The Redcoats : John Spirt, Zack Bocelle, Randy Bocelle.
The Redcoats were formed in 1965 when John Spirit, who had a #16 hit in 1963 with 'Martian Hop', met Atlantic City brothers Zack and Randy Bocelle. The Bocelle's sounded much like John's idols, The Beatles, and John was up to the task of writing songs that were very evocative of the works of John and Paul. Listen to 'You Had No Right' and hear the influence of 'Help'. But, the band broke up the album was never released and the master tapes sat for 35 years, until now. 12 tracks. 2001 release.
There are few specific chronological details on this collection of 12 songs, which have obviously been pasted together from sessions recorded at various points; only the tracks from the rather unrepresentative "Love Unreturned"/"The Dum Dum Song" single were previously released. Although the liner notes infer that the cuts are from the mid-'60s, and many of them obviously are, some are obviously too Sgt. Pepper- and Magical Mystery Tour-influenced to be from before 1967. Anyway, this is decent, though not wonderful, original music from young fellows who obviously worshiped the Beatles. "You Had No Right" fits right into the mid-1965 Help! period, with its jangling guitars and well-thought-out exuberant harmonies. "Words of Wisdom," "Sing a Song," "When Tomorrow Comes," and "Opportunity" fall squarely into the Beatles' 1967 mode of bouncy, mid-tempo keyboard-dominated tunes and optimistic, cosmic-tinged lyrics. "Man" is very much like the harder-rocking Revolver songs, with its audibly "Paperback Writer"/"Taxman"-informed high harmonies. "Another Took Her Place" must date from earlier, with its hard Merseybeat sound, as must "Back to His Door," with its stomping Dave Clark Five beat and "Anyway You Want It"-like effect on the chorus. If a convincing emulation of the Beatles and the British Invasion was their strength, it was also their obvious problem: there's not much originality going on here. All the same, it's quite a refreshing contrast to the cruder, less-melodic, and less-musically accomplished sounds that are far more the norm for super-obscure '60s garage reissues. ~ Richie Unterberger
The Dum Dum Song
One more entry in the longstanding tradition of Yank combos with Brit-evoking names, these bogus blokes, from Wildwood, N.J., were led by John Spirt, who had a 1963 novelty hit with the Ran-Dells' "Martian Hop." Around 1965, Spirt recruited brothers Zach and Randy Bocelle into his new Beatles-inspired group, to which they contributed an uncanny simulation of the John-and-Paul vocal style. This went hand-in-hand with a plethora of Fabs-formula songs written by their leader with bandmate Mike Burke, most of which went unreleased until 2001's Meet the Redcoats! Finally collection. One track that actually did see the light of day in '65 was a release on Laurie Records of "The Dum Dum Song." And unlike most of the Redcoats' musical output, this one is a Herman's Hermits meets Herman Munster frankensong that manages to out-Herman Peter Noone himself, for what that's worth.