The subsidiary labels within the Cherry Red family aren’t shy of mining the mod, soul and freakbeat archives in the name of a great compilation. The now defunct RPM issued a string of box sets, beginning with 2011’s ‘Looking Back’ and culminating with 2016’s ‘Looking Stateside’ which became a pleasingly comprehensive journey through an alternative 60s, and Strawberry Records’ similarly structured ‘Halcyon Days’ and its timely delivered follow up ‘I Love To See You Strut’ – issued in 2020 and 2022, respectively – proved equally essential.
The inaugural release from Strawberry Records, ‘Halcyon Days’ aims high in terms of 60s entertainment. Bringing together a great selection of mod, soul and freakbeat sides, it presents famous names alongside forgotten heroes; places cult floor fillers, deep cuts and a few genuine rarities among fantastic (and sometimes very interesting) covers of well known tunes. Across nearly 90 tracks, it sets itself up as a varied and comprehensive listen. It’s very much the kind of set tailor made for those who’ve worn out the more bog-standard mod comps and are looking for a world beyond The Action, The Creation and those much-loved Spencer Davis Group hits.