Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Very Good, Good, Good, Good Thing

Being swept away by politics (can you imagine...) and the current Finnish presidential election campaign has occupied a lot of my time lately. Still, I have found the time to listen to some really great stuff.

Currently I have been very excited about Paul Revere & the Raiders, a band I didn't know anything about until I heard the Wondermints cover version of Louise quite a few years ago. I never got round to checking out the original performer's music although I did listen to the original version many times. A breakthrough occured when I found out about a great new Paul Revere & the Raiders compilation CD called Hungry for Kicks: Singles & Choice Cuts 1965-69 and I decided to take a step forward.

It didn't take long for the band to thoroughly convince me. This compilation is a manifestation of superb 60s pop and ass-kicking soul'n roll: catchy songs, often representing pure bubblegum (with soul) or psychedelic pop and rock. It comes as no surprise that Paul Revere & the Raiders were highly successful and scored numerous hit singles in the latter half of the 1960s.

Some of the most distinctly bubblegum-styled songs include Hungry, Let Me, Cinderella Sunshine, Don't Take It So Hard, and Mr Sun, Mr. Moon. I always find it amazing how many familiar, cherished elements I hear in these songs, having previously gotten to know such fantastic things such as Ohio Express, the Archies, and many soft rock baroque gems. Make good 60s-style bubblegum/baroque music and you are pretty much automatically one of my favorites! There are also moments when the Raiders sound exactly like the Monkees. A great version of I'm Not Your Stepping Stone supports this view.

There is also a good bunch of soul to be heard: Stepping Out, Peace of Mind, and We Gotta All Get Together. The psychedelic side contains such gems as I Had a Dream, Good Thing, Why? Why? Why? (Is It So Hard), The Great Airplane Strike, not to mention Observation From Flight 285 (In 3/4 Time) which is awesome, just awesome!

Generally speaking I can't describe how happy I am to once again discover such awesome music. This compilation by Paul Revere & the Raiders makes me feel like life is a party and every nice person in the world is invited to dance, dance, dance (gotta love that hilarious Beach Boys pastiche Action!).

Lastly, here is a quote from We Gotta All Get Together that might even reveal something about my political views. Enjoy!

This world ain't got no room for narrow-minded people
Now you'd better get ready 'cause a change is about to come!

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