Q - May 2002, p.1263 out of 5 stars
- "...Linchipins of England's early R&B scene....If you're a newcomer, you'll be wowed..."
The Most of the Animals from EMI is only about the 15th Animals compilation CD to come on the market since the 1980s -- its title is a play on the name of their producer from that era, Mickie Most. It does offer the virtue of particularly good sound, however, so much so that you can even hear Hilton Valentine's quietly understated rhythm guitar behind Alan Price's organ on "Hallelujah, I Love Her So," and John Steel's drumming on "We've Gotta Get Out of This Place" is presented in sharp relief. As much as any 49-minute/16-song collection can, this disc offers a decent cross section of the group's early work. Serious fans will opt for the two Japanese EMI mini-LP-style reissues containing everything from this era in perfect sound, while lazier, more casual ones will choose the ABKCO Records domestic compilation, which has much poorer fidelity, but as a mid-priced import -- even without any annotation -- this is a pretty solid compromise and an okay place to stop, as far as the group's most successful years are concerned (if that's where one wants to stop). There aren't any surprises -- there couldn't be with a catalog this ubiquitous -- and the song order is a bit haphazard, but short of opting for the Complete Animals EMI set, this is a decent choice. ~ Bruce Eder