Aside from Cold Chisel and Rose Tattoo, there has not been a more criminally underrated Australian band than The Angels. Even though they initially conformed to the sneering delivery and hedonism of Albert Productions label-mates AC/DC, who backed them from the very start and even advanced their career by taking them on tour, The Angels had marginal success outside of their homeland, due in large part to their name, which they changed frequently to avoid confusion with other similarly named acts. As memorable and powerful as their brand of insistent, offbeat rock inarguably was, The Angels gained most of their non-Australian fans via AC/DC's ringing endorsement than on their own merits, which often resulted in them being mislabelled "junior AC/DC". In reality, The Angels were ostensibly a high-energy, theatrical outfit that blended punk and metal rather than blues rock. To that end, a career-boosting best-of was imperative if they were to induce misled AC/DC fans being turned onto them. Fortunately, they reaped the rewards of AC/DC's support, and the general assumption that they were identically rough-and-ready did not dampen their ability to attract record numbers at their impressive live shows. Seemingly, though their appeal, stylistic components and level of proficiency diverged, The Angels were as formidable and magnetic in performance mode as their somewhat sleazier so-called counterparts.
Never defined by one song or celebrated for one album in particular, The Angels released a surfeit of material ranging from the spotty to the solid, but never truly great. Therefore, the major pieces included herein, principally extracted from their decent 1976 proto-punk debut and its two much-improved harder-edged follow-ups, are greatly enhanced when consumed as one concise package. From the classic first single "Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again," to "You Got Me Runnin'," "Out of the Blue," and "Shelter From the Rain", the encompassed lively rock 'n' roll gems are of immense value to Australian rock enthusiasts, with plentiful catchy choruses and snappy guitar riffs coming off as far less rootsy than you might expect. In fact, The Angels would abandon the down-and-dirty raw sound of old in favour of an instrumentally tougher approach, introducing more sympathetic songwriting and straight-ahead rock elements. It is an evolution that is so impeccably traced on this bare-bones yet still rewarding collection. "The Angels Greatest" draws mainly from the hard-driving back-to-basics early years and is even better for it, containing all but one ("Mr. Damage") '70s pub rock staple. Ergo, its moderately uneven song selection and sequencing may lessen its overall clout, but in terms of value for money and cohesiveness, this compilation, released in 1980, perfectly illustrates exactly why this surprisingly dynamic band are considered one of the best you've never heard.