Music Reviews
Paul Revere & The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay

Paul Revere & The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay

The Complete Columbia Singles

Collectors’ Choice

The Experience Music Project’s Grand Opening, Seattle Center, 2000. I’m backstage chatting with the Ventures as they wait their turn at bat. Pacific Northwest legends are being honored, and they’re performing all day. We’re in this concrete, bunker-like room behind and sort of beneath the stage. All the sudden, I hear this racket above us – bam! boom! goes the kick drum. Damn, I think, this group is loud; it’s as if a marching band has been assembled above us. It isn’t the Kingsmen, and the Sonics are a decade away from another reunion.

“Who the hell is playing?” I wonder aloud.

“Paul Revere and the Raiders,” someone replies.

Abandoning the Ventures for the Raiders would be akin to breaking off a talk with the Stones to go check out the Who – a true quandary. As I’m listening to Don Wilson tell some fantastic story from 1963, I tell myself, “I’ll go check out the Raiders in a minute.” And I keep telling myself that until the din above quiets.

A few minutes later, a larger-than-life figure bursts through the Ventures’ dressing room door, resplendent in a vividly colored Revolutionary War costume. Holey moley, it’s Paul freakin’ Revere himself – and in an instant, I instinctively realize that I had just missed a heck of a show.

This new compilation I’m holding in my hands is a small yet very important consolation prize for my misstep 10 years ago. A three-disc, 66-track set, Paul Revere & the Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay – The Complete Columbia Singles is practically a historical document that traces the bulk of the Raiders’ unique and storied recording explorations.

The Complete Columbia Singles’ structure is a bit unique, as well. The Raiders’ radio offerings are presented chronologically, alongside their respective B sides, instead of a separate disc for the latter. Often, the two songs had no genre-correlation to one another. For example, the feel-good 1968 pop single, “Don’t Take It Too Hard” was backed with a very psychedelic journey with a Floyd-echoing intro, “Observation From Flight 285 (in 3/4 Time).” Additionally, the Raiders had a penchant for including instrumentals, tracks nodding back to their origins in the “Northwest Sound,” on flip sides well into their career.

The “dirty R&B” that the Raiders, the Fabulous Wailers, and other northwest acts regarded as a holy edict is established right off the bat. The set’s first four songs – “Louie, Louie” b/w “Night Train” and “Louie, Go Home,” b/w “Have Love, Will Travel” – echo what was being played at the Spanish Castle and every other club between Vancouver and Portland at the time.

Above all, The Complete Columbia Singles reveals to the novice the band’s diversity. The Idaho-spawned Raiders were all over the map musically, depending on the lineup, and seemingly, upon songwriter/frontman Lindsay’s whim. After the huge hits “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” and “Hungry” came hit-and-miss forays into R&B-flavored pop, folk-rock, country rock, psychedelic/baroque, saccharine-sweet pop, and early funk.

Yes, funk. 1967’s “Rain, Sleet, Snow,” with its string-section hook and chunky, fuzzy guitar, sounds like the Chambers Brothers on steroids. Adding a full horn section, churning rhythm, and blistering lead guitar, 1970’s “Just Seventeen” proves to be funk-rock at it’s meatiest – the James Gang meets the Family Stone. And the song’s funky, prog-rock flip side, “Sorceress With Blue Eyes,” is simply mind-blowing.

After this three-hour-plus session with the Raiders (reading along with an extensive, fresh biography in the notes by Ed Osborne) one will inevitably draw these conclusions, among others: in a more perfect world, this supremely talented band wouldn’t have needed the 1776 costumes to counter the British Invasion; Mark Lindsay, apart from having one of the most admired voices in rock history, is one gifted songwriter; finally, losing the “Louie, Louie” chart-race to the Kingsmen was probably a blessing in disguise – they wound up having much more to offer.

The Complete Columbia Singles is an important and supremely enjoyable reminder that the Sixties did not entirely revolve around the Beatles, Who, and Stones. It’s good to see, rather, hear Paul Revere ride again.

Paul Revere and the Raiders: http://www.paulrevereraiders.com, http://www.marklindsay.com


Recently on Ink 19...

Gasoline Lollipops

Gasoline Lollipops

Features

Gasoline Lollipops’ newest single, “Freedom Don’t Come Easy,” is today’s mother lovin’ punk rock folk anthem.

Basket Case

Basket Case

Screen Reviews

Frank Henenlotter’s gory grindhouse classic Basket Case looks as grimy as the streets of Times Square, and that is one of the film’s greatest assets. Arrow Video gives this unlikely candidate a welcome fresh release.

Jimmy Failla

Jimmy Failla

Event Reviews

Despite the Mother’s Day factor, hundreds of fervent, faithful followers still flocked to Orlando’s famed Plaza Live to catch an earlybird set from Jimmy Failla — one of the hottest names on today’s national comedy scene.

Lonnie Walker

Lonnie Walker

Features

Ink 19 readers get an early listen and look at “Cool Sparkling Water,” a new single from Lonnie Walker.

Los Lobos

Los Lobos

Event Reviews

Jeremy Glazier has a bucket list day at a Los Lobos 50th Anniversary show in Davenport, Iowa.

Always… Patsy Cline

Always… Patsy Cline

Archikulture Digest

Carl F. Gauze reviews the not-quite one-woman show, Always… Patsy Cline, based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with Louise Seger, who met the star in l961 and corresponded with Cline until her death.

Lorraine of the Lions

Lorraine of the Lions

Screen Reviews

A lady Tarzan and her gorilla have a rough time adapting to high society in Lorraine of the Lions (1925), one of four silent films on Accidentally Preserved: Volume 5, unleashed by Ben Model and Undercrank Productions, with musical scores by Jon C. Mirsalis.