The Critters were effectively the bridge between The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Beau Brummels; with their own distinctly recognisable group vocal sound, they went a long way to defining sunshine pop. As well as fine harmony arrangements, The Critters also had a wealth of songwriting talent, penning all but two tracks on their first album, following their session musician-augmented hit version of John Sebastian’s Younger Girl in 1966.
Jimmy Ryan’s well-constructed songs, especially Come Back On A Rainy Day and I’ll Wear A Silly Grin, were often wistful and reflective, but it was Don Ciccone’s achingly beautiful Mr Dieingly Sad that deservedly gave them their biggest hit. That first album stands up particularly well, and the 13 bonus tracks here include the group’s following three singles – Bad Misunderstanding, Marryin’ Kind Of Love and Don’t Let The Rain Fall Down On Me – which all stand among the finest 60s harmony pop. As well as these cuts, earlier releases for the Musicor and Prancer imprints are added, but only the previously unreleased So Hard To Find reveals the direction The Critters would later take.