The Standells – Dirty Water (1966)

StandellsDirtyWaterFC“Dirty Water” is the Tower debut. The title song is a Punk classic reproduced on numerous “Nuggets”-type comps, and along with the five and-a-half minute b-side, “Rari” was recorded in Hollywood by Richard Podolor. Most of the remaining tracks – originals, covers, and songs written by Cobb, an accomplished sonwriter – were recorded a year later (April 1966) at Kearnie Barton’s Seattle Studio, and as re-mastering engineer Bob Irwin points out, were “over-modulated directly to the multi-track tape, causing the finished master to become a powerful…gritty and distorted wash of sound…” charactistic of the Northwest punk/garage bands recording at Barton’s studio during the period (such as the Sonics). These early recordings contained influenced later groups like the MC5.
Drummer Dave Dodd (an ex-Mouseketeer!) had a sexy, delicately cool and seductive voice that influenced (N.Y. Dolls guitarist)Johnny Thunders’ breathy singing on “Hurt Me” and other classics. Dodd sings about two-thirds of the material included and is a near-forgotton punk-rock progenitor. He could snarl with the best Jagger-imitators and convey the soft bad-boy sexiness that exudes both cruelty and vulnerability. (His vocal on the classic “Medication” is one of the most understated and seductive ever!). Despite scores of versions recorded in 1966, Dodd manages to make “Hey Joe” sound like it was written for him. Keyboardist Larry Tamblyn also contributes a couple of fine rockers. The bonus cuts are all worthy,including the pre-Cobb audition track, the early-Beatles influenced “It’s All In Your Mind,” and two solid outtakes from the “Try It” sessions, with ex-Love bassist (and “Jaws” cinematographer) John Fleck. I advise the reader to pick up all four Sundazed remasters rather than the earlier Rhino Best-of or the ugly Hip-O comp. Not only do you get the complete Tower recordings, but the best sound and notes as well. With more forward looking management, this group might be remembered as more than 1 or 2 hit wonders today – they were LA garage rockers of the first rank, with plenty of attitude and raunch – and, good songs – to spread macross these four killer sets. (The other remasters are “Why Pick On Me/Sometimes Good Guys Dont Wear White,” 1966; the much improved-by-bonus-material “The Hot Ones,” from early ’67; and the mostly brilliant and risk-taking “Try It,” 1967.)
Hey kids, collect ’em all! (by J.P. Ryan)


Dick Dodd (drums)
Gary Lane (bass)
Larry Tamblyn (organ, vocals)
Tony Valentino (guitar)
Dave Burke (bass on 12.)
John Fleck (bass on 14 + 15.)


01. Medication (DiTosti/Allton) 2.42
02. Little Sally Tease (Valley) 2.57
03. There Is A Storm Comin´ (Cobb) 3.18
04. 19th Nervous Breakdown (Jagger/Richards) 3.54
05. Dirty Water (Cobb) 2.46
06.Pride And Devotion (Tamblyn) 2.13
07. Hey Joe (Roberts) 2.12
08. Why Did You Heart Me (Dodd/Valentino) 2.28
09. Rari (full version) (Cobb) 5.32
10. Batman (Hefti) 3.04
11. It´s All In Your Mind (Cobb) 2.38
12. Love Me (Dodd/Valentino) 2.45
13. Medication (instrumental version) (DiTosti/Allton) 2.43
14. Poor Man´s Prison (Colley/Henderson) 2.23
15. Take A Ride (Cobb) 2.08