2.29.2008

Paul Revere & The Raiders: Mojo Workout! (63-65)

ALBUM REVIEW (am)

Though this is to the Raiders later, greater catalog what With the Beatles is to Revolver, it's another piece of hard evidence that the Pacific Northwest was the tough, balls-out, kicking-and-screaming early-'60s rock & roll region of America. Again, long before and right through the onslaught of the British Invasion, these guys and their bill-sharers were stomping out the '50s-model R&B so hard, it was a wonder they weren't black like the inspirations they covered. Yet, as it turns out, Mojo Workout is one of only three known live recordings that documents the band's early, mostly covers, wild-party sets, and its sound is impeccable. It was done at a free concert, in 1964, within their new label's (Columbia) Hollywood studios for the express purpose of caging the Raiders infamous live beast. (Yet the tapes sat in a vault for 37 years!) These five guys clearly fed off an audience, and though there's still plenty of drive in the young Raiders' studio work — see the whole of disc two for the evidence of that — you can feel the charge they got in their natural habitat, being egged on by a crowd. Unbridled frontman Mark Lindsay asks over and over, before each song, "Is everybody ready!!!," as if for another rocket launch. The songs and riffs of Ray Charles, Richard Berry, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Aaron Neville, Isley Brothers, Huey "Piano" Smith & the Clowns, Jerry Lee Lewis, Coasters, James Brown, Olympics, and Jessie Hill mix with the occasional similar-styled original to make the kids dance along with the Raiders' noted high-kick stage dance steps. Just listen and you can hear the band's charismatic power and the smoke they put into a clutch of great material, known and obscure.

INFO SUNDAZED

With a lot of tracks and over 2 1/4 hours of music on 2 discs, Mojo Workout! is the story that has never been told, of how Paul Revere and the Raiders burned down the pines in the Northwest for years, then bottled that rude magic on record for Columbia in ‘63 thru early ‘65. Revere, Lindsay, Mike Smith, Drake Levin and “Doc” Holladay were a lethal R&B party machine with a conqueror’s spirit.Mojo Workout! marks the first comprehensive issue of the Raiders’ earliest Columbia recordings. The way the Raiders played these songs was the way they sounded in real life, in clubs and VFW halls. This is what rock & roll was like between Presley and the Beatles, as white teenagers discovered the blackness in the music for themselves — and then reinvented it.

ANOTHER ALBUM OF ONE OF MY FAVOURITE BANDS... IT`S JUST A LOT...+ THAN 30 SONGS OF PURE JOY !!! IT`S A LOT ! ! BE CAREFUL ! !


LINK1CD: WHOLE LOTTA NOTHIN´ ! ! !
LINK2CD: MY WIFE CAN`T COOK ! ! !

2.27.2008

The Iguanas: Jumping with The Iguanas (1963-65)

BAND INFO (am)

The Iguanas earned their place in rock and roll history as the launching pad for a teenaged drummer named Jim Osterberg, better known today as the influential punk pioneer Iggy Pop. Formed in Ann Arbor, MI in 1963, the Iguanas originally comprised Osterberg and guitarist Jim McLaughlin, who together made their public debut at a junior high school talent show; upon entering high school that fall, they recruited saxophonist Sam Swisher, soon after landing their first paid gig at a local school dance. The trio then recorded an instrumental demo at McLaughlin's father's home studio before swelling to a five-piece with the additions of guitarist Nick Kolokithas and bassist Don Swickerath. By 1964 they were a major attraction on the Ann Arbor rock scene, regularly playing local dances, teen clubs and frat parties; a second demo session followed later that year. In the spring of 1965, the Iguanas entered Detroit's United Sound Recording Studio to cut three more tracks, among them a cover of Bo Diddley's "Mona" (issued as a single on the group's own Forte label) and "Again and Again" (the first-ever Osterberg original). That summer they were tapped as the house band at the Club Ponytail, a nightspot located in the Harbor Springs resort area; there the Iguanas opened for acts including the Four Tops, the Shangri-Las and the Kingsmen, frequently backing the headliners onstage as well. Osterberg exited the line-up in 1966 to join the Prime Movers; the remaining Iguanas hired a new drummer and played club dates in Boston and New York, but when a deal with Columbia Records failed to materialize the band dissolved in 1967. Decades later, McLauglin, Kolokithas and Swickerath announced their intentions to revive the group in the wake of the 1996 release of the retrospective Jumpin' with the Iguanas.

IGGY POP ON DRUMS...WUA... A WONDERFUL ALBUM........

LINK: MONA ! ! !

2.24.2008

Five Americans: Progressions (1967)

ALBUM REVIEW(am)

The Five Americans' third album, Progressions, lives up to its title. The group, which had gained success with the pounding frat rocker "I Saw the Light" and the bubbly pop hit "Western Union," began to show some real artistic growth as they stretched out and explored new sounds. Some of the tracks sound like more assured versions of their earlier efforts — the bubblegummy "Zip Code" (the attempted follow-up to "Western Union"), the tender folk-rock of "(But Not) Today," the sparkling pop of "Stop-Light" — but they also incorporate some harder guitar rock on "Black Is White — Day Is Night," Kinks-y baroque pop psych on "Rain Maker," and blue-eyed soul on "Come on Up." They also ditched the at times too slick sound achieved by producer Dale Hawkins, took over the production chores themselves, and did a fine job of creating a full and rich sound with just enough experimentation to keep things unpredictable. Progressions is a substantial leap of quality for the group; with the right push, it could have been big. Instead it is a hidden gem that fans of fine '60s pop should seek out and savor.

JUST GREAT... LIKE ALL FIVE AMERICANS ALBUMS ... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ...

LINK: ZIP CODE ! ! !

The Hangmen: Bittersweet (1966)

BAND INFO AND MORE (garageHangover)

With Mike Henley and Joe Triplett away at college, Tom and Bob Berberich joined another band, the Hangmen, with bassist Mike West and rhythm guitarist George Daly, fellow students at Montgomery Junior College. The same month the Reekers were getting attention around DC with Don't Call Me Flyface, a photo of the Hangmen appeared in the April 3, 1965 Evening Star with a caption explaining the Hangmen had lost a battle of the bands at the Shirlington Shopping Center to the Shadows. Tom confirms the story that needing a singer who sounded English, George called the British Embassy asking for someone who could sing! The singer they found was Dave Ottley, a hairdresser variously reported as being from Liverpool, London or Scotland.
In early summer of '65, a friend of Tom's named Larry played What a Girl Can't Do for Fred Foster of Monument Records. Lillian Claiborne graciously released Tom from his contract with her and Foster signed him - only Tom as he was the songwriter and leader of the Reekers. Since Joe Triplett and Mike Henley were committed to college, Tom decided, against his own preferences, to work with the Hangmen as his band. Monument then released the Reekers' recordings of What a Girl Can't Do and The Girl Who Faded Away under the Hangmen's name, even though only Tom and Bob Berberich had played on them.
Some sources report that the Hangmen rerecorded the The Girl Who Faded Away for the Monument 45. A close listen shows that the Hangmen's Monument 45 version is actually the same recording as the Reekers' original Edgewood acetate, except that the acetate had a long ending that was cut from the Monument 45. Confusion also exists about What A Girl Can't Do. The Monument 45 version released under the Hangmen's name is the Reekers. In 1966 the Hangmen recorded their own version of the song for their LP, which sounds much different.
Arnold Stahl, a lawyer, and Mike Klavans of WTTG formed 427 Enterprises to promote the band. Their connections landed gigs for the Hangmen in embassies and a mention in Newsweek. One memorable event was playing a party for Robert Kennedy's family and getting drunk in their kitchen!
Despite these connections, the Hangmen were still primarily a suburban band, playing for kids at parties and shopping malls but not getting into the clubs like the big DC acts like the British Walkers and the Chartbusters. This would change as the Monument 45 of What A Girl Can't Do started gaining momentum locally.

The Hangmen recorded a fine follow up, Faces, and this time Monument put some money into promotion, taking out a full page ad in the trade magazines. Propelled by fuzz guitar and a heavy bass line, Faces is a tough garage number with a fine vocal by Ottley. Tom points out that the song finishes quite a bit faster than it starts, making it difficult for those on the dance floor to keep up! The flip is another Guernsey/Daly original, Bad Goodbye, which features studio musician Charlie McCoy on harmonica.

JUST .... NO WORDS ... ONE OF MY FAVOURITES ... PAY ATTENTION TO THIS BAND ! ! ! ...
LINK: WHAT A GIRL CAN´T DO ! ! !

2.23.2008

Les Baroques: Such a Cad/Complete Recordings Full Artwork

OK, HERE, THE COVERS AND INLAY BOOK OF THE ALBUM "COMPLETE RECORDINGS - LES BAROQUES".





LINK:
LES BAROQUES FULL ARTWORK

2.22.2008

MC5: ´66 Breakout!

BAND INFO (am)

Alongside their Detroit-area brethren the Stooges, MC5 essentially laid the foundations for the emergence of punk; deafeningly loud and uncompromisingly intense, the group's politics were ultimately as crucial as their music, their revolutionary sloganeering and anti-establishment outrage crystallizing the counterculture movement at its most volatile and threatening. Under the guidance of svengali John Sinclair (the infamous founder of the radical White Panther Party), MC5 celebrated the holy trinity of sex, drugs, and rock & roll, their incendiary live sets offering a defiantly bacchanalian counterpoint to the peace-and-love reveries of their hippie contemporaries. Although corporate censorship, label interference, and legal hassles combined to cripple the band's hopes of mainstream notoriety, both their sound and their sensibility remain seminal influences on successive generations of artists.The Motor City Five formed in Lincoln Park, MI, in late 1964 by vocalist Rob Tyner, guitarists Fred "Sonic" Smith and Wayne Kramer, bassist Pat Burrows, and drummer Bob Gaspar; at the time, its members were still in high school, appearing at local parties and teen hangouts while clad in matching stage uniforms. In time, however, Smith and Kramer began experimenting with feedback and distortion, a development that hastened the exits of Burrows and Gaspar during the fall of 1965; adding bassist Michael Davis and drummer Dennis Thompson a year later, MC5 landed a regular gig at the famed Detroit venue the Grande Ballroom, building a fanatical local fan base on the strength of their increasingly anarchic live appearances. Soon the band caught the attention of Sinclair, a former high school English teacher anointed the Motor City's "King of the Hippies" after founding Trans Love Energies, the umbrella name applied to the many underground enterprises he operated, including his White Panther Party, a radical political faction espousing "total assault on the culture by any means necessary, including rock & roll, dope, and f*cking in the streets."In early 1967, Sinclair was named MC5's manager; within months they issued their debut single, "I Can Only Give You Everything." As the official house band of the White Panthers, they became musical conduits for the party's political rhetoric, taking the stage draped in American flags and calling for a revolution; run-ins with the law became increasingly common, although in the wake of the Detroit riots of July 1967, the group relocated to the nearby college town of Ann Arbor. The following summer, MC5 appeared in Chicago at the Yippies' Festival of Life, a rally mounted in opposition to the Democratic National Convention, and in the audience was Elektra Records A&R executive Danny Fields, who signed the band a few months later. Their debut album, the classic Kick Out the Jams, was recorded live at the Grande Ballroom on October 30 and 31, 1968; although the album reached the national Top 30, retailers, including the Hudson's chain, refused to carry copies due to its inclusion of Tyner's trademark battle cry of "Kick out the jams, motherf*ckers!" The controversy spurred MC5 to run advertisements in the underground press reading "F*ck Hudson's!" Against the band's wishes, Elektra also issued a censored version of the album, replacing the offending expletive with "brothers and sisters."When the dust settled, MC5 was dropped by Elektra; when Sinclair was subsequently jailed for possession of marijuana, the band was left without their manager and without a contract. They signed to Atlantic, where producer Jon Landau was installed to helm their second album, 1970's Back in the U.S.A.; with Sinclair out of the picture, the music's political stance vanished as well, with a newly stripped-down, razor-sharp sound replacing the feedback-driven fury of before. The record's approach divided fans and critics, however, and when the 1971 follow-up High Time failed to even reach the charts, Atlantic released MC5 from their contract; in addition to filing for bankruptcy, the group was dogged by mounting drug problems and in early 1972, Davis was dismissed from the lineup as a result of heroin abuse. Bassist Steve Moorhouse stepped in as his replacement, but soon after, both Tyner and Thompson announced their retirement from active touring; on New Year's Eve of 1972, the group played their final gig, appearing at the Grande Ballroom — the site of so many past glories — for just 500 dollars. As the years went by, however, MC5's influence expanded; punk, hard rock, and power pop all clearly reflected the band's impact and by the 1990s, they were the subject of a steady stream of reissues and rarities packages. Following the band's demise, its members pursued new projects: Tyner released several solo records and also earned acclaim for his photography before suffering a fatal heart attack on September 17, 1991. Smith, meanwhile, formed Sonic's Rendezvous with fellow Detroit music legend Scott Morgan, issuing the underground classic "City Slang" in 1977 before leaving the group; in 1980 he wed Patti Smith, dying of heart failure on November 4, 1994. After spending much of the following decades battling drug addiction — including a two-year prison stint — Kramer resurfaced in 1995 with a blistering solo album, The Hard Stuff, the first of several new efforts for punk label Epitaph. Less successful were Davis, who seemingly disappeared from sight after a tenure with underground legends Destroy All Monsters, and Thompson, whose solo ambitions went largely unrealized.

EARLY GARAGE ERA OF MC5, WILD AND RAW GARAGE ... AMAZING ...

The Bush: Got Bush if you want it ! (65,66)

BAND INFO AND MORE (uglyth) ...

In 1965-66, The Bush ruled the teen scene in California’s Inland Empire with smash hits on the local charts and throngs of fans flocking to their gigs. Originally called the Bushmen, they were the first band in their area with the longhaired Rolling Stones look. After they opened for the Stones in 1965 they became local superstars almost overnight. Girls wanted to sleep with them while envious guys either wanted to beat them up or be them.
The CD features 27 tracks including all the Bush’s 45rpm releases along with 21 amazing unissued tracks unearthed from lead singer Steve Hoard’s personal archive of master tapes and acetates.
The deluxe CD packaging includes a 20-page booklet with full liner notes and tons of vintage photos. One of the most hotly anticipated ‘60s releases of the year, GOT BUSH IF YOU WANT IT is a treasure trove of killer sounds from a band that utterly epitomized ‘60s teenage garage rock cool. The high-quality vinyl LP edition will be available by early December. It includes the 16 very best Bush tracks (13 previously unreleased) packaged in a heavy-duty old-style jacket with glossy insert and full liners. Limited edition of 1,000.

GREAT RECORDINGS... VERY RARE TOO... FIND OUT HERE ...

7th Steal: Reflections (1967,Usa)

ALBUM REVIEW (aciarc)

30+ year belated addition to the Justice label catalog, via an album that was recorded but never released by the label back in 1967. Weighing it against the stablemates, this is clearly above average, with a number of band originals and a more genuinely contemporary (as in 1966) moody garage and folkrock feel than the usual Justices. The release is nicely done in a way that looks and feels like a 60s pressing, and anyone with an interest in local teenbeat albums may want to check it out, apart from the obvious completist angle.

This was recorded in 1967, but never released. Introspective US garage/psych band influenced by the "British Sound", soul and R&B. After they recorded their "Leave or Stay" 45 for the Gama label under the name The English Muffins." 32 years later this LP finally sees the light of day via this lovely reissue LP limited to 400 copies and in an old style thick jacket done to look just like the Lp would have looked on the Justice label had it come out way back when. 6 covers include Kinks, Yardbirds and the 5 originals all have an early Stones vibe. Most who've heard it put it up in the top 2 for the label.

GARAGE PSYCH ... TAKE A GOOD LISTEN ... (VINYL RIP)

LINK: MAKE YOUR BED ! ! !

The Easybeats: Easy (1st album,1965)

BAND INFO (am)

The Easybeats occupy a unique place in the pantheon of 1960s British rock acts. For starters, they were Australian, except that they really weren't — they met in Sydney alright, and being based in Australia with the talent they had gave them a leg-up over any of the local competition. But lead singer Stevie Wright originally came from England (although he'd been in Australia for some years), and bassist Dick Diamonde hailed from the Netherlands, as did guitarist Harry Vanda, while the others, guitarists George Young and drummer Gordon "Snowy" Fleet, were recent arrivals from Scotland and England — most significantly, Fleet was Liverpool born and raised, and had been a member of the Mojos, one of that city's more promising bands of 1963 and 1964. They all had talent, but he had a sense of style and an idea of what worked in rock & roll; it was Snowy Fleet who came up with the name "the Easybeats," and the sharp image for the early group, which made them a piece of authentic Brit-beat right in the heart of Sydney, 13,000 miles from Liverpool and as precious there as water on a desert. After honing their sound and building a name locally around Sydney in late 1964, the group was signed to Albert Productions who, in turn, licensed their releases to Australian EMI's Parlophone label. Ted Albert, their producer, seemed to recognize what he had in a group of talented, newly-transplanted Englishmen and Europeans — the real article, and a rare musical commodity in Australia. The band was signed up with 20 original songs already written, and as they sounded fresh, he simply let the band cut them, merely making sure the music came out right on vinyl. Working from originals primarily written by Stevie Wright, by himself or in collaboration with George Young, the group's early records (especially the albums) were highly derivative of the Liverpool sound, which was fine by all concerned. What made it special was the sheer energy that the quintet brought to the equation — they were highly animated in the studio and on stage, they looked cool and rebellious, and they sang and played superbly. "For My Woman," their debut single, issued in March of 1965, was an ominous garage punk bolero, featuring Stevie Wright in an agonized lament, accompanied by brittle, bluesy rhythm and lead guitar parts that called to mind the early Kinks. "She's So Fine," their second single, brought out two months later, shot to number one in Australia and was one of the great records of its era — musically, it flew out of the gate like a rocket, a frantic, hook-laden celebration of female pulchritude from the point of view of an unrequited male admirer that grabbed the listener and wouldn't let go, across two minutes of raw excitement. Their debut album Easy, issued the following September, was a bit more influenced by the Hollies (and especially by Tony Hicks' playing) and, to a lesser degree, the Beatles and any number of lesser known Merseybeat acts, but whatever it lacked in originality, they made up for with an attack on their instruments that, coupled with Wright's searing, powerful lead vocals, made them one of the best British rock & roll acts of the period and Easy one of the best of all British Invasion albums (though it took more than 30 years for it to be released officially outside of Australia). In Australia, they were the reigning kings of rock & roll from the summer of 1965 onward, assembling a string of eight Top Ten chart hits in a year and a half, including an EP that managed the unusual feat of making the singles chart. Their second album, It's 2 Easy, was a match for their first, a genuinely exciting collection of British Invasion-style rock & roll whose only fault — assuming that this was a fault — was that it seemed a year out-of-date in style when it was released in 1966. That, however, pointed to the fundamental bind that the band faced; they'd conquered Australia and could do no wrong by keeping their sound the same, as the changes taking place in rock music filtered only very slowly across the Pacific. By George Young's own account, the band could have gone on writing and playing the same kind of songs for years in Australia and nobody would have minded, but he had ideas for more complex and daring music. By mid-1966, the Wright/Young songwriting team had become history, but in its place Vanda and Young began writing songs together. Additionally, the group had become so successful, that it was inevitable that they'd try to expand their audience, and that didn't mean side trips to New Zealand. In the fall of 1966, the Easybeats were ready to make the jump that no Australian rock & roll act had yet done successfully, and headed for England. In November of 1966, with legendary producer Shel Talmy (of Who and Kinks fame) managing their recordings, the group scored its first U.K. hit with "Friday on My Mind." A product of Vanda and Young's songwriting, the song embodied all of the fierce kinetic energy of their Australian hits but was written at a new level of sophistication, with an amazing number of musical "events" taking place in its three minutes: An opening two-note staccato figure (backed by a cymbal crash) blooms into a pseudo-Arabesque quotation on the guitar, rising higher while the singer intones a frantic tale of work, fun, and escape, covering the days of the work week (in a manner vaguely reminiscent of "Rock Around the Clock"'s trip around an idealized 24 hours in a teenager's life, and also declaring working class defiance in the manner of "Summertime Blues"); a chorus chimed in at an even higher register, notching up the tension even as the tempo quickens and also broadening the tonal palette, in a manner akin to the early psychedelia of the period. With all of that activity and excitement within the context of a three-minute pop song, and two catchy hooks, it was impossible to get tired of "Friday on My Mind," in any language. It rose to the Top Ten not only in England but across Europe and much of the rest of the world, and reached the Top 20 in the United States as well where, for the first time, Americans became aware of the Easybeats. The group spent seven months in England, writing new, more ambitious songs and also performing before new audiences, most notably in Germany, where they were greeted with an enthusiasm rivaling their appearances in Australia, and left behind a notable series of live television appearances. The band's return to Australia in May of 1967 for a national tour marked the high point of their history. Unfortunately, it would be the last unbridled success that they would know — the group moved their base of operations to London, where the Vanda/Young songwriting team began composing ever more complex songs, in keeping with the flourishing psychedelic era. Some of the songs were superb, but the same charmed existence that the group had led up to that point seemed to desert them in 1967-1968 — their single "Heaven and Hell" was banned from the radio in England for one suggestive line, and a six-month lag for a follow-up cost them momentum that they never reclaimed. Additionally, they lost some cohesiveness in their sound as the members began indulging in the chemical and other diversions at hand in still swinging London — they worked in the studio, making some extremely complex recordings during late 1967 and early 1968, and the songs, including "Falling Off the Edge of the World" and "Come in You'll Get Pneumonia," were as good as anything being written in rock at the time. The Easybeats, however, were no longer as exciting a group to listen to or see, when they actually did perform. By mid-1969, the band had receded to a mere shadow of itself, and their music had regressed to a form of good-time singalong music, similar to the work of the Tremeloes, pleasant enough but nothing like the kind of work they'd been generation just two years before. Their final grasp at international success came with the single "St. Louis," which managed to scrape the very bottom of the American Hot 100. The band decided to call it quits following a return to Australia for one final tour, after which Harry Vanda and George Young became full-time songwriter/producers, helped organize AC/DC (featuring Young's siblings Angus Young and Malcolm Young), and generated the 1973 hit "Evie" for Stevie Wright. Their string of successes has stretched into the new century — "Friday on My Mind" remains in print in dozens of editions throughout the world, as recorded by the Easybeats and others; and in 2001, their late '70s disco hit "Love Is in the Air" (primarily associated with John Paul Young), was licensed for use in two different commercials for two separate products (a car and a credit card) running simultaneously on American television. Meanwhile, the Easybeats' complete output has been issued on CD through the Repertoire label (making their 1965-1966 Australian sides widely available around the world for the first time), and anthologies of their work are in print in England and America. Such was the demand for their music in the late 1990s, that Australia's Raven Records has also issued Live, Studio and Stage, the first full-length collection of live recordings by the group, assembled from across their history.

ALBUM REVIEW (am)

Their first album, not available outside Australia until the 1990s. The Vanda/Young songwriting partnership had yet to dominate the band in their early days, and most of the (entirely original) material here comes from the pens of George Young and singer Stevie Wright. It's more Merseybeatish and less oriented toward power-pop and staccato guitar attacks than their subsequent releases, which isn't really detrimental; it doesn't scale the peaks the band would shortly climb, but neither does it have the overdone good-time mania that made some of their efforts hard to take in more than limited doses. A fairly consistent, if not incredibly remarkable, relic from the Beat era, with some very Beatlesque tracks, including "It's So Easy," "I Wonder" (on which Harry Vanda sounds a lot like a young George Harrison circa "Do You Want to Know a Secret"), and cuts that could pass for the Searchers ("I'm Gonna Tell Everybody"), Gerry & the Pacemakers ("Hey Girl," "A Letter"), the Merseybeats ("Cry Cry Cry"), the Kinks ("You'll Come Back Again"), and Peter & Gordon ("Girl on My Mind"). Stuck in the middle of all of those delightfully derivative treasures is the most defiantly original track off the album, and (not coincidentally) their first big Australian hit, "She's So Fine," which doesn't sound like anything else here, pulsing with energy, a hot pumping bass part, and a ferocious guitar break. The Repertoire Records CD reissue enhances the original album significantly with the addition of eight bonus tracks, including five jewels from the Vanda/Young songwriting team.

BEAT ROCK - GARAGE, A MUST HAVE...

LINK: I`M A MAD MAN ! ! !

Five Americans: I See the Light (1966)

BAND INFO (am)
In 1966-1967, this Dallas group enjoyed some modest national success with the number five hit "Western Union," as well as a few other Top 40 entries, "I See the Light," "Zip Code," and "Sound of Love." Dominated by high bubbling organ lines and clean harmony vocals, the group favored high-energy pop/rock far more than British Invasion or R&B-inspired sounds, although a bit of garage/frat rock raunch could be detected in their stomping rhythms — and their guitar-dominated tracks offered something else again, the harmonies and texture of "The Train" (which was very nearly their debut single) recalling the punchier work of Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers from the same period. Recording prolifically throughout the last half of the '60s (often with ex-rockabilly star Dale Hawkins as producer) and writing much of their own material, they were ultimately too lightweight and bubblegum-ish to measure up to either the era's better pop/rock or garage bands. Their 1966 hit "I See the Light" is their toughest and best performance.Though they officially hailed from Dallas, the Five Americans had their origins in Oklahoma. Mike Rabon grew up in Hugo, the county seat of Choctaw County, in southeastern Oklahoma, founded in 1902 (and named after Victor Hugo, the novelist), 25 miles north of Paris, Texas, and 15 miles west of Fort Towson, site of the last Confederate surrender of the Civil War. He became interested in playing the guitar when he was eight years old, and saved up to buy a homemade instrument at a local pawn shop. He got a start on a few chords learned from his grandmother and quickly got the hang of the instrument. When rock & roll broke nationally, he was swept right in, and became a big fan of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins, and later added singers such as Frankie Ford to his list of influences. He joined a local high-school band called the Rhythm Rebels, who played mostly instrumentals and whose gigs included some local radio appearances. While Rabon was honing his guitar skills and learning what he could from the playing of Carl Perkins, Scotty Moore, et al., John Durrill, who was a few years older, was living Bartlesville, OK — near the Kansas border, originally part of Indian Territory, and the birthplace of Phillips Petroleum — and already learning a lot by listening to Jerry Lee Lewis, whose playing inspired him to dress up his already freewheeling approach to the piano even more flamboyantly. Durrill entered Southeastern Oklahoma State College in the early '60s as an English major, and played frat parties and the like in his spare time. It was at one such event, playing for Sigma Tau Gamma, that he crossed paths with Rabon, who had started attending the school in 1962.By that time, Rabon had in his mind the idea of putting together a group, and he approached Durrill. The others — Norman Ezell (guitar), Johnny Coble (drums), and Jim Grant (maracas and later bass) — fell into place quickly. The quintet, named the Mutineers, had a repertory built on the music of Duane Eddy and Bo Diddley, and played events around campus, including a regular Monday night gig at the student union. They were good enough to take a chance on recording, cutting their debut in Dallas in 1963 with "Jackin' Around," an instrumental that got some play on their college station. The British Invasion caused them to add some Beatles numbers to their set list and change their look slightly, as well as emphasize their singing a little bit more. Durrill also added a Wurlitzer electric piano — purchased by Rabon's father, Smiley (who had also financed their first recording sessions) — to their sound, though the big change came later, when he acquired a Vox organ, which became part of the group's signature sound when the band started recording. By the summer of 1964, they felt ready to try competing in Dallas, but Coble backed out at the last minute, and they recruited drummer Jimmy Wright on a couple of hours' notice. The bandmembers spent a few weeks crashing at the pad of Durrill's girlfriend, and picked up their first serious gig — appropriately enough, for a band called the Mutineers — at a club called The Pirates' Nook, where they bumped an established band out of their spot there, mostly with their stage antics. They did well enough so that they decided to stick it out for a while longer, past the end of the summer. The Mutineers were booked into a club called Lou Ann's, where they chanced to be heard by John Abdnor, Jr., whose multimillionaire father owned a record label. He invited them to audition, and they were duly signed up to his Abnak label. The latter also involved a name change, and that was how the Five Americans got their new name, at Abdnor's insistence. Their first single, "I See the Light," cut in late 1965 in Dallas, showed just how powerful a performing unit they'd become in the previous year, their instrumental attack resembling the best elements of such much-vaunted British bands as the Yardbirds and the Nashville Teens, with Durrill's singing supported by Rabon and Ezell. The single, which was leased to the HBR label — a unit of Hanna-Barbera Studios, the cartoon producers — reached number 26 nationally, and the group got the go-ahead to work on a debut LP. Equally important, the licensing deal got the Five Americans a trip to Los Angeles to meet the executives of the national label. That in itself was highly instructive to five Oklahoma boys who hadn't been anywhere more sophisticated than Dallas — where their "long hair" (not nearly to the shoulders) made them "freaks" — and their musical ambitions as well as the quintet's visual presentation advanced by leaps and bounds across early 1966, even as they made the rounds of venues such as the Whisky a Go Go and various TV music showcases such as Shivaree and The Woody Woodbury Show, turning into a national-level act in a matter of weeks. Oddly enough, at the time of its release, the band and its label hadn't been certain of "I See the Light"'s appeal, especially as its other side, "The Train," had some merit of its own.Not too many bands coming off the college circuit by scarcely a year could have led with that kind of strength. There were similarly high expectations for their follow-up single, "Evol — Not Love," a harmony-based rocker that seemed to carry them to the next step. Alas, it didn't do nearly as well, essentially dying in the womb in Dallas, owing to a local business-related "political" dispute involving Abdnor. But their next single, "Western Union," soared from the moment it reached the public, reaching the Top Ten. It also marked the beginning of Dale Hawkins, the guitarist/singer/composer of "Susie Q" fame, working as their producer. This should have been the beginning of a new phase in the group's history, and a leap in their fortunes and prospects, but differences with Abdnor and the limitations inherent in not being signed to a major label combined to sap whatever momentum the song generated. This was all especially tragic, as the Five Americans were generating music that was not only superb AM bubblegum pop, but also credible garage rock on occasion, and excellent pop/rock overall, with killer harmonies and excellent playing, filled with the kinds of hooks that most bands would kill for on their records. Indeed, there are moments on "Now That It's Over" and "If I Could" where their mix of nicely woven harmonies and clean, sophisticated playing recall the work of the Beatles or the Searchers. "Sound of Love" and "Zip Code" — issued in 1967 — charted far lower than the records that had preceded them, despite hooks and harmonies that made them eminently hummable and memorable (especially "Zip Code"). They were doing work of at least the caliber of the Monkees without the Screen Gems publishing/arranging/producing factory backing them up, and if some of it was a bit derivative — "Sympathy" did seem to recall the Beatles' "You Like Me Too Much" at times — the music was presented with enough fresh twists to easily justify the purchase and the listening time. The differences with Abdnor were worsening, however, and the members felt he was now compromising the music and any chance for growth by his insistence that they continue to record in Dallas. By 1968 Durrill and Ezell were both gone, replaced by Lenny Goldsmith and Bobby Rambo. The group continued on through 1969, but by then even their name was starting to sound quaintly out of date amid the burgeoning influence of the counterculture; they could probably have gone on indefinitely in Dallas, but their chances for national exposure were receding by the week. Among their last efforts was a double LP (credited to "Michael Rabon & the Five Americans"), before the remaining members went their separate ways. The band has mostly been remembered across the decades for its two biggest hits, "Western Union" and "I See the Light." In the 21st century, however, Sundazed Records reissued a big chunk of their catalog, giving the Five Americans their biggest exposure in decades, and revealing an astonishingly fine legacy, far beyond their best-known hits and all well worth hearing.
ALBUM REVIEW

lf you're curious enough about the Five Americans to want more than a greatest hits collection, this 1966 album is a worthwhile supplement. Ten of the 12 cuts are group originals, and they lean toward the gutsier side of what this sometimes pop-oriented act could offer, with occasional influences of Beau Brummels-like folk-rock. Most of the songs are not on their CD best-of (Western Union), and this disc adds previously unreleased alternate takes of "The Train" and "Good Times."
A SOFTER GARAGE ... NICE BALADS ... SOFT CLASSIC ROCK LIVE .... JUST AMAZING ... GREAT SONGS LIKE "I SEE THE LIGHT" ! "THE TRAIN" AND OTHERS... HIGHLY SUPERB ULTRA RECOMMENDED ...

2.18.2008

The Kingsmen: Up and Away (1966)

BAND INFO (am)

A rock & roll band from Portland, Oregon, the Kingsmen's one big hit "Louie, Louie" defined the garage-band style and became one of the all-time classics. The original lineup included Jack Ely (lead singer and guitar), Lynn Easton (drums), Mike Mitchell (lead guitar), Bob Nordby (bass), and Don Galucci (piano). After Ely had "incorrectly" taught the rest of the band the Wailers version of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" (thus altering the basic rhythm into the now famous duh-duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh riff that has become the only way anyone has played it since), they recorded it for fifty dollars at a primitive local recording studio with only three mikes, Ely hollering the lyrics into an overhead boom mike suspended ten feet in the air. Released on a local label, the record went nowhere after Paul Revere & the Raiders quickly covered it in the Northwest market, although it had quickly become a standard for all teen bands in that area. In 1964, the record started to break nationally, causing the breakup of the original lineup when Easton copyrighted the group's name, informing the other members that he was now sole owner of the Kingsmen and its new lead singer. Ely formed his own Kingsmen, touring at the same time as Easton, who was lip-synching the record whenever possible. Only Easton and Mitchell were left from the original lineup, but they kept scoring big with frat-band versions of "Money" and "Little Latin Lupe Lu," reaching their peak with "The Jolly Green Giant," while Ely languished in relative obscurity and Gallucci formed Don & the Goodtimes. By the early '90s, history had redressed itself somewhat. While replacement members from the Easton version of the band toured as the "original" Kingsmen, Jack Ely finally received some of his due, headlining the 30th Anniversary Louie Louie tour. Though the song itself has been covered repeatedly, the version by Ely and the original lineup remains definitive.

MORE INFO


They became the #1 touring band in the United States. In 1965, during a series of one-nighters, they set fifty-six consecutive attendance records in colleges, ballrooms, arenas, state fairs, and community dances. Many promoters used the Kingsmen as a promotional gimmick to "repel" the British Invasion (a joke to the band, as they loved that music). They appeared in concert and on television with the Rolling Stones, Zombies, Kinks, Searchers, Peter and Gordon, Chad and Jeremy, Dusty Springfield, and others; and North American acts such as the Beach Boys, Righteous Brothers, Four Seasons, Isley Brothers, Guess Who, Turtles, Shangri-Las, Byrds, Lovin' Spoonful, Kinckerbockers, and all their Scepter/Want label mates. They were featured on the top TV music shows including Shindig, Hullabaloo, American Bandstand, Lloyd Thaxton, Action; and in the beach party movie, "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini."

Up and Away (Wand WDM/WDS-675) 1966
Trouble/If I Needed Someone/Grass Is Green/Tossin' and Turnin'/Under My Thumb/ Wild Thing/ (I Have Found) Another Girl/Daytime Shadows/Shake a Tail Feather/Children's Caretaker/ Land of 1000 Dances/Mustang Sally/Little Sally Tease/Hush-A-Bye/Killer Joe


ANOTHER GREAT ALBUM BY THE MASTERS.... IT`S NOT THAT WILD AND RAW IN COMPARISSON OF PREVIOUS ALBUMS ... BUT ITS SO GREAT... LIKE ALL THEIR ALBUMS ... IT`S PRICELESS ! ! ! ... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED...

GREAT SONGS AND COVER... GREAT LYRICS TOO... JUST... AMAZING ALBUM ...YOU LL FIND HERE MODERN INFLUENCES OF THE ERA... 1966... BECOMING OF PSYCH ... IT DOESN`T SOUND THAT OLD SCHOOL GARAGE... LIKE THEIR EARLY YEARS ...

LINK: HUSH-A-BYE

2.17.2008

The Fantastic Dee-Jays: 30th Anniversary Re-Issue album (65-66)

BAND INFO (am)

A Pittsburgh garage band whose high point was opening for a Rolling Stones concert in 1965. They might have been total unknowns in the grand scheme of things, but they actually managed to cut a few mostly self-penned singles on local labels in 1965 and 1966 that are well respected by '60s collectors. The trio featured two guitarists and a drummer — a bass-less lineup, which is a rarity in rock music. Some of their singles were recorded at a local radio station, and indeed the crudeness of the production is fascinating, with mounds and mounds of reverb making the band sound like nothing so much as a garage punk version of Peter & Gordon. After five singles and an album, the group disbanded and evolved into the Swamp Rats, a harder-edged combo relying almost exclusively on nasty punk versions of big rock and R&B hits.

MORE INFO (60`spunk)
FANTASTIC DEE JAYS and TERRY LEE , Arondies

We are attacked from their double winner single 'Fight Fire/Get Away Girl' on killer comp 'Hipsville 29 B.C.'
They started as The Larks in Mckeesport, Pennsylvania. Denny Nicholson on lead gutier, Dick Newton on rhythm guiter, and Tom Juneko on drums. They were only 16 years old.
In early '65,WMCK deejay Terry Lee Cought their music. It was the bigging of the story. He managed them,and the band changed the name to Fantastic Deejays! Their early stuff was recorded in the WMCK studio after the midnight, and were on the air all day.
After School they spent their practice in the basement of Dick Newton's home. And they had gig on weekend.
'Fight Fire' was a Golliwogs' number. We can listen original one on 'Scorpio Record Story' one of Nuggets from Golden State series from Big Beat.(CDWIKD 129)
Golliwogs became famous CCR later. Terry Lee loved the song and show it to them.

Terry was not content to just polish the appearnce of the band. Days after school were spent locked aqay in the basement of Dick Newton's home. Terry made it a point to be at every practice to be sure that quality time was put into the music.He not only picked the songs they played, but organized their set and saw to it that the show was tight-no dead space between the songs. The hours were long and the work was hard,and the boys soon began to wonder if maybe Terry sasn't going a little overboard with his enthusiasm. One thing the DeeJays had in their favor was that their set was only a half-hour long.Terry didn't believe in overexposing tyhe band,preferring to leave the audience hungry for more.Such a short stage appearance also made the band wonder if all the work was going to be worth it.
The DeeJays' agonizing vanished with their first appearance at the Saturday night dance.Decked out in their new suits and sporting new equipment ,the band roared thorough tyheir set.The crowd went berserk,yelling,screaming and rushing the stage.The boys were shocked and amazed. Terry just smiled.He knew it would be like this all along.
The following night,Terry began the radio hype."You've got to see the DeeJays",he said."They are fantastic!" The description stuck. Kids came from all over to hear the new sound of ...The Fantastic DeeJays.
Deejays played as one of opening act for the Rolling Stones in '66.
The bands has became the Swamp Rats .


RARE GARAGE FROM 65-66, A SHORT LIVED BAND ... GREAT SONGS... A LOST ALBUM... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR CLASSIC-GARAGE-LOVERS !
TAKE A GOOD LISTEN TO "FIGHT FIRE" A LOST GARAGE TREASURE - AMAZING ! ! !

LINK: F-I-G-H-T F-I-R-E ! ! !

2.16.2008

Paul Revere & The Raiders: The Spirit of '67 (nov. 1966)

ALBUM REVIEW (am, + bonus tracks)

The Spirit of '67, Paul Revere and the Raiders' third gold-selling, Top Ten album to be released in 1966, marked the triumph of the group's in-house writing team of lead singer Mark Lindsay, Paul Revere, and producer Terry Melcher. "Hungry," the Top Ten follow-up to "Kicks," was written, like the earlier hit, by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, but Lindsay-Revere-Melcher then hit the Top 40 with "The Great Airplane Strike" and the Top Ten with "Good Thing." (Actually, Revere was not a writer on "Good Thing," as subsequent releases indicated.) Those hits anchored this collection, which was filled out by showcases for bassist Phil VolkMark Smith (guitarist Drake Levin had been replaced by Jim Valley), plus some secondary material by the group's leaders. As usual, they were listening closely to their peers, and much of the material had the twangy guitar-rock sound common to 1966, though some of the experimental eclecticism that would lead to the elaborate productions of 1967's Sgt. Pepper psychedelic era was also apparent in songs like "Oh! To Be a Man" and "Undecided Man" (the latter a near-copy of the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby"). This stylistic trend-following did not bode well for the future, but for the moment Paul Revere and the Raiders were riding high. The CD reissue on Sundazed adds three bonus cuts, including the 45-single version of "The Great Airplane Strike," and an alternate version of "Hungry."

ALTHOUGH THE TITLE SAYS 67´THE ALBUM WAS RELEASED ON NOVEMBER OF 1966 ! A DETAIL ... OK SO ... HERE`S ANOTHER GREAT ALBUM OF THIS AMAZING BAND... YEAH ... HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ... + THE BONUS TRACKS ...

LINK: WHY ! ? WHY ! ? WHY ! (IS IT SO HARD)

Jack London & the Sparrows: Jack London & the Sparrows (1965)

BAND INFO (am)

A kind of missing link in the history of Canadian rock, Toronto beat group Jack London & the Sparrows formed in Oshawa, Ontario, in early 1964. Singer London (born Dave Marden) was recently transplanted from London, England, when he founded the group with lead guitarist Dennis Edmonton, whose brother Jerry was soon installed on drums. After relocating to Toronto, the lineup solidified with the additions of ex-Swinging Doors bassist Bruce Palmer and keyboardist C.J. Feeney. Their British Invasion-inspired beat sound quickly found an audience, and London & the Sparrows were soon staples of the Toronto scene, headlining clubs including the Jubilee Auditorium (which just happened to be owned by the Edmonton brothers' father). After signing to Capitol, the band reached the number three spot on the Canadian charts with their 1965 debut single, "If You Don't Want My Love."Palmer, however, felt confined by the Sparrows' sound and soon exited to join the R&B-flavored Mynah Birds. (He and fellow Mynah Bird Neil Young later resurfaced in the legendary Buffalo Springfield, while the group's frontman, Rick James, went on to record funk classics including "Super Freak.") With Palmer's arrival in the Mynah Birds, the band's previous bassist, Nick St. Nicholas, joined London & the Sparrows. Keyboardist Art Ayre replaced Feeney around the same time, and this iteration of the group soon entered the studio to record their sophomore single, "I'll Be the Boy," which cracked the Top 20. Its follow-up, "Our Love Has Passed," returned the group to the Canadian Top Ten, and London & the Sparrows issued a self-titled LP that boasted a more acid punk sound than their earlier material. However, internal squabbling resulted in London leaving the group to mount a solo career. The remaining Sparrows carried on and recorded a final single, "Give My Love to Sally," that reached the number 13 spot. In September 1965, Ayre left the group and singer John Kay and keyboardist Goldy McJohn signed on. Rechristened the Sparrow, they traveled to New York City to record a single for Columbia, "Hard Time With the Law," before splitting with Dennis Edmonton (who continued performing under the name Mars Bonfire) and relocating to California. There the Sparrow renamed themselves Steppenwolf, and would go on to record the hard rock classics "Born to Be Wild" and "Magic Carpet Ride."

ALBUM REVIEW (am)

Jack London & the Sparrows' self-titled debut was one of the earliest albums in Canada (and indeed, one of the earlier albums in all of North America) to bear a heavy British Invasion influence, coming out in the spring of 1965. The British Invasion influence started, indeed, with the name of the artist, Jack London having changed his name from Dave Marden. Still, Jack London & the Sparrows was a bit on the tepid and wimpy side of the early British Invasion sound, with some dolorous melodrama in songs like "Our Love Has Passed" (which did make the Canadian Top Ten). "If You Don't Want My Love," their biggest Canadian hit, opts for the more energetic side of early Merseybeat in its brisk perkiness, though "Sparrows and Daisies" and "Give My Love to Sally," by contrast, go more toward the Peter & Gordon/Chad & Jeremy end of things. In all, the material (also including a couple of other Canadian Top 20 singles with "I'll Be the Boy" and "Give My Love to Sally") makes Jack London & the Sparrows sound like a minor-league 1963-1964 Liverpool band with some similarities to Gerry & the Pacemakers and the Searchers, though they seem more obviously imitative than either of those groups. It's passably catchy, innocuous stuff, but a little on the undeveloped side. Though Nick St. Nicholas is credited as the bassist and Jerry Edmonton as drummer, there's no hint of the heavy approach of Steppenwolf, the hit band they'd later join (who'd have a smash with "Born to Be Wild," written by guitarist Dennis Edmonton, by then known as Mars Bonfire).

FREAK - GARAGE - BEAT ! ! ! (FROM CANADA)

LINK: I`TS BEEN ONE OF THOSE DAYS ! ! !

The Jelly Bean Bandits: Jelly Bean Bandits (1967)

BAND INFO (am)

Newburgh, New York psych-punks the Jelly Bean Bandits formed in 1966. Singer Billy Donald, guitarist Jack Dougherty, bassist Fred Buck, keyboardist Michael "Mr. Addams" Raab, and drummer Joe "Laredo London" Scalfari originally operated as "the Mirror", regularly packing area nightspots like the local Trade Winds, Poughkeepsie's Buccaneer Nightclub, and Burlington, Vermont's Red Dog. In due time, they recorded a three-song demo reel that resulted in a three-album recording contract with Mainstream Records — however, unknown to Mainstream, these three songs represented the sum total of the Jelly Bean Bandits' repertoire, forcing the band to write enough additional material to flesh out a full-length LP in the course of a week. Amazingly, their eponymous 1967 debut is excellent, a freakbeat cult classic distinguished by Dougherty's emotive guitar and some innovative production techniques — all the more impressive, the album was recorded in a single 12-hour stretch. Mainstream hated the end result, however, and dropped the Jelly Bean Bandits just as they were commencing work on the follow-up — only one song, "Salesman," was completed before the sessions were aborted. The group dissolved soon after, only to reunite in 1998 to finally commit to tape the songs that were written for their never-completed sophomore LP — only Donald declined to participate in the project, released in 2001 under the title Time and Again. A vintage live date captured at the Buccaneer on September 3, 1967 was issued on CD the following year.

AMAZING ALBUM, TRULLY GREAT SONGS LIKE "COUNTRY WOMAN", "ANOTHER AUGUST REVISITED" BETWEEN OTHER... WITH THE CLASSIC : "GENERATION" , RAW GARAGE MIXED WITH PSYCHEDELIC SOUNDS ... FROM THE EARLY "MAINSTREAM" LABEL ... IF YOU LIKE BLUES MAGOOS AND THE ELECTRIC PRUNES... YOU`LL LOVE THIS ONE... GREAT !

LINK: G-E-N-E-R-A-T-I-O-N ! ! !

2.15.2008

Les Baroques: Such a Cad (The Complete Story of Les Baroques, 2cd set)

SUCH A CAD ALSO AS COMPLETE COLLECTION
ALBUM REVIEW (am)

This two-CD set, which is all but impossible to find outside of Holland, includes every track Les Baroques ever released, with the exception of their final B-side, 1968's "Pardon Me, I Think I'm Falling in Love." It should stand as the definitive record of one of Holland's best 1960s bands, but is marred by some imperfections. First, there's no getting around the fact that the material comprising disc two — all recorded after the departure of original lead singer Gary O'Shannon — is far inferior to the first half of the set. Second, there are no liner notes whatsoever (in Dutch or English), although at least there's a discography and a listing of the personnel in the three lineups the band went through between 1965 and 1968. In addition, some of the mixes are different from those heard on vinyl releases, and not necessarily better; the Them-like "She's Mine," their finest song, is missing the horns for some reason, for instance. Nonetheless, disc one, covering the era in which O'Shannon was lead singer and principal songwriter, is a standout in the annals of Continental 1960s rock, with its twisted, somber variations of the organ-R&B-pop sound of Them and the Animals. Other than the singles "Working on a Tsing-Tsang" and "Bottle Party," disc two could be the work of a different band, as Les Baroques plod through mediocre blue-eyed soul, pleasantly unmemorable wee flower-power tunes, and sub-British pop/rock variations.

AMAZING COMPILATION... ALL SONGS RECORDED IN STUDIO ARE HERE ! ! !

LINK 1st CD: SUMMERBEACH
LINK 2nd CD: OH ! ! ! LOOK HOW SWEET ! ! !
COVERS: COMING SOON....

Paul Revere & The Raiders: Midnight Ride (1966)

ALBUM REVIEW (am)

Midnight Ride marked just about the pinnacle of Paul Revere & the Raiders' history as a source of great albums. Even more to their credit, most of the music on Midnight Ride was written by the bandmembers themselves, and not just Mark Lindsay and Paul Revere, but Phil Volk, Drake Levin, and Mike Smith get shared songwriting credits, too. The irony is that this was the last album on which that egalitarian spirit was to dominate; alongside the tight, hard, eminently danceable rock & roll sounds that comprise about two-thirds of this album, there are signs of the softer, more introspective balladry that lead singer Mark Lindsay was starting to favor in his songwriting ("Little Girl in the Fourth Row," etc.). It was this stylistic break, coupled with disputes over which bandmembers were to get their songs represented on the group's albums, that led to Levin's departure following the release of this album, and which helped precipitate a stylistic drift away from the sound that defined the group. The Sundazed reissue, released in February 2000, has been remixed from the original three-track session masters, yet remains true to the band's original sound, and the album has been enhanced with the presence of three rocking bonus tracks (two of them car songs — cool!). "Kicks" is still the coolest song here, but the Sundazed version rocks a lot harder with the extra tracks, and is a lot more fun. There are also new liner notes by Volk and Levin, in which both look back with honesty, yet a great deal of warmth and enjoyment for what they did, and what they were doing around the time this album was made.

Their Northwest party sounds exploded across the nation and evolved into the tuffest teen rock of the 60's. Thirty years hence, Sundazed reignites the fuse, rocketing Paul Revere and the Raiders back to their rightful place in the rock cosmos. This was the real thing! (Sundazed)

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ... NO MORE WORDS ... AH YEAP ... THIS ALBUM CONTAINS THE BONUS TRACKS... SUNDAZED EDITION ...

LINK: K I C K S ! ! !

2.07.2008

Paul Revere & The Raiders: Just like us (1966)

ALBUM REVIEW (allmusic)

Although Just like Us! was Paul Revere & the Raiders' fourth album overall, it marked a number of firsts. It was their first album to appear since they had become TV stars (and therefore AM radio staples and teenage magazine heartthrobs, especially Mark Lindsay) as a result of Where the Action Is; it was their first album to be produced entirely by Terry Melcher, a powerful influence and significant contributor to their sound; it was their first Top Ten album and their first to go gold. Actually, it's only a gradual development from their previous album, the half-live (in the studio) Here They Come! The group still had a tough R&B edge and still favored R&B covers like "Night Train," "Doggone," and, by way of England, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "I'm Crying." (Melcher was already steering a stylistic course for The Raiders between The Rolling Stones and the Animals.) Even the two hit singles, "Steppin' Out" and "Just like Me," were intense, bluesy rockers. Unlike later albums, Just like Us! highlighted the whole band — guitarist Drake Levin, bassist Phil "Fang" Volk, and drummer Mike Smith each took turns on lead vocals. (That would change as Lindsay's profile rose in the band.) Each was competent and entertaining, but Just like Us! was still an album by a group feeling its way from the dancehall circuit to the different and more creative demands of mass popularity.

THIS IS JUST ... AN AMAZING ALBUM... REALLY ... IT`S PRICELESS ! ! ! ... Great songs, one of their best for me... yes including "baby please don´t go" , one of the best versions ever recorded ... 10 POINTS FOR ME - masterpiece album.

LINK: BABY PLEASE DON´T GO ! ! ! ! ! !

The Chocolate Watchband: One Step Beyond (1969)

ALBUM REVIEW(allmusic,1Âșalbum too)

The third and final of the original studio albums by the Chocolate Watchband, One Step Beyond is a bit misleading and contradictory. On the one hand, it's as close as any performing group called the Chocolate Watchband ever got to making a finished album of their own, which is reflected in the fact that all but one song here was an original by the bandmembers; but on the other hand, this is a different Watchband lineup, assembled by Sean Tolby and Bill Flores, including guitarist Mark Loomis and drummer Gary Andrijasevich (both of whom had left in 1967 to join the Tingle Guild), and original, Foothill College-era Chocolate Watchband member Danny Phay (who'd also been in the Tingle Guild). Missing is David Aguilar, the band's one-time lead singer and most visible songwriter up to that time — and the result is an album that has almost none of the influence of the Rolling Stones, and, instead, shows the greatest folk-rock influence in their history. The overall sound is brittle but melodic, reminiscent in some ways of the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Charlatans, Moby Grape, and the Jefferson Airplane. Danny Phay isn't nearly as charismatic a singer as Aguilar, but he's not bad, either, and there are lots of interesting shared vocals. There's also quite a bit more guitar noodling here than on any previous Watchband recording — that's not necessarily a bad thing, though it does dilute some of the impact of the punkier moments. "Devil's Motorcycle" is also of special interest to fans of Moby Grape, as it features the Grape's Jerry Miller subbing for Loomis on lead guitar. They shined on Ashford & Simpson's "I Don't Need No Doctor" as well as the Loomis/Andrijasevich original "Uncle Morris," and "Flowers" was a beautiful piece of folk-based psychedelia, while Sean Tolby's "Fireface" recaptured some of the original band's thicker rock textures. Original Foothill College-era member Ned Torney was also present on the sessions playing keyboards, but his work was left out of the final mix of the album, which meant the guitars got even greater exposure than intended. The overall album, which clocks in at well under 25 minutes, is an interesting and well-played coda to the band's history, but is also a long way from the sound of the group's earlier releases.

AMAZING, JUST TAKE A GOOD LISTEN TO THIS BEAUTY ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

LINK: HOW YA BEEN !