Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers are a 1960s British rhythm and blues, soul and beat group who had two Top 10 hits with “One Way Love” (#9 UK, 1964) and “Got to Get You into My Life” (No.6 UK, 1966).
Well-known members include Bennett himself (vocals, born Clifford Bennett, 4 June 1940, Slough, Berkshire, England) Chas Hodges (keyboards, bass, born Charles Nicholas Hodges, 28 December 1943, Edmonton, North London, England), Mick Burt (drums, born Michael William Burt, 23 August 1938, Middlesex, England) and Nicky Hopkins (piano, born Nicholas Christian Hopkins, 24 February 1944, Harlesden, North West London, England) and Maurice Groves , Birmingham
In 1957 Bennett formed the band the Rebel Rousers. They recorded several singles with record producer Joe Meek that were released by Parlophone. Bennett continued recording for Parlophone, issuing cover versions of “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” and “Got My Mojo Working”.
Brian Epstein became their manager in September 1964 and their seventh release, “One Way Love” (written by Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy under their pseudonyms Bert Russell and Norman Meade) b/w “Slow Down”, reached No. 9 in the British charts. Their next, “I’ll Take You Home” (written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) b/w “Do You Love Him”, charted at No. 42. “Three Rooms With Running Water” (written by Jimmy Radcliffe and Bob Halley) did somewhat better. In early 1966, the band was the opening act for the Beatles on their final European tour. Bennett got the opportunity to hear the Paul McCartney song “Got to Get You into My Life”, which was used on the Revolver album but was never released as a single. Bennett recorded it, with his own composition “Baby Each Day” appearing on the B-side. McCartney was producer for the session. The record reached No. 6 on the British charts, becoming Bennett’s biggest ever hit. Cliff returned to the songbook of McCartney / Lennon in 1968 when he recorded “Back in the USSR” as Cliff Bennett and his Band, a single on Parlophone but this failed to make any impression on the charts.
Bennett went on to be part of Toe Fat, whilst Chas Hodges (keyboards) and Mick Burt became Chas & Dave with Dave Peacock. After Toe Fat disbanded, two of their members (Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake) joined Uriah Heep, and Bennett was asked to join them but declined. He was also considered for the lead vocalist position in Blood, Sweat & Tears when David Clayton-Thomas left in the early 1970s but once again turned the position down. He released a solo album, Rebellion in 1971 but he was not to rekindle his success of the previous decade. Between 1975 & 1976, he was the vocalist for a band called Shanghai, which released two albums, in 1974 and 1976; other members included, Mick Green (guitar), Chuck Bedford (vocals, harmonica, 1974–75), Pete Kircher (drums, vocals), Mike Le Main (bass, keyboards, 1974–75), Brian Alterman (guitar, 1975–76), Pat King (bass, 1975-76).
In the late 1970s, Bennett retired from the music industry to go into shipping, through which he made a considerable amount of money. In 1988, Mark Lundquist reformed the Rebel Rousers and toured as manager and band leader of Cliff and the band until 1996. More recently he has toured alongside Mike d’Abo, Chris Farlowe, Zoot Money, Maggie Bell, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Manfreds, Steve Ellis and New Amen Corner. (by wikipedia)
Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers were a British soul combo that featured Bennett as pretty-boy soul singer with strong backing from the two saxes-guitar-organ-bass-drums lineup of the Rebel Rousers. Between 1964 and 1966, they cut these two albums for EMI, hooked up with Brian Epstein, and almost made it. In truth, they were a couple of years ahead of the curve, with Bennett possibly one of the few Brits who could tackle material by Marvin Gaye, Jimmy Reed, Smokey Robinson, Little Milton, and Curtis Mayfield without looking or sounding ridiculous in the process. The Rebel Rousers are a minimal — but deceptively fat and full sounding — sextet that makes these tracks come alive with stripped-down vitality. They make old soul tunes sound like Liverpool pop and pop throwaways sound like R&B rarities. This is one of the missing chapters in British rock that every fan ought to get around to sampling. (by Cub Koda)
Cliff Bennett (vocals)
Mick Burt (drums)
Maurice Groves (saxophone)
Sid Phillips (saxophone)
Bobby Thomson (bass)
Dave Wendells (guitar)
Roy Young (keyboards)
01. I Can’t Stand It (McAllister) 4.06
02. Sweet And Lovely (Arnheim/Tobias/Lemare) 2.39
03. Make Yourself At Home (Sherman/Clare/Tobias) 1.58
04. You Really Got A Hold On Me (Robinson) 2.34
05. Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby (Reed) 2.45
06. Sha La La (Taylor/Moseley) 2.06
07. One Way Love (Russell/Meade) 2.19
08. Steal Your Heart Away (Parker) 3.29
09. It’s All Right (Mayfield) 2.47
10. Beautiful Dreamer (Foster) 2.09
11. Mercy Mercy (Covay/Miller) 2.39
12. Talking About My Baby (Mayfield) 2.30
13. The Pick-Up (Twitty) 2.07