Adam Faith was a contemporary of early British rock & rollers like Cliff Richard and Billy Fury, but Faith's sound was less Elvis Presley-derived and more aligned with teen idol pop such as that of Bobby Vee (who covered Faith's number one U.K. hit "What Do You Want?"). John Barry had a hand in Faith's early efforts, and the instrumental arrangements are truly remarkable, from the surprising hoedown-style fiddling on "Don't That Beat All" to the musical saw on "What Now." In fact, it is the arrangements that elevate this music above standard teen idol fare. Faith rocked occasionally, as on "Made You," had moderate success adapting to the changes wrought by the Beatles, and later worked with folk-pop material. The Very Best of Adam Faith tracks his evolution by collecting 26 U.K. chart hits from 1959-1966, four of which were recorded with the Roulettes. Faith had two minor hits in the U.S. in 1965 that aren't included, but The Very Best of Adam Faith is otherwise an exemplary and essential anthology of an early British pop star.
The Best of Chi Coltrane draws only on material from her first two albums, and since these are vastly superior to the rest of her catalog, its title is more than justified. "Thunder and Lightning," "You Were My Friend," "Flyaway Bluebird," and "The Wheel of Life" are undoubtedly fine songs, and every track here is worth having. But anyone looking for an anthology, or career summation, will be disappointed. For an introduction to Coltrane's music, listeners would be better off tracking down her first two albums in their entirety, rather than buying this puzzling amalgamation of them.