Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Standells


"The Standells were formed in 1962 by guitarist Tony Valentino and organist Larry Tamblyn. The early line-up included Gary Lane on bass and drummer Gary Leeds, who would later find more success with the Walker Brothers. Leeds was eventually replaced by former Mousketeer Dick Dodd. As for the name the band chose, they would later tell Dick Clark on American Bandstand, they were just "standing around" one day, trying to think up a name for the band. The quartet became a leading attraction in Los Angeles night-spots and recorded some weak selling albums and singles for Liberty, MGM, and Vee Jay. As a popular local band, they also found themselves appearing in the movie "Get Yourself a College Girl", and getting a lot of television work (most notably, a guest appearance on 'The Munsters').

The band managed to hit the upper regions of the U.S. Top 100 with tunes like "Big Boss Man" and "Someday You'll Cry", but they didn't really hit their stride until teaming up with producer Ed Cobb, formerly of the vocal group the Four Preps. Cobb wrote a song called "Dirty Water", which marked quite a change of direction from their previous clean-cut image. At first the group didn't even like the song, but six months after it was released, "Dirty Water" was the number 11 song in the nation.

With their image now considerably toughened, the group issued four albums in quick succession in 1966 and 1967, as well as appearing in (and contributing the theme song to) the psychedelic exploitation movie "Riot on Sunset Strip". Cobb, in addition to writing "Dirty Water," also penned their other singles, including "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White", "Why Pick on Me" and 'Try It" (the last of which was widely banned for its suggestive delivery). The group did write some decent material of their own, such as "All Fall Down", which bears an interesting similarity to some of Pink Floyd's early work.

Tower Records, as was the case with most of its artists, didn't apply intelligent long-range planning to the band's career, releasing too many albums at once. The group didn't help their own cause by issuing an awful vaudeville-rock single, "Don't Tell Me What to Do", under the transparent pseudonym of the Sllednats (Standells spelled backwards). It would be their last recording."

This, their second album on Tower Records, incuded some great songs and some not so good. Their version of Bacharach & David's "Little Red Book" comes quite close to equaling the excellent version by Arthur Lee and Love. They toured with the Stones and even covered "Paint It Black", also on this LP.

Discover more about The Standells HERE.

The Standells - Little Red Book

The Standells - Mainline

The Standells - Have You Ever Spent The Night In Jail

These You Send It files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

8 comments:

spice-the-cat said...

A big 'yay' for 60's garage punk.

Cocaine Jesus said...

they released FOUR albums in the space of two years? remarkable. nowadays one album one year, then next year a tour, then the following year a rest, then the year after that you 'concept' the album, then four years later you write the album, then half a decade on you record it!

i have just finished the first of my 'alternative brit pop (stupid media name) articles over on my music site. come on over!

michael said...

I think it was quite usual for bands to churn out stuff in the 60's . I seem to remember the Beatles, Stones and Kinks etc. having an album out every six months and EP's too in between, something you never see now. I used to like EP's. I suppose some CD singles have three or four tracks but usually DJ versions of the same song which I hate! Ofcourse then you had the 10' LP which was longer than an EP but not quite as long as a full LP.

la peregrina said...

Oh my, I have not thought about these guys in years. :)

Jon said...

I'd just got hold of some Standells, who were a great band. All that Pebbles garage stuff can drive me insane after a while, but these are some of the best of the bunch. of course, they were so prolific because they ahd a formula and filled the albums with covers of Rolling Stones and the like... It probably seemed like poor quality control att he time, but when the music's good it doesn;t seem to matter now!

hazel said...

Michael says- Hey thats a coincidence Jon! Wasit the one i sent?
Glad that you were able to make a comment at last.

Cocaine Jesus said...

finally got my head around, and found time to, do a bit of skullduggery with html. you have been linked. i hope this is OK?

michael said...

No, I don't mind. Nice to be linked. A privilege infact. Have I linked you? I can't remember. My brain is mush sometimes so i forget things.
Not much in the charity shops this week and still no boot sales. I will try and get something uploaded over the weekend.