The Birds were a popular rhythm and blues band in England during the mid-1960s, although they recorded fewer than a dozen songs and released only four singles during the two years they were active. Starting out with a hard R&B sound, they later began infusing it with Motown-style vocal harmonies.(1) The best-known former member of the Birds is Ronnie Wood, who went on to join The Faces and later The Rolling Stones.
Several members of the Birds grew up in the same neighbourhood in Yiewsley, West London, and began playing together in 1964, while still in their teens. At first calling themselves The Thunderbirds, they started out playing local clubs and a neighbourhood community centre, but they soon expanded to a larger club circuit. When they were hired to play on the same bill as Chris Farlowe, whose back-up band was also called The Thunderbirds, they shortened their name to The Birds – a decision which would have significant ramifications later.
When the young band made their first television appearance, they caught the eye of Decca record company executives. The ensuing recording contract resulted in their first two singles, "You Don't Love Me" and "Leaving Here." The Birds seemed destined for stardom with their loud rhythm-and-blues-based music, receiving equal billing with The Who at some shows.
The Birds recorded their last single for Decca in late 1965 and after which they moved to Reaction Records, whose director, Robert Stigwood, suggested they change their name to "The Birds Birds", to distinguish themselves from the American band. Their planned debut album was postponed due to a contract dispute, and ultimately abandoned.(citation needed)
In 1966, the band did a cameo appearance in the horror film The Deadly Bees, performing their song "That's All I Need", which would later be seen on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
By 1967 the group had disbanded, Lemmy, who was a great fan of The Birds, also recorded "Leaving Here" with his band Motorhead. He was inspired by their version of the song.
This Collection is an astonishingly lively and exciting collection, coming from a band that scarcely sold any records in their own time and are known today for their name and their lineup, but not their music.
The stuff here is as crunchy and grinding as the early Who material, and if the band's own songwriting isn't as distinctive, the style of the performing is more appealing.
The songs range from some hot Ron Wood originals ("You're on My Mind," "Next in Line," "That's All I Need") to covers of obscure Motown songs and Pete Townshend material. Think of the Kinks from "Long Tall Sally," the Yardbirds from "A Certain Girl," or the Who from "The Good's Gone" and that's the dominant sound here -- curiously, their cover of Townshend's "Run Run Run" starts out as though it's going to turn into "My Generation." Ali MacKenzie sounded like a punkier Roger Daltrey, and Ron Wood's playing was a delightful compendium of rhythm fills and angular blues licks that must've been devastating on-stage.
by Bruce Eder
1. You're on my Mind (Ron Wood) - 2:49
2. You Don't Love Me (E. McDaniel) - 2:06
3. Leaving Here (Dozier, Holland, Holland) - 2:41
4. Next in Line (Ron Wood) - 2:45
5. No Good Without You (Mickey Stevenson) - 2:39
6. How Can It Be? (Ron Wood) - 2:58
7. You're on my Mind (Demo) (Ron Wood) - 2:26
8. You Don't Love Me (Demo) (Ron Wood) - 2:31
9. Say Those Magic Words (Feldman, Goldstein, Gottehrer, Pomus, Shuman) - 3:15
10.Daddy Daddy (Tony Munroe, Ron Wood) - 4:09
11.Run Run Run (Unissued Track) (P. Townshend) - 3:33
12.Good Times (Unissued Track) (Michel Polnareff) - 3:22
13.Say Those Magic Words (Alternate Version) (Feldman, Goldstein, Gottehrer, Pomus, Shuman) - 3:17
14.Daddy Daddy (Alternate Version) (Tony Munroe, Ron Wood) - 4:07
15.La Poupee Qui Fait Non (Unissued Track) (Michel Polnareff) - 3:37
16.Run Run Run (Alternate Version) (P. Townshend) - 3:03
17.Daddy Daddy (Backing Track) (Tony Munroe, Ron Wood) - 3:59
18.Granny Rides Agian (Unissued 1966 Single Track) (Ron Wood) - 4:45
*Ali Mckenzie - Lead Vocalist
*Tony Munroe - Guitar, Vocals
*Ronnie Wood - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
*Kim Gardner - Bass
*Bob Langham - Drums
*Pete Hocking, Aka Pete Mcdaniel - Drums
*Clem Cattini - Drums On "Granny Rides Again"