Friday, June 19, 2009

The Knickerbockers - Hits, Rarities (1965 - 1967)




In early 1966, the Knickerbockers hit the Top 20 with "Lies," the best and most accurate early Beatle imitation ever recorded; the lead vocals were a dead ringer for John Lennon and the whole production could have fit in snugly on the second side of A Hard Day's Night. Actually a frat rock band from New Jersey who didn't write much of their own material, they never made anything else as successful. A couple decent follow-ups — "One Track Mind" and the similarly mock-British Invasion "High on Love" — were small hits, but their albums were even blander than many of the era's other one-shot artists. Their three noteworthy singles were all featured in Rhino's Nuggets series. Drummer and singer Jimmy Walker briefly replaced Bill Medley in the Righteous Brothers. 
Disk 1 :
01. Lies02. Just One Girl03. I Can Do It Better04. Come On And Let Me05. One Track Mind06. I Must Be Doing Something Right07. Can't You See I'm Tryin'08. Please Don't Fight09. She Said Goodbye10. Give A Little Bit11. We Got A Good Thing Goin'12. Is That What You Want13. The Pad And How To Use It14. Playgirl15. Like Little Children16. Bite Bite Barracuda17. Lies (Backing Track)18. Harlem Nocturnal (Alt Take)
Disk 2 :
01. Stick With Me02. High On Love03. Rumors, Gossip, Words Untrue04. Love Is A Bird05. She's Gotten To Me06. I Love07. Chapel In The Fields08. Can You Help Me09. Please Don't Love Him10. You're Bad11. Guaranteed Satisfaction12. Sweet Green Fields13. What Does That Make You14. As A Matter Of Fact15. My Feet Are Off The Ground16. They Ran For Their Lives17. Come And Get It18. High On Love


Though its modern-day connotation means something quite the opposite in terms of flattery, the Knickerbockers in their heyday were the ultimate bar band. With a stripped-down lineup of guitar, bass, drums, and tenor saxophone and all four members singing, their repertoire truly "covered the waterfront." Their harmonies were gorgeous, fuller and sharper than your average self-contained band, and their collective ear for mimicry was unparalleled. When they recorded a deadly accurate Beatle sound-alike original, "Lies," for the tiny Challenge label, it started zooming up the charts, and the band seemed poised for multi-talented stardom. Alas, it was not to be, but certainly not for lack of talent. This definitive 36-track two-disc set documents -- if not the best the group had to offer -- at the very least, the best they were allowed to commit to magnetic tape, and spotlights their many strong points (impeccable harmonies, a solid-as-a-brick rhythm section, and a willingness to adapt to different types of material thrust upon them). We'll never really know what the Knickerbockers were ultimately capable of, but this collection shows that even when their rockin' locomotive was put on a single direction track, they still had much to contribute. A one-hit group, perhaps, but one with more talent than chart success, that much is obvious.



1 comment:

  1. As always a brilliant work; thank you very much for sharing and your fantastic work!


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