The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Kicks Just Keep Gettin’ Easier to Find: Raven Collects Five Paul Revere and the Raiders LPs on Two CDs

with 4 comments

Paul Revere - Evolution to RevolutionThough Paul Revere and the Raiders was a quintessentially American band, it’s the Australian label Raven Records that’s bringing the first Raiders-related release of 2013.  The group’s first five Columbia Records albums, originally released between 1965 and 1967, are being compiled on two discs as Evolution to Revolution: 5 Classic Albums 1965-1967.  Available on March 12, Evolution contains the entirety of Here They Come! (1965), Just like Us! (1965), Midnight Ride (1966), The Spirit of ‘67 (1966) and Revolution! (1967).

Led by Paul Revere (born Paul Revere Dick) on piano and organ, and Mark Lindsay on vocals and saxophone, The Raiders were doubtless one of the most successful bands to come out of the fertile Pacific Northwest music scene.  It was a bumpy start; the group first rose to prominence in 1963 on the strength of their rendition of Richard Berry’s controversial rocker “Louie, Louie.”  But The Kingsmen got to it around the same time, recording it in the very same Portland, Oregon studio as Revere’s band.  It’s lost to time as to which version was released first, but one fact is clear: The Kingsmen’s version reached No. 2 on the charts, while The Raiders’ version stalled at No. 103. You can’t keep a good band down, though, and 1965’s “Steppin’ Out,” co-written by Revere and Lindsay and produced by Terry Melcher, set the wheels in motion for the group’s biggest successes.  The Raiders were selected by Dick Clark to appear on his ABC after-school program, Where the Action Is!, bringing to television as well as records their blend of proto-punk garage rock, strong R&B roots, and irresistible pop sensibility.

After the jump: much more on The Raiders including the full track listing and pre-order link for the new set!

The band – also including Phil “Fang” Volk, Mike “Smitty” Smith and Drake Levin in its heyday – memorably defied the British invasion, going so far as to make Revolutionary War costumes (inspired by Revere’s name, natch) their eye-catching attire.   After “Steppin’ Out” (included on 1965’s sophomore Columbia album Just Like Us!) and its No. 65 chart placement, the hits just kept on coming for Paul, Mark and the band.  “Just Like Me” topped its predecessor at No. 11, with a prominent organ part keeping the band true to its garage sound. Much as he helped foment the folk-rock sound with The Byrds, producer Terry Melcher surely deserves much of the credit for shaping the sonic signature of Paul Revere and the Raiders, although he never boxed them into one style.  Brill Building mainstays Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil were tapped, and delivered to the Raiders their most enduring hit: 1966’s No. 4 single “Kicks,” inspired by their real-life observation of a friend in thrall to drugs.  “Kicks” was included on 1966’s Midnight Ride (spread across both discs of the new Raven set due to CD time constraints) along with another signature song, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart’s snarling “I’m Not Your Steppin’ Stone.”  The Monkees had the hit version just a few months after the release of Midnight Ride, but The Raiders had the original.

The band again turned to Mann and Weil’s songbook for “Hungry” (No. 6), which appeared on The Spirit of ’67 (actually released in November 1966) but sax-playing frontman Mark Lindsay was blossoming as a songwriter in his own right. “Good Thing,” co-written with their producer Terry Melcher, was another Top 5 smash for Paul Revere and the Raiders from the same Spirit album, with a dreamy (Beach Boys-inspired?) harmony interlude and an overall more sophisticated sound. Lindsay and Melcher’s “Him or Me – What’s It Gonna Be?” (No. 5) from 1967’s Revolution! even added a country flavor to the guitar-heavy framework.

Though Revolution! is the final album contained in the new Raven set, it was far from the end of Paul Revere and the Raiders.  Personnel changes ensued, and the band name was eventually shortened simply to The Raiders.  More albums followed for Columbia through 1972, including one pair already collected on CD as a two-fer from Raven in 2009, 1970’s Collage and 1971’s Indian Reservation, and label swansong Country Wine (1972, reissued by Raven in 2011).  “Indian Reservation” became one of the group’s most enduring songs, climbing all the way to No. 1.

Raven promises a 12-page booklet with new liner notes for Evolution to Revolution.  All of these albums have appeared on CD in the past, though some are particularly difficult to find and rather expensive secondhand (especially Midnight Ride and Revolution!).  Though none of the bonus tracks from previous editions have been carried over, Raven’s new set is an affordable way to obtain these out-of-print albums on CD.  Paul Revere and the Raiders’ Evolution to Revolution is available on March 12, and can be pre-ordered at the link below!

Paul Revere and the Raiders, Evolution to Revolution: 5 Classic Albums 1965-1967 (Raven RVCD-366, 2013)

CD 1

Here They Come! (Columbia CS 9107, 1965)

  1. YOU CAN’T SIT DOWN
  2. MONEY (That’s What I Want)
  3. LOUIE, LOUIE
  4. DO YOU LOVE ME
  5. BIG BOY PETE
  6. OOH POO PAH DOO
  7. SOMETIMES
  8. GONE
  9. THESE ARE BAD TIMES (For Me and My Baby)
  10. FEVER
  11. TIME IS ON MY SIDE
  12. A KISS TO REMEMBER YOU BY

Just Like Us! (Columbia CS 9251, 1965)

  1. STEPPIN’ OUT
  2. DOGGONE
  3. OUT OF SIGHT
  4. BABY, PLEASE DON’T GO
  5. I KNOW
  6. NIGHT TRAIN
  7. JUST LIKE ME
  8. CATCH THE WIND
  9. (I Can’t Get No) SATISFACTION
  10. I’M CRYING
  11. NEW ORLEANS
  12. 24.   ACTION               

Midnight Ride (Columbia CS 9308, 1966)

  1. KICKS
  2. THERE’S ALWAYS TOMORROW
  3. LITTLE GIRL IN THE 4TH ROW
  4. BALLAD OF A USELESS MAN

CD 2

Midnight Ride (continued)

  1. I’M NOT YOUR STEPPIN’ STONE
  2. THERE SHE GOES
  3. ALL I REALLY NEED IS YOU
  4. GET IT ON
  5. LOUIE, GO HOME
  6. TAKE A LOOK AT YOURSELF
  7. MELODY FOR AN UNKNOWN GIRL

The Spirit of ’67 (Columbia CS 9395, 1966)

  1. GOOD THING
  2. ALL ABOUT HER
  3. IN MY COMMUNITY
  4. LOUISE
  5. WHY? WHY? WHY? (Is it So Hard)
  6. OH! TO BE A MAN
  7. HUNGRY
  8. UNDECIDED MAN
  9. OUR CANDIDATE
  10. 1001 ARABIAN NIGHTS
  11. THE GREAT AIRPLANE STRIKE

Revolution! (Columbia CS 9521, 1967)

  1. HIM OR ME – WHAT’S IT GONNA BE?
  2. RENO
  3. UPON YOUR LEAVING
  4. MO’REEN
  5. WANTING YOU
  6. GONE – MOVIN’ ON
  7. I HAD A DREAM
  8. TIGHTER
  9. MAKE IT WITH ME
  10. AIN’T NOBODY WHO CAN DO IT LIKE LESLIE CAN
  11. I HEAR A VOICE

Written by Joe Marchese

February 28, 2013 at 10:09

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. I guess that this set is O.K. for people who missed out on the Sundazed discs(which are mostly out of print, but can still be found on Amazon.com), but this set doesn’t have the bonus tracks from the Sundazed discs. Apparently all existing completed vault tracks by Paul Revere & the Raiders have been released. Unlike producer Terry Melcher’s other client The Byrds, The Raiders didn’t record much more than what was required, and with The Raiders under much more demanding non-studio commitments(including five days per week T.V. work), there came a point where the only way to fulfill the recording commitments was to have session musicians play some of the backing tracks, starting partway through “The Spirit of 67”.

    After the personal shake-up in the spring of 1967, Revere’s participation in the studio ended(“Ain’t Nobody Who Can Do It Like Leslie Can”, featuring a rare vocal from Revere, was a b-side from the previous year), Mark Lindsay solidified his control of the band, rarely letting the 3 new members participate in the studio for the remainder of 1967 & 1968. With the exception of “Ain’t Nobody Can Do It Like Leslie Can” & “Peace of Mind”(a Terry Melcher production inserted into “Goin’ to Memphis”), The Raiders issued 3 studio albums(“Revolution”, “Goin’ to Memphis” & “Something Happening”) which were essentially Mark Lindsay solo efforts, though ex-Raider Drake Levin participated in “Revolution” as a session man. Lindsay is lucky that the public didn’t find out about the use of sessionmen until years later, or the group’s career could have ended in a Monkees-type of scandal. And Lindsay was courting potential disaster, persisting to use sessionmen ,even after The Monkees scandal broke. In 1969, Lindsay started to frequently let his new Raiders play in the studio, but Revere wouldn’t or couldn’t participate. Lindsay later indicated that he wanted trained musicians who could take technical instructions from a producer, and that, in the classic 1965-early 1967 Raiders line-up, that while Drake Leven & Phil “Fang” Volk could, to an extent, take those technical instructions, the other members couldn’t.

    While the group’s early recordings(heard on Sundazed’s “Mojo Workout”) show Revere to be a capable pianist in a boogie woogie & early Rock n’ Roll style, the group had moved away from 1950’s style rock n’roll to a more commercial 1960’s style that Revere wouldn’t or couldn’t follow. Acoustic pianos were difficult to transport, and difficult to amplify on stage in those days, and Revere’s changeover to playing a thin-sounding combo organ, combined with the dawn of the British invasion, turned the Raiders into a more contemporary, guitar-dominated group with a reduced role for Revere.

    Phil Cohen

    February 28, 2013 at 13:29

    • I have been debating this Raiders/Monkees thing for some time. First off, I agree with Phil Volk, The Raiders sound more like The Kinks than The Monkees anyway. Collage proves that. I can’t see The Monkees doing a project like that. And The Monkees could not have played on their first album. The Raiders did play on their first project meaning Like Long Hair. And The Monkees were under a microscope anyway. Probably because of their tv show and being molded from The Beatles. Though The Raiders did use session men, they did it because of their constant touring and filming commitments. Most of them were capable musicians. Sans Revere. Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones were not musicians and it showed. They were and still are primarily singers. Although Micky did become a capable drummer later.

      Jon

      March 2, 2013 at 03:53

    • Well, regardless of the musicians, I like the later Raiders albums the best beginning with 1968’s “Something Happening”. My two favorites are “Alias Pink Puzz” and the very underrated “Collage”.

      zubb

      March 3, 2013 at 08:58

      • “Alias Pink Puzz”,”Hard and Heavy(with Marshmallow)” & “Collage” are (mostly) played by the group itself, and on 2 of those 3 albums, the sessionmen playing(in addition to the group) are credited. The commercial failure of “Collage” caused some members to leave the group. “Something Happening” is played by session men, though I should note that mono demo versions(played by the group) of two songs were added to one of the Sundazed CD’s.

        Phil Cohen

        March 3, 2013 at 09:41


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: