[amtap amazon:asin=B00316DESU]Sadly, rock has a fairly short memory. Maybe it’s all the drinking and whatnot that accompanies it, but even root sources like Chuck Berry are fading from each new generation’s collective consciousness. Case in point, the once VERY famous, chart topping Paul Revere & The Raiders. Yes, the faux Revolutionary War garb and synchronized dance steps have not helped their hipster cred but as this absolutely stellar 3-disc collection demonstrates again & again, the Raiders had it going on in a big way musically.
Anyone seeking a thorough cross-section of 60s to early 70s pop trends need look no further than this set, which shows that whatever the other kids were running up the flagpole, Paul Revere & The Raiders were game to salute it in their own sweet way. Another early Pacific Northwest rock pioneer, these guys cut their version of Louie, Louie just days apart from The Kingsmen, at the same studio, too. How’s that for being in on the ground floor of a youth-fueled musical movement? What one discovers on The Complete Columbia Singles (released March 23) is a pretty raunchy band that could lighten up as the charts demanded. There are weird, psychedelic flights, stompin’ soda shop fare, party tunes galore, some lightly experimental moments and more than a few just plain pretty moments. What’s so impressive is how the quality rarely dips and how much better these tracks hold up versus a lot of their better known (today) peers’ work of the same era. A real dedication to the art of the single is evident over these 66 tracks, and the highly informative booklet has interviews with the band and a great deal of enlightening details about their history, like the fact that they were the house band on a national daytime TV show for years.
If all you know about Paul Revere & The Raiders is their unfortunate early 70s red-face single Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian), then there’s a lot of treats awaiting you on this collection, which places this band right next to Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels as one of rock’s under-sung early architects.