Katrina and the Waves The Original Recordings 1983-1984

Folks still trying to get over the fact "Walking on Sunshine” didn’t appear on the Hi Fidelity soundtrack have been issued a reprieve in the form of this comprehensive 24-track Katrina and the Waves collection. Featuring the UK-based band’s first two full-length albums in their entirety, the package was compiled and issued by Vancouver-based mod poet Ralph Alfonso, who was instrumental in getting this stuff out there the first time back in 1983. In fact, were it not for Alfonso’s efforts, guitarist/vocalist Katrina Leskanich, former Soft Boys six-stringer (and Dana Carvey look-alike) Kimberley Rew and the other Waves would likely have crashed onto the shores of outright obscurity as Canada was the only territory in which the band enjoyed any considerable modicum of success. And there’s a lot more to the band than the disposable saccharine optimism of "Walking on Sunshine” might otherwise suggest. Most of the keeper tracks find principal songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Rew revisiting classic Motown-era soul and R&B, updated with plenty of ’80s production nuances (occasionally to the tunes’ detriment). The material has been re-mastered for its CD debut, but, ultimately, the sonic date stamp remains. Several previously unreleased tracks have been tacked on as well, including Commitments-like blue-eyed soul versions of "River Deep Mountain High” and "That’s Just the Woman In Me,” along with a live version of the band’s signature hit. The package comes with a bonus DVD of a live concert taped at Britain’s Shepperton Film Studios and a 24-page booklet featuring everything you always wanted to know about Katrina and the Waves but were too embarrassed to ask. (Bongo Beat)