13, 1987|STEVE HOCHMAN | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"Well Well Well . . ." The Woodentops. Upside. With a swirl of acoustic and electric guitars, bursts of restrained feedback, '60s-style organ and Benny Staples' cheerful drumming, this London-based quintet is one of the freshest outfits in pop music. That comes through much better on this complete collection of the band's 1984-86 British singles (four more tracks than last year's vinyl release of the same title) and on a recent live album, "Hypnobeat," than on the group's big-label 1986 debut LP, "Giant." Singer Rolo McGinty's songs cover the range of emotions, from youthful exuberance ("Move Me") to disorienting loss ("Cold Inside"). Raw, urgent, celebratory and uplifting--and at this early stage of the group's development, full of great promise. The digitally remixed sound is excellent. ***

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