Tuesday, 5 March 2013

In The Lap Of The Mods - Iain Hebditch and Jane Shepherd

Action-packed book celebrating The Action!

Of all the 60’s bands that never made it at the time, the greatest travesty is surely The Actions failure to break the charts.  The north London band had five wonderful singles produced by George Martin, counted The Beatles and The Rolling Stones as fans, packed out gigs up and down the country and in Reggie King, had a vocalist who was on a par with Steve Marriott as a soul singer. When The Ultimate Action was released in 1981, they gained a new legion of fans that have kept their records playing in Mod clubs around the globe ever since, eventually leading to a reformation of the band in 1998.  And now after many years in the pipeline, their story is finally written down in a book as stylish as the band were themselves. Filled with contributions from producer George Martin, fan Phil Collins and band members themselves, the book tells their tale complete with what must be every piece of memorabilia about them as well as some amazing photographs. 

The deluxe edition comes with an extra book Where The Action Is, detailing every known gig, recording session and tv appearance in diary form as well as more press cuttings, posters and the band family tree. And if that’s not enough there’s also a replica of a one sided demo they recorded for Decca records of Why Do You Wanna Make Me Blue.  Yep, it’s The Action doing what they did better than any other British band, covering a gem from the mighty Tamla Motown stable and putting their own stamp on it.  Decca turned them down, on the strength of this demo, I’d say their A&R man must have been deaf.

Overall the book is the ultimate tribute to a great band who should have achieved so much more. The book retails for £35 and the deluxe version comes in a cloth-covered slipcase in a limited edition of 400 and costs £75. It may sound steep but the record alone makes it a worthwhile purchase. In the meantime, enjoy some rare footage of the band.

Originally published October 21 2012.

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