But such feelings should be suppressed, because the Blasters themselves were so determinedly anti-nostalgic. Early in the band's career, they worked hard to bring attention to then-L.A.-based musical legends such as Big Joe Turner (for which they deserve a Kansas City "thank you") and Lee Allen, who played sax with Fats Domino. The key, though, is that the Blasters' members didn't bring these men back to the stage for an affectionate curtain call. They brought them back because they mattered.
This two-CD set, essentially the entire Blasters catalog with generous amounts of unreleased material thrown in, kicks off with the fiery chords of "Marie, Marie," a Blasters/Dave Alvin composition originally sung by Phil Alvin, not Dave. It's a blast to listen to the band's progression from rockabilly through blues, R&B and country idioms until it sounds like the Blasters -- like no other band before or since.
With America embracing its musical roots like never before, it's easy to forget that during the early '80s, the closest the Blasters could get to mainstream success was a cameo in Walter Hill's retro-futuristic movie Streets of Fire. This collection is the perfect place to discover, or rediscover, just how wonderful this band was.