The Astronauts live at The Tulagi in
I don’t know if the guys went to University (orbit Kampus? In any event the “K” is prior to The Kinks going crazy with “K’s) though I suspect not as they were a working band.
In any event they didn’t have to travel far to “The Tulagi” in
I don’t even know if this is recorded live – it wasn’t uncommon to make in-house live albums in the 60s and call them “live”. This was recorded February 27 –
What is clear is the Astronauts desire to put together a rocking, frantic party album. With that in mind they have recorded some old rock n roll favourites. Not surprisingly, they have gone back to the 50s for most of the tunes given there wasn’t as much straight ahead rock n roll coming out of the early 1960s.
This is music has no pretence and no subtlety. And that is precisely the enjoyment in it. It’s made for dancing and it’s ragged, rough and visceral.
Oddly in England at about the same time the same songs were being covered and it’s interesting to note that the versions here are more frantic, rough and primitive as much of this frat (come surf rock) was. Also within its grooves are the seeds of garage rock which was to explode in the
This is the Astronauts 4th (?) album in a year and they still smoke – the energy levels are high, and the covers, generally, are individual – that is they have played around with the originals to make them suit their sound rather than doing straight covers.
See my other entry for biographical information.
Tracks (best in italics)
- Johnny B. Goode-(Chuck Berry)- a smoking version of the Chuck Berry classic which actually plays around with the original version.
- Be-Bop-A-Lula -(Tex Davis / Gene Vincent ) – a cover, nothing more nothing less.
- Good Golly Miss Molly -(Robert "Bumps" Blackwell / John Marascalco) – a smoking version of the Little Richard classic …this was done by many English rock acts but this version out does them all. Hints of (future) garage are creeping in.
- Let the Good Times Roll -(Shirley Goodman / Leonard Lee) – a cover.
- Linda Lou -(Ray Sharpe) – A stomper of the highest order with a great guitar break …
- Bony Moronie -(Larry Williams) – a cover.
- Diddy Wah Diddy -(Bo Diddley / Willie Dixon) – a excellent version – and it’s not even overshadowed by Captain Beefheart’s later cover version.
- Roll over Beethoven -(Chuck Berry) – wow….did the MC5 hear this before they did their cover of Chuck Berry’s “Back in the
”? This is fast, white and all energy. USA
- Shop Around – (
Gordy, Jr. / Smokey Robinson ) – hey, a band has got to eat…so you play what the audience wants to hear. What’s more egalitarian than that? Here they do a early sould song from The Miracles (1960). The Astronauts have adapted the song to their sound. Berry
- Greenback Dollar -(Hoyt Axton / Kennard Ramsey) – well on campus they would have been listeing to folk and The Kingston Trio’s Greenback Dollar ( also covered by many others) was a staple of the pop folk revival. As with all the other tunes the Astronauts have “garaged” up this folk staple.
- Summertime -(George Gershwin / Ira Gershwin / DuBose Heyward) –
- Sticks and Stones -(Titus Turner) – a cover
All covers and glorious in part …. I’m keeping it.
Nuttin, no where
Diddy Wah Diddy
The music is for dancing!