Paul Revere & the Raiders are a joy and should be in the pantheon of rock groups.
Perhaps The Raiders are closer to that status in the United States but here, in Australia, they are relatively unknown. I suspect we spent too much time listening to British invasion music to the exclusion of a lot of worthwhile American music.
Maybe that's why we are not a Republic?
Likewise, The Raiders do not have a large following in England. They never made the Top 40 there in either the album or singles charts. The argument is, I suspect, that there was enough (English) home grown music so there was no need for this. The truth is that The Raiders, like a number of other American acts, can attribute quite a bit of their success to US television which, obviously, wasn't shown in England. Also, the English with their MOR pop sensibility never embraced any of the American frat rock, garage or 60s rock n roll groups at the time.
And' it's a substantial loss given that The Raiders could, and did, transcend their frat rock n roll roots and were more than capable of some sublime pop mixed in with some finely crafted raucous rock "n" roll.
As I said in another comment on them on this blog: "The key to their success was their commitment to upbeat rock 'n' roll whilst acknowledging change, and they weren't precious about it as evidenced by the fact that sometimes they were "influenced" by bands that post dated them. They did, as I have said, keep their original sound, but unlike a slavish imitator or someone just jumping the bandwagon. Also they did this even through line-up changes though Paul Revere (the keyboardist) and Mark Lindsay (the vocalist) were the nucleus of the group which was lucky as Revere knew where to take the group and Lindsay could sing anything".
And this is also important because by the time The Raiders recorded this album late in 1968, Mark Lindsay and Paul Revere were the only remaining original members of the band.
The "new" band do well and they are assisted by Glen D. Hardin, James Burton and Ry Cooder!
The music on this album has one ear on what's going on in 1968 but the other ear is still on the dance floor. The Raiders were, as I have said ad nauseam, a working band and they never lost track of their dance floor roots.
Accordingly, the music is meant to be hummed to, toe tapped to and danced to.
OK, the Americans took heed of this Paul Revere (the bad was successful) but they still allowed the English to invade and eventually The Raiders were relegated to paragraphs slightly larger than footnotes in the music history books. Time, however, has a way of bringing clarity. After the English (music) invasion dissipated, this music certainly comes out sounding a lot better than it's across the Atlantic contemporaries.
And if you don't believe me then just listen up …..
Tracks (best in italics)
- Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon – (M. Lindsay) – Pure pop rock which lifts a little from the bubblegum bands of the time. But, what a joy it is.
- Money Can't Buy Me – (M. Lindsay) – a convincing mid paced thumper.
- Time After Time – (K. Allison, M. Lindsay) – more than a hint of the Rolling Stones (albeit 1966 Stones)
- Ride on My Shoulder – (M. Lindsay) – a touch of Jagger here (though not the Stones) with some stinging bottleneck guitar by Cooder
- Without You – (K. Allison, M. Lindsay) – more Stones but building to an orgasmic finale with Lindsay's voice down and dirty.
- Trishalana – (M. Lindsay) – In complete contrast to the last song …spacey late 60 counter culture pop.
- Out on the Road – (K. Allison, M. Lindsay) – Chuck Berry as if he was a product of the 60s
- Hard and Heavy 5-String Soul Banjo – (F. Weller) – a country rock hoedown. The Raiders have ventured into this territory and it is always pleasant though not particularly convincing. You can't fault the musicianship though … which I suspect included James Burton and Glen D Hardin from the sessions.
- Where You Goin' Girl – (F. Weller) – How many "Where you Goin …." type of songs were there in the late 60s?
- Cinderella Sunshine – (M. Lindsay) – a big pop song in the sunshine pop mould and undeniably catchy.
- Call on Me – (J. Correro, M. Lindsay) – another big pop rock number which has a good hook and perhaps anticipates a lot of 70s pop rock.
Excellent and underrated …. I'm keeping it.
1968 Cinderella Sunshine The Billboard Hot 100 #58
1969 Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon The Billboard Hot 100 #18
Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon
Time After Time
Out on the Road
"Song for Swingy" record found on the Mattel "Swingy" doll box from 1968. It is "Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon" with different lyrics.
Paul Revere – piano, organ
Mark Lindsay – sax, vocals
Freddy Weller – guitars (Freddy went on to become a fairly major country singer in the 70s)
Keith Allison – bass, acoustic guitar
Joe Correro Jr. – drums, percussion, flute
James Burton – banjo, dobro
Glen D. Hardin – cymbalom, electric keyboard, banjo, electric celeste, Vox, electric piano
Ryland Cooder – bottleneck guitar
Narration by Don Steele – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Steele
Produced by Mark Lindsay and Terry Melcher.
- There was an alternative sleeve which was actually the back sleeve picture – see below.