PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS – Alias Pink Puzz – (Columbia) – 1969

Paul Revere & The Raiders - Alias Pink Puzz

There is plenty of biographical information on this blog about Paul Revere & The Raiders so have  a look at all that for background.

Also, by now there are quite a few of their albums commented on also, so you will have some idea of their musical history if that interests you.

Having said that I like this bio from mainstream music download and streaming site, Rhapsody:

Three decades before grunge broke, Paul Revere and the Raiders charted out of the Northwest with music that rocked as hard as Nirvana ever would. Keyboardist Revere was actually from Nebraska, but by 1958 he was in the Downbeats with Oregon singer Mark Lindsay. Their name changed, and in 1961 — three years before The Beatles — they had their first Top 40 hit, which was already called "Like Long Hair," and based on Rachmaninoff to boot. In 1963 Columbia signed the band for its cover of "Louie Louie"; tragically, the Kingsmen's version hit instead. But the Raiders played frat houses, armories, teen clubs and (according to one 1964 song) Crisco parties, and in 1965 they wound up regulars on Dick Clark's TV show Where the Action Is, dressed up in British Invasion-spurning Revolutionary War outfits. They became, for a couple of years, the biggest American band in America, scoring with R&B-based greaser punkers like "Just Like Me" and the anti-drug classic "Kicks." Big hits lasted into 1967, and smaller hits for another half-decade. But their highest charter — the Native-American-history novelty "Indian Reservation" — came in 1971, by which time they were simply called the Raiders. http://www.rhapsody.com/artist/paul-revere-and-the-raiders

Paul Revere & The Raiders like a lot of bands was always adapting itself to the hit sounds of the day.  And, as I have said somewhere before there is nothing wrong with that. If you want to use the holy cow that is The Beatles, who certainly were innovative, you can see that they were doing that (adapting and incorporating their music to and with trends). Their early 60s music is pop rock not dissimilar (though infinitely better ) than any other number of bands from Liverpool and England generally (who were aping any number of Phil Spector acts from the US). Then, the success of Dylan certainly influenced their song writing, whilst the musicality of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys meant the Beatles were playing catch up with them. Later on the back to the earth sound of The Band caused The Beatles to retreat from the overblown theatrics of Sgt Peppers and the rise of the singer songwriter movement affected many of their later LPs.  It's easy to assume that The Beatles were starting the trends because they had the lions share of market sales (success breeds success) but in each case they were incorporating sounds they liked into their sound (and by doing that creating something new). This is not meant to be a put down of The Beatles but it is meant to say that even genius doesn't exist in a vacuum.

So, if you are going to accept that it's OK for The Beatles to incorporate new emerging sounds of the day into their music they why can't Paul Revere & The Raiders get away with a few stylistic shifts in their sound?

I make this point because more than a few musical commentators have commented on The Raiders stylistic shifts in a pejorative manner.

And, frankly, that isn't fair.

Much like The Beatles, and any other number of good bands, Paul Revere & The Raiders don't leave their past behind to jump on another sound but, rather, they incorporate those sounds into their musical sensibility.

And that's what they have done here.

Sandwiched between the "Hard 'N' Heavy (with Marshmallow)" (1969) and "Collage" (1970) LPs, "Alias Pink Puzz" has Paul Revere & The Raiders playing around with psychedelica, funky soul, country and swampy rock though still retaining their proto power pop, garage and pure pop sensibilities.

Searching for current sounds for commercial viability is a nice argument but maybe the explanation is a lot simpler… with the exception of Lindsay and Revere there were a lot of line-up changes and those new members, perhaps, were bringing in their musical personalities to the mix.

Paul Revere & the Raiders though faced another hurdle. Their Top 40 hit making past, gimmicky colonial outfits and teeny bopper status were held against them. (yes, The Beatles managed to shed their teeny bopper image). They wanted to write more "relevant" and personal songs (the lyrics are in the gatefold – always a giveaway for those trying to be serious) but found acceptance here difficult.

When the tastemakers who review records and the DJs who spin records aren't on board it becomes harder to escape your past … and that effects your (commercial) future.

Those things proved fatal to Paul Revere & The Raiders but from the here and now I don't have to be concerned by such things.

All that remains is the songs themselves. Mark Lindsay wrote most of the tunes and he seems to be writing autobiographical material about life as a pop star (much as Ray Davies would do later in the Kinks wonderful "Everybody's in Show-biz" album from 1972). But, if the songs aren't catchy, memorable or have some other special hook then no amount of musical trend knowledge or confessional writing is going to save you.

All songs are by Mark Lindsay unless otherwise indicated. He also arranged and produced.

Tracks (best in italics)

  • Let Me! – a funky dirty greasy soul shouter. Some nice dirty guitar compliment the suggestive (though inane) lyrics. Great fun.
  • Thank You – A love lament that alternatively is gentle and rocking. Not dissimilar to what Simon & Garfunkel were doing. Quite the winner with a number of girls name checked.

                  In a Little square of time

                  I made love with Caroline

                  And she crept into my mind

                  And she eased the pain away

                  But in the morning came the sun

                  And I knew I'd better run.

                  'Cause i rather stay just one

                  Than two or three

  • Frankfort Side Street – hookers on German side streets … everyone should have a song about them. Come to think of it Elvis' "Frankfort Special" (1960) could be about the same subject!
  • Hey Babro – oom pah pah bubble gum with a censored bleep (intentional or subsequent I do not know).
  • Louisiana Redbone – (Keith Allison, Mark Lindsay) – country rock with swampy edges. Not dissimilar to Ricky Nelsons "Louisiana Man" ….the melody and outlook not just the title.
  • Here Comes The Pain – (Keith Allison, Mark Lindsay) – a gentle psych baroque ballad. Quite melancholy as you would expect from the tile.
  • The Original Handy Man – country rock Vegas style – I could see Elvis doing this.
  • I Need You – (Keith Allison, Mark Lindsay) – a trippy mid tempo ballad.
  • Down In Amsterdam – (Keith Allison, Mark Lindsay) – a good "Faces" or "Jeff beck Group"  type of song though without the grunt. Very funny though.
  • I Don't Know – another ballad with psych and Rolling Stones overtones. Lindsay does a good Mick Jagger impersonation. Though, arguably, Mick did a good Mark Lindsay impersonation.
  • Freeborn Man – (Keith Allison, Mark Lindsay) – more country rock and quite catchy. Originally released as a single by bassist Allison in 1967 (he joined the band in 1968).

And …

Very underrated and quite great  …. I'm keeping it.

Chart Action

US

Singles

1969  Let Me  The Billboard Hot 100  #20 

Album

1969 #48

England

Sounds

http://recordlective.com/Paul_Revere_and_The_Raiders/Alias_Pink_Puzz/84f9b3e3-3069-4e52-a5c2-159c821e5dc7/

Let Me!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5C-DXhBsrE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REj9ctsLRKc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u8gYFcgwL4

Frankfort Side Street

mp3 attached

Others

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84L7wRSg2Vk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ioufyn6j3cU

Review

ttp://www.allmusic.com/album/alias-pink-puzz-mw0000604487

Bio

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Revere_%26_the_Raiders

http://www.musoscribe.com/features/paul_revere_and_the_raiders.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Lindsay

http://www.allmusic.com/artist/freddy-weller-p21369/biography

Website

http://www.paulrevereandtheraiders.com/

http://www.marklindsay.com/

Trivia

  • The line-up here : Mark Lindsay – Vocals / Freddy Weller – Lead Guitar / Joe Correro, Jr. – Drums / Keith Allison – Bass / Paul Revere – Organ
  • "As bassist Keith Allison explains in his new liner notes, the title of Alias Pink Puzz refers to the fact that the Raiders submitted an advance pressing of a new song to a Los Angeles FM rock station under the pseudonym "Pink Puzz" in an effort to sidestep the band's Top 40 pop image. The station's management liked the song, but was livid when they learned the truth" http://www.sundazed.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=2312#sthash.xUXbWm19.dpuf
  • Paul Revere and the Raiders toured Europe with the Beach Boys in the spring of 1969. I don know if these songs were written before tat tour or after though there are a number of European references.
  • Paul Revere died Saturday, 4 October 2014, at the age of 76. The cause was cancer.

About Franko

Hi, I'm just a person with a love of music, a lot of records and some spare time. My opinions are comments not reviews and are mine so don't be offended if I have slighted your favourite artist. I have listened to a lot of music and I don't pretend to be impartial. You can contact me on franklycollectible@gmail.com though I would rather you left a comment. I also sell music at http://www.franklycollectible.com Cheers
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