The Connells: Stone Cold Yesterday – The Best of the Connells

Connells_StoneColdYesterdayBest-of an 80s/90s college radio favorite

There was a time that melodic guitar rock music was a mainstay of college and alternative radio. During that time, the North Carolina-based Connells were a hardworking band whose career hit a commercial peak in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s with a string of singles that included “Something to Say,” “Stone Cold Yesterday” and “Slackjawed.” But their most lasting mark on listeners ears came with the belated European success of the nostalgic “‘74-’75,” and its memorable video (since updated, Up style). In all, the group has released eight albums and two EPs, and worked with numerous noted producers, including fellow North Carolinians Don Dixon and Mitch Easter.

Although they continue to perform sporadically, their recording career effectively ended with 2001’s Old School Dropouts. This first-ever best-of collection cherry-picks sixteen tracks from across all of the group’s albums except the first, Darker Days, and last. The group’s music is impressively timeless, as Doug MacMillan’s vocals still cast a spell on the introspective lyrics, and the guitars, bass and drums retain their punch. The song list is programmed for listenability rather than chronology, but the effect, even with the switch from Rickenbackers to Fenders and the introduction of a keyboard player, was fairly consistent. If you can’t help but sing the chorus of “‘74-’75” you’ll find a lot more to like here. [©2016 Hyperbolium]

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