Barry McGuire – This Precious Time (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgFollowing the success of the “Eve Of Destruction” single, Barry McGuire began working on another album for Dunhill Records with producer Lou Adler. Whilst he was recording he was reunited with some old friends from his folk days, as the newly-formed The Mamas & The Papas came to California. He invited them to sing backing vocals for him. The result of these sessions was This Precious Time, which took his music forward with a more sophisticated folk-rock-pop sound. It included one song written by John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas – “California Dreamin'” was first recorded here with the four of them singing backing vocals for McGuire’s lead. Other songs on the album included more P.F. Sloan compositions, The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe In Magic”, Bob Dylan’s “Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues”, The McCoy’s “Hang On Sloopy” and two Beatles songs (“Yesterday” and “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away”).
The album, though a strong one, was not a chart success – perhaps the media backlash “Eve Of Destruction” caused had permanently tarrred McGuire’s name. “California Dreamin'” had all the makings of another obvious hit single, and he was going to release it, until John Phillips asked if maybe The Mamas & The Papas could release it instead. Impressed by what he saw, Lou Adler had signed them to Dunhill. They replaced McGuire’s vocal track and added a flute solo, but otherwise used the same recording. Released as a single, this version gave them a massive hit and launched their careers. (by stuckinthepast08.blogspot.com)

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A real lost artifact, Barry McGuire’s second album actually has quite a bit of historical significance. After his mega-hit, “Eve of Destruction,” McGuire was set to do a follow-up album, complete with some excellent P.F. Sloan songs. During the early sessions, the Mamas & the Papas had just come into town. Being old friends of McGuire’s from the folkie days (Barry was the lead voice on “Green, Green,” by the New Christy Minstrels), he invited the group to audition for producer Lou Adler. The rest is history, and this record is essentially the Mamas audition, as they sing backgrounds on virtually all of the record. It’s magnificent, too. Hits such as “Do You Believe in Magic,” “Yesterday,” and others work perfectly with McGuire’s gravely lead voice and the Mamas & Papas sweet harmonies. McGuire even cut “California Dreamin’,” and it’s the exact same track as the famous Mamas version, sans Denny Doherty’s lead vocal and Bud Shank’s flute solo. If you’re looking to find the real roots of the Mamas & the Papas, here it is. Unfortunately, Dunhill apparently wanted little to do with Barry McGuire after the backlash of “Eve of Destruction,” and his career and this record presided in ignominy. Too bad, because there is a lot of excellent music here. (by Matthew Greenwald)

A real great albumm including an exciting version of the McCoys Hit “Hang On Sloopy” !

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Personnel:
Steve Barri (percussion)
Hal Blaine (drums)
Barry McGuire (vocals)
Joe Osborn (bass)
John Phillips (guitar)
P.F. Sloan (leadguitar)
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background vocals:
The Mamas & The Papas

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Tracklist:
01. This Precious Time (Sloan/Barri) 2.51
02. California Dreamin’ (Phillips) 2.42
03. Let Me Be (Sloan) 2.38
04. Do You Believe In Magic (Sebastian) 2.16
05. Yesterday (Lennon/McCartney) 2.52
06. Hang On Sloopy (Russell/Farrell) 4.06
07. Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Dylan) 4.03
08. Upon A Painted Ocean (Sloan) 3.00
09. Hide Your Love Away (Lennon/McCartney) 2.51
10. I’d Have To Be Outa My Mind (Sloan/Barri) 3.46
11. Child Of Our Times (Sloan) 3.27
12. Don’t You Wonder Where It’s At (McGuire/Sloan) 2.57

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Still alive and well: Barry McGuire

The Jazz Crusaders – Live At The Lighthouse ’66 (1966)

FrontCover1.jpgLive at the Lighthouse ’66 is a live album by The Jazz Crusaders recorded in 1966 and released on the Pacific Jazz label.

Because the Jazz Crusaders in the early ’70s dropped the “Jazz” from their name and later in the decade veered much closer to R&B and pop music than they had earlier, it is easy to forget just how strong a jazz group they were in the 1960s. This CD reissues one of their rarer sessions, augmenting the original seven-song LP program (highlighted by “Blues Up Tight,” “Doin’ That Thing,” and “Milestones”) with previously unissued versions of “‘Round Midnight” and John Coltrane’s “Some Other Blues.” The Jazz Crusaders (comprised of tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder, trombonist Wayne Henderson, pianist Joe Sample, drummer Stix Hooper, and, during this period, bassist Leroy Vinnegar) are heard in prime form. Felder shows the strong influence of Coltrane, Henderson recalls J.J. Johnson, Sample displays the most originality and the quintet on a whole (with its tenor-trombone frontline) sounds quite distinctive. An excellent set of primarily straight-ahead (but soulful) jazz. (by Scott Yanow)

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One of the most outstanding hard-bop albums ever recorded, by a group of relative unknowns outside the west coast (and, because of location, NOT recorded by Rudy Van Gelder!). Some of the solos are still jaw-dropping after hundreds of listens. What a shame this band changed musical directions. Even the Live at the Lighthouse ’68 is nowhere as good as this record. (by Philip Abromats)

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Personnel:
Wilton Felder (saxophone)
Wayne Henderson (trombone)
Stix Hooper (drums)
Joe Sample (piano)
Leroy Vinnegar (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Aleluia (Guerra/Lobo) 6.05
02. Blues Up Tight (Sample) 6.43
03,. You Don’t Know What Love Is (de Paul/Raye) 5.11
04. Miss It (Felder) 6.07
05. Scratch (Henderson) 8.13
06. Doin’ That Thing (Vinnegar) 7.22
07. Milestones (Davis) 7.05

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Rising Sons (feat. Taj Mahal & Ry Cooder) – Rising Sons (1966 – 1992)

BootlegFrontCover1.JPGRising Sons was a Los Angeles, California-based band founded in 1964. Their initial career was short-lived, but the group found retrospective fame for launching the careers of singer Taj Mahal and guitarist Ry Cooder.

The original lineup was a 17-year-old Ry Cooder (vocals, six- and 12-string guitar, mandolin, slide and bottleneck guitar, dobro), Taj Mahal (vocals, harmonica, guitar, piano), Gary Marker (bass), Jesse Lee Kincaid (born Nick Gerlach,[1] vocals and guitar) and Ed Cassidy (drums). Cassidy left in 1965 after injuring his wrist playing a monumental version of “Statesboro Blues” with the band.[2] He was replaced by Kevin Kelley.

The group often played at the Los Angeles clubs The Troubadour and The Ash Grove (which burned down in 1973 and was not rebuilt). They were signed by Columbia Records. Their only album, produced by Terry Melcher, was not issued at the time. One single, “Candy Man” backed with “The Devil’s Got My Woman”, was released. The group disbanded in 1966. They were contemporaries of the famous Los Angeles band the Byrds; fans wondered which band would be the bigger success, until the Byrds’ album Mr. Tambourine Man became a hit.

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Recordings by Rising Sons were widely bootlegged and nearly three decades later were released by Columbia Records under the title Rising Sons Featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder (1992). “We were the problem,” remembered Marker later. “We had difficulties distilling our multiple musical agendas down to a product that would sell. We had no actual leader, no clear musical vision…. I think [Melcher] went out of his way to make us happy – within the scope of his knowledge. He tried just about everything he could, including the live, acoustic session that produced ‘2:10 Train.'”

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Mahal went on to become a prominent solo blues and folk performer. Cooder and Marker played with Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band. Cooder went on to become a prominent session musician, recorded numerous albums under his own name, and scored several soundtracks. Kincaid attended California Institute of the Arts on a classical guitar scholarship and left the United States for six years in Europe. His music album, Brief Moments Full Measure, and his book, Ibiza Chronicles, were released in 2014. He currently resides in Mill Valley, California. Cassidy founded the band Spirit. Kelley became a member of his cousin Chris Hillman’s band the Byrds in 1968, playing on their seminal album Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

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Marker retired from the music industry but maintained an active interest (especially in Beefheart-related matters) until he died of a stroke, on December 8, 2015, at the age of 72 (by wikipedia)

Their lone single and unreleased album form the core of this 22-track reissue, which features imaginative rearrangements of standards like “Corrine, Corrina,” an obscure Dylan cover (“Walkin’ Down the Line”), rocking originals, a confident performance of Goffin/King’s “Take a Giant Step” (later Mahal’s signature tune), and nifty guitar interplay between Mahal and Cooder throughout. Overall, it sounds a lot more like it belongs in 1967-1968 than 1965-1966. This archival release has value above and beyond historical interest. by Richie Unterberger)

And I got this recordings for the first time as a bootleg in the Eighties …

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Personnel:
Ed Cassidy (drums)
Ry Cooder (guitar, vocals)
Jesse Lee Kincaid (vocals)
Taj Mahal (guitar, vocals)
Kevin Kelley (drums)
Gary “Magic” Marker (bass)

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The bootleg tracklist

Tracklist:
01. Statesboro Blues (McTell) 2.26
02. If The River Was Whiskey (Divin’ Duck Blues) (Estes) 2.43
03. By And By (Poor Me) (Patton) 3.34
04. Candy Man (Davis) 2.06
05. 2:10 Train (Albertano) 4.11
06. Let The Good Times Roll (Goodman/Lee) 2.44
07. 44 Blues (Dixon) 3.25
08. 11th Street Overcrossing (Kincaid) 2.14
09. Corrin, Corrina (Traditional) 2.58
10. Tulsa County (Polland) 2.44
11. Walkin’ Down The Line (Dylan) 2.15
12. The Girl With Green Eyes (Kincaid) 2.16
13. Sunny’s Dream (Kincaid) 3.03
14. Spanish Lace Blues (Kincaid) 2.14
15. The Devil’s Got My Woman (James) 3.07
16. Take A Giant Step (Goffin/King) 2.56
17. Flyin’ So High (Kincaid) 3.07
18. Dust My Broom (Johnson) 3.06
19. Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Johnson) 2.40
20. Baby, What You Want Me To Do? (Reed) 2.57
21. Statesboro Blues (Version 2) (McTell) 2.26
22. I Got A Little (Kincaid) 3.23

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The bootleg label

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Press release from 1966

The Hometowners – Does Shorttimers Blues (1966)

FrontCover1.JPGI guess, this is a very rare C & W, recorded by the US Band “The Hometowners”, but only released in Germany.

The band was led by Pat Patterson:

Pat Patterson, born 6 12 1935 in Lewisburg – West Virginia Record Labels: Jimmy Dale “Pat” Patterson, singer, guitarist and bassist, took some tours throughout the United States with his band, the “Hometowners USA”. In 1960 he came to West Germany and played for years in the various military clubs. Often presented the “Hometowners” the backing band for the visiting clubs in the big stars. (by bear-family.com).

And here´s their first album, recorded for CBS Records. And it´s a really very fresh album, with great instrumentals and many very sentimental songs in the Country & Western style.

And here are the original lines notes from this album:

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It´s not only a rarity … but an pretty good Country & Western album. And I will dedicade this entry to all this unknown heroes … many of them gave many people so much fun and a good time !

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Personnel:
Ron Bridges (drums)
Larry Cordor (lead guitar)
Pat Patterson (bass, vocals)
Billy Poe (pedal steel-guitar)
Dan Starr (vocals, guitar)
Frank Weber (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Shorttimers Blues (Hall) 2.18
02. Together Again (Owens) 2.08
03. Steel Guitar Rag (McAuliffe/Travis/Stone) 2.41
04. Lonesome Soldier (Patterson) 2.57
05. Have You Ever Been Lonely (DeRose/Brown/Cohes) 3.16
06. 5000 Miles From Home (Bare/Williams) 3.25
07. I Wanna Go Home (Dill/Tillis) 3.06
08. Fräulein (Williams) 2.31
09. White Silver Sands (Hart/Matthews) 2.28
10. Happy Journey (Nowa/Jay) 3.48
11. Aloha Oe (Lilikulani) 2.18
12. May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You (Meredith/Wilson) 3.36

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Billboard, August 7, 1965

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That´s what I call a real “nice price”

The Byrds – Fifth Dimension (1966)

FrontCover1Fifth Dimension is the third album by the American folk rock band The Byrds and was released in July 1966 on Columbia Records. Most of the album was recorded following the February 1966 departure of the band’s principal songwriter Gene Clark. In an attempt to compensate for Clark’s absence, guitarists Jim McGuinn and David Crosby stepped into the breach and increased their songwriting output. In spite of this, the loss of Clark resulted in an uneven album that included a total of four cover versions and an instrumental. However, the album is notable for being the first by The Byrds not to include any songs written by Bob Dylan, whose material had previously been a mainstay of the band’s repertoire.[

The album peaked at #24 on the Billboard Top LPs chart and reached #27 on the UK Albums Chart. Two preceding singles, “Eight Miles High” and “5D (Fifth Dimension)”, were included on the album, with the former just missing the Top 10 of the Billboard singles chart. Additionally, a third single taken from the album, “Mr. Spaceman”, managed to reach the U.S. Top 40. Upon release, Fifth Dimension was widely regarded as the band’s most experimental album to date and is today considered influential in originating the musical genre of psychedelic rock. (by wikipedia)

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Although the Byrds’ Fifth Dimension was wildly uneven, its high points were as innovative as any rock music being recorded in 1966. Immaculate folk-rock was still present in their superb arrangements of the traditional songs “Wild Mountain Thyme” and “John Riley.” For the originals, they devised some of the first and best psychedelic rock, often drawing from the influence of Indian raga in the guitar arrangements. “Eight Miles High,” with its astral lyrics, pumping bassline, and fractured guitar solo, was a Top 20 hit, and one of the greatest singles of the ’60s. The minor hit title track and the country-rock-tinged “Mr. Spaceman” are among their best songs; “I See You” has great 12-string psychedelic guitar solos; and “I Come and Stand at Every Door” is an unusual and moving update of a traditional rock tune, with new lyrics pleading for peace in the nuclear age. At the same time, the R&B instrumental “Captain Soul” was a throwaway, “Hey Joe” not nearly as good as the versions by the Leaves or Jimi Hendrix, and “What’s Happening?!?!” the earliest example of David Crosby’s disagreeably vapid hippie ethos. These weak spots keep Fifth Dimension from attaining truly classic status. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Michael Clarke (drums)
David Crosby (guitar, vocals)
Chris Hillman (bass, vocals)
Jim McGuinn (guitar, vocals)
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Gene Clark (vocals on 07., 12., 15. + 16.); tambourine on 15., harmonica on 09.)
Van Dyke Parks (organ on 01.)

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Tracklist:
01. 5D (Fifth Dimension) (McGuinn) 2.33
02. Wild Mountain Thyme (Traditional) 2.30
03. Mr. Spaceman (McGuinn) 2.09
04. I See You (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.38
05. What’s Happening?!?! (Crosby) 2.35
06. I Come And Stand At Every Door (Hikmet) 3.03
07. Eight Miles High (Clark/McGuinn/Crosby) 3.34
08. Hey Joe (Where You Gonna Go) (Roberts) 2.17
09. Captain Soul (McGuinn/Hillman/Clarke/Crosby) 2.53
10. John Riley (Traditional) 2.57
11. 2-4-2 Fox Trot (The Lear Jet Song) (McGuinn) 2.12
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12. Why (Single version) (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.59
13. I Know My Rider (I Know You Rider) (Traditional) 2.43
14. Psychodrama City (Crosby) 3.23
15. Eight Miles High (alternate RCA version] (Clark/McGuinn/Crosby) 3.19
16. Why (alternate RCA version) (McGuinn/Crosby) 2.40
17. John Riley (instrumental) (Traditional) 16.53

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Wilson Pickett – The Wicked Pickett (1966)

LPFrontCover1Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006) was an American singer and songwriter.

A major figure in the development of American soul music, Pickett recorded over 50 songs which made the US R&B charts, many of which crossed over to the Billboard Hot 100. Among his best-known hits are “In the Midnight Hour” (which he co-wrote), “Land of 1,000 Dances”, “Mustang Sally”, and “Funky Broadway”.[2]

Pickett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, in recognition of his impact on songwriting and recording. (by wikipedia)

By late 1966 Wilson Pickett had seen plenty of success, having scored three #1 R&B hits. His next big release was a cover of “Mustang Sally”, by fellow singer Mack Rice (whom he had performed with in The Falcons). It was another hit, getting to #6 on the R&B charts and #23 on the pop charts.
His fourth LP was released on the back of the song’s success. It also featured covers of Solomon Burke’s “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” (which was another Top 20 R&B hit), Gary U.S. Bonds’ “New Orleans”, Eddie Floyd’s “Knock On Wood”, Jerry Ragovoy’s “Time Is On My Side” and several Dan Penn songs. Like all his recordings of that year, it was recorded at Fame Studios in Alabama, and featured among other musicians guitarist Chips Moman, keyboard player Spooner Oldham and drummer Roger Hawkins. The result was another great album of raw and funky southern soul. stuckinthepast08.blogspot.com)

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A fabulous album, done when Pickett was in the midst of his best period at Atlantic. It had everything — great songs, wonderful production and arrangements, and a hungry, galvanizing Wilson Pickett hollering, screaming, shouting, and soaring on anything he covered, from ballads to uptempo dance and midtempo wailers. It also has been deleted at present. (by Ron Wynn)

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Alternate front + back cover from Japan

Personnel:
Ben Cauley (trumpet)
Charles Chalmers (saxophone)
Tommy Cogbill (bass, guitar)
Caple Gilbert (saxophone)
Roger Hawkins (drums)
Jimmy R. Johnson (guitar)
Eddie Logan (saxophone)
Junior Lowe (bass, guitar)
Gene Miller (trumpet)
Chips Moman (guitar)
Floyd Newman (saxophone)
Spooner Oldham (keyboards)
Wilson Pickett (vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Mustang Sally (Rice) 3.10
02. New Orleans (Guida) 2.34
03. Sunny (Hebb) 3.13
04. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (Berns/Wexler/Burke) 2.19
05. Ooh Poo Pah Doo (Hill) 2.36
06. She Ain’t Gonna Do Right (Penn/Oldham) 2.18
07. Knock On Wood (Floyd/Cropper) 2.42
08. Time Is On My Side (Jagger/Richards) 2.37
09. Up Tight Good Woman (Penn/Oldham) 2.33
10. You Left The Water Running (Penn/Hall/Franck) 2.31
11. Three Time Loser (Covay/Miller) 2.23
12. Nothing You Can Do (Womack) 2.13

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Wilson Pickett (March 18, 1941 – January 19, 2006)

Tommy James & The Shondells – Hanky Panky (1966)

FrontCover1Hanky Panky is the debut album of Tommy James and the Shondells and was released in 1966. It reached #46 on the Billboard 200] The album had two singles that charted. “Hanky Panky” reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and “Say I Am (What I Am)” reached #21

Other than a brief impromptu performance together onstage in Pittsburgh several days earlier, after which James invited the band to serve as his new Shondells, the first time the entire band worked together was when they went into the studio to record this album. (by wikipedia)

The debut album by Tommy James & the Shondells features a garage rock classic, “Hanky Panky,” the suggestive Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich title which launched the career of the charismatic and talented lead singer. Produced by Bob Mack, the “Pittsburgh teenage nightclub operator” as the liner notes refer to him, this initial project is a vintage collection of recordings and is more effective than the follow-up, It’s Only Love. Fact is, everything about this first effort displays a more authentic approach than what producer Henry Glover took when he made the band’s sound more bubblegummy the second time around. “Don’t Throw Our Love Away” is the Shondells writing and performing a decent tune, while “Say What I Am,” the Bob Mack/Tommy James original, is right on the money and actually charted higher than Ritchie Cordell’s “It’s Only Love,” which became their third hit and title track to their follow-up LP.

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An instrumental version of “Cleo’s Mood” is unnecessary while the Shondells beat out James & Bobby Purify by covering “Shake a Tail Feather” before that duo got it to the Top 25. Many of the songs have that McCoys guitar riff tension from their hits “Hang on Sloopy” and “Fever.” It’s certainly there on “Say I Am” as well as “Cleo’s Mood” and the rave-up “Lots of Pretty Girls” written by Paul Luka, the man behind Peppermint Rainbow and “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.” James was immediately in the trenches of rock and the Hanky Panky album is a brilliant start to his storied career. Longtime Shondells bassist Mike Vale sings Deon Jackson’s “Love Makes the World Go Round” and Curtis Mayfield’s “I’m So Proud,” displaying a tasteful understanding of pop’s R&B foundation. They smartly covered Mayfield’s “It’s Alright” on the follow-up LP. James is great on James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy” but even better covering the Young Rascals’ hit from January of 1966, “Good Lovin’.” Note all the R&B this band recorded, a blending by chance, perhaps, of garage rock with blue-eyed soul. The drum sounds may leave a lot to be desired, but they somehow got the guitars and keys to tape with that precious ’60s sound that should make for attention in collectors circles. While ? & the Mysterians and the Barbarians deserved more hits, their albums came valuable because of the near obscurity.

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Hanky Panky by James was the start of 19 chart hits (including his songs for other artists), and holds its own as a classic album from that era. The early George Magura/Mike Vale composition, “The Lover,” sung by keyboardist Ron Rosman, gave James’ sidemen their own moment in the sun and is more evidence that they were heading in a Rolling Stones-style direction. The bubblegum tag may not have been appropriate because this first effort is up there with another band who hit with a suggestive song in both sound and style, that being the Kingsmen after “Louie Louie” earned its well-deserved infamy. The big difference here is that the man who gave voice to the popular song actually stayed around to notch quite a few more. (by Joe Viglione)

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Personnel:
Tommy James (vocals, guitar)
Joseph Kessler (guitar)
George Magura (bass, saxophone, vibraphone)
Vincent Pietropaoli (drums, clarinet, saxophone)
Ron Rosman (keyboards)
Mike Vale (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Hanky Panky (Barry/Greenwich) 2.59
02. I’ll Go Crazy (Brown) 2.18
03. I’m So Proud (Mayfield) 3.31
04. The Lover (Magura/Vale) 2.05
05. Love Makes The World Go Round (Jackson) 2.25
06. Good Lovin (Clark/Resnick) 2.20
07. Say I Am (What I Am) (B,Tomsco/G,Tomsco) 2-37
08. Cleo’s Mood (Walke/Woods) 2.20
09. Don’t Throw Our Love Away (James/Kessler/Magura/Pietropaoli/Rosman/Vale) 2.40
10. Shake A Tail Feather (Hayes/Rice/Williams) 2.37
11. Soul Searchin’ Baby (James/Kessler/Magura/Pietropaoli/Rosman/Vale) 2.35
12. Lots Of Pretty Girls (Leka/Rush) 2.13

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