Too Much Talk 45 by Paul Revere And The Raiders

July 23, 2012

Paul Revere and The Raiders were one of the premier singles bands of their era. During the mid-1960s through the early 1970s they had such hits as “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Good Thing,” “Him Or Me What’s It Gonna Be,” and the number one “Indian Reservation.”

“Too Much Talk” was released during early 1968 and while it may not have been one of their biggest hits, it did reach number 19 on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart.

It was another up-tempo rock/pop type of song that they were so good at creating.

While the hits would stop during the mid-1970s, Paul Revere would keep the band on the road for decades.

Ups and Down s 45 by Paul Revere and The Raiders

April 18, 2012

Paul Revere and The Raiders were one of the better singles bands during the 1960s, placing over 20 songs on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart. Songs such as “Kicks,” “Just Like Me,” “Good Thing,” and “Him Or Me What’s It Gonna Be” were catchy songs that were perfect for AM radio at the time.

“Ups an Downs” may not have been one of their bigger hits but it did reach number 22.

By the time of its release during early 1967, they had settled into a formula that would serve them well for years, Memorable melody, tight harmonies, and Mark Lindsay’s smooth lead vocal.

Paul Revere and The Raider would coninue to tour for half-a-century.

The Complete Columbia Singles by Mark Lindsay

March 25, 2012

Mark Lindsay will always be remembered as the lead vocalist of Paul Revere and The Raiders, who produced some of the better American pop singles of the 1960s. Hit songs such as “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Good Thing,” and “Him Or Me, What’s It Gonna Be” were perfect vehicles for Top 40 radio play at the time as they were catchy, staying in your mind for days. The band sold tens of millions of those old 45 RPM records. Lindsay became the recognizable centerpiece of the band, which changed its name in 1966 to Paul Revere and The Raiders Featuring Mark Lindsay. Their catalogue of hits has been rereleased dozens of times through the years.

After leaving the band, he embarked upon a solo career. While it produced several commercially successful singles, it was not as successful as his Paul Revere days despite his producing some of the smoothest and catchiest pop of the era. His career might have taken a different turn if he had released, as planned, the old John D. Loudermilk song, “Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian),” as a solo release. Instead he issued it under The Raiders name and it became the only number one hit of his – or the band’s – career. Most of his solo material has been out of print for decades and much of it has never been released on CD.

Real Gone Music has now gone a long way in resurrecting his solo legacy. The Complete Columbia Singles gathers all of his singles for the Columbia label (plus one unreleased track that was originally scheduled as a B-side, Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe”) and presents them in chronological order. The sound is clear and the liner notes about each of the 24 tracks are complete. The first five tracks only exist in mono but the rest of the album is stereo.

His most well known songs, “Arizona” and “Silverbird,” are fine examples of early 1970s pop. They may not be as rock ‘n’ roll as his Paul Revere material but are fine vehicles for his smooth vocal approach. His cover of the Neil Diamond composition, “And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind,” remains the best rendition of this old musical chestnut.

Non-album singles such as “Problem Child,” “California,” and “Photograph” make their album debut nearly 40 years after their original release. Add in such lost gems as “Miss America,” and “Been On the Road Too Long” and you have an album of note.

The Complete Columbia Singles fills a big hole in the music catalogue of Mark Lindsay and 1970s pop. It is an album filled with shining pop creations that have been unavailable for too long.

Article first published as Music Review: Mark Lindsay – The Complete Columbia Singles on Blogcritics.

The Essential Paul Revere and The Raiders by Paul Revere and The Raiders

April 8, 2011

The release of The Essential Paul Revere & The Raiders begs the question, does the world need another compilation album by this band. Their compilation releases began on vinyl during the mid-1960s and has continued on cassettes, 8-tracks, MP3 downloads, and CD’s. The official compilation album total is now somewhere between 15 and 20.

Paul Revere & The Raiders produced some of the better songs to inhabit the American singles charts, 1965-1973. For hard core fans, they did have a top 40 hit during 1961 with “”Like, Long Hair.” Hit songs such as “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “Him Or Me – What’s It Gonna Be,” “I Had A Dream,” “Too Much Talk,” and “Indian Reservation” were all polished, catchy, and melodic, plus have stood the test of time well. The problem is they have been released dozens of times.

The Essential Paul Revere & The Raiders is the latest entry into their compilation sweepstakes. It gathers 36 of their tracks onto a two-disc set. All their hits are present, plus some album tracks, and a few oddities from their vast catalogue.

The over proliferation of their better known material makes some of their lesser known songs stand out. 1967’s “Mo’reen” contains one of the stronger vocals of Mark Lindsay’s career. “Goin’ To Memphis” was cut by Lindsay but finally issued under the group name. “Freeborn Man” from 1969 is also another welcome addition. A real oddity was “My Wife Can’t Cook.” Every once in a while they would record a song that was so bad or unusual; it would make you think or hope they were kidding. Find a copy of their “B.F.D.R.F. Blues,” which was released as the B side of “Just Like Me,” as a prime example.

Their early 1970s post “Indian Reservation” singles are also presented. “Birds Of A Feather,” “Country Wine,” “Powder Blue Mercedes Queen,” and “Song Seller” may not be as good as their mid-1960’s series of hits, but they are fine examples of early 1970s pop.

The main problem for this release is that it has been done better in the past. 1990’s The Legend Of Paul Revere gathers 55 tracks on 2 discs and includes excellent liner notes. It remains a definitive release of their music. Last year saw the release of the Complete Columbia Singles, which was 3-discs and 66 tracks, which included all their 45 rpm A and B sides. I can’t help but think it’s more essential than their latest release.

There is nothing wrong with the sound or music on The Essential Paul Revere & The Raiders. It’s a nice introduction to their career. The decision of whether to purchase this CD will depend on how much of the material a person has accumulated in the past. It is a good if not essential release.

Article first published as Music Review: Paul Revere & The Raiders – The Essential Paul Revere & The Raiders on Blogcritics.

The Complete Columbia Singles by Paul Revere and The Raiders

March 25, 2010

“Just Like Me” is a song which is instantly recognizable to me over four decades after its release. It was a part of my youth and I played the battered old 45 to death back in the day. And it still resides proudly in my record collection.

Paul Revere and singer Mark Lindsay met during the late fifties and formed the Downbeats. By the turn of the decade they had taken the name Paul Revere & The Raiders and later added “featuring Mark Lindsay.” In 1961 they released “Like, Long Hair” on the small Gardena Label. This song, based on Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude In C-Sharp Minor,” rose to number 38 on the national charts in The United States and prompted the large Columbia label to sign the group to a contact.

Over the course of the next twelve years Paul Revere & The Raiders would release some of the best pop/rock singles of the era. They were catchy, well crafted, and slickly produced. They were a singles band as their albums did not have the same consistent quality. When you gather their singles output into one place, though, you have an outstanding album and a nice slice of mid-sixties to mid-seventies music.

Collector’s Choice has now assembled the group’s sixty-two A and B-sides onto the three-disc set, The Complete Columbia Singles. Included as bonuses are the single they recorded for Chevrolet dealerships “SS396/Corvair Baby” plus a commercial for Pontiac and a special record which came with Mattel’s “Swingy Doll.”

Their memorable hits form the heart of the release. “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “The Great Airplane Strike,” “I Had A Dream” and “Too Much Talk” are sixties pop music at its best.

During the early seventies the group shortened its name to The Raiders and tried to create more serious music. While these attempts were hit or miss, they did produce one of the best singles of the time period. “Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian)” would become their only number one hit, doing so in May of 1971.

Many of the B-sides and failed singles have never been issued on CD or at best have long been out of print. Some of their mid-seventies work, which failed to chart, shows a musical evolution and growing sophistication. “Birds Of A Feather,” “Powder Blue Mercedes Queen,” “Golden Girls Sometimes,” and “Seaboard Line Boogie” demonstrate that they could change with the times.

Everyone hopefully has musical memories and one of mine is “B.F.D.R.F. Blues,” which was the flip side of “Just Like Me.” I have a huge 45 collection and this may be the worst B-side in music history. At the end of the track you can hear someone telling the band, “You guys have got to be kidding me.” It’s so bad it’s memorable.

The Complete Columbia Singles is a wonderful trip down memory lane and it’s nice to have this material available again. Paul Revere and The Raiders are still out on the road and their music are still worth a listen today. This is an essential release for any sixties collection.