This song is unlike any other I've recommended, but it's hard to hear this and not sense the pure genius which infused Lee's best work. The song is a dramatic narrative about an American woman who runs off to marry an Indian and join their tribe. Instead of singing, Lee simply speaks the words, while every now and again a manic chorus chimes in with 'Thuuu Nights' while a string section scratches away. If I had as cool a voice as Lee (er, and some talent at recording), I guess I could take the songwriting approach that he has here - the music is quite simple, but the narrative as spoken by Lee is gripping, and the entire production is impeccably executed. Check out 'Josť' for another successful song with this formula.
Given the recent reevaluation of "mainstream" 60s pop acts such as the Association, the Monkees & Free Design, it seems a shame that more people aren't aware of how great the Grassroots were. Best known for their oldies-radio staples "Midnight Confessions" and "Let's Live for Today", they were purveyors of great well-crafted, country-rock-tinged pop music. This track is a perfect example, deftly combining vibes, mandolin, handclaps, fuzz guitar and terrific lyrics into an inimitable 60s L.A. sound. Check them out, it's high time that they got their due. And a special note for all you trainspotters out there...you can see the band perform this song in the 1968 Doris Day vehicle "With Six You Get Egg Roll".
from Feelings (Dunhill) available on CD - Anthology: 1965-1975 (Rhino)
11 Oct 05 ·adam12: Right! I can remember most local bands covering this tune in the mid-late 60's. Sounds good coming out of a garage. Kinda like "Nobody But Me" by the Human Beings.
Great bubblegum-pop theme to the Dean Martin spy flick done by Boyce & Hart, best known as one of the songwriting teams behind the Monkees. This track features some terrifically dated, non-P.C. lyrics like "blonde hair, brunette, redheads/lying like injuns in the grass/they're comin' through the pass/and buster/you're General Custer". It also features a great Tijuana Brass-esque horn arrangement, and since this came out on A&M, it may actually be Alpert and the boys themselves. The single is pretty easy to find, but it's also available on the fantastic "Mad, Mad World of Soundtracks" comp from Germany, with its accompanying book of soundtrack cover art.
from the single The Ambushers (A&M) available on CD - The Mad, Mad World of Soundtracks (Motor Music)
19 Jan 03 ·konsu: Super underrated songwriting duo. Fab stuff! Also check out their exellent LP "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight?",a big hit for them, but the whole record is really solid! From what i've read, these guys are virtuosos, and did all their own arranging as well as guitar & keys! Very fun stuff... 31 May 03 ·john_l: I just listened to this track (off their Anthology collection), and frankly it just sounds immature. For me the outstanding track by Boyce & Hart has to be "Alice Long", with its kitchen-sink production style; if I had to list my favourite 10 songs of all time I'm sure it would be right in there! 24 Jun 03 ·tinks: i think immaturity is the a-number-one thing these cats had going for them...i mean, they wrote songs for paul revere & the raiders and the monkees for cryin' out loud! granted, this isn't my fave b&h tune (that title probably goes to "p.o. box 9847", but i digress) but it's good. not everything has to be of pet sounds calibre, after all.
If romantic, dramatic, emotionally fragile and beautifully orchestrated baroque pop with woodwinds moves you then you're blessed... by me.
available on CD - Complete Recordings (Mercury)
08 Apr 04 ·gaymod: is this a cover of the old doo wop standard ? which Zappa was involved in 12 Apr 04 ·tempted: No, it's a Left Banke original. 11 Jan 06 ·Swinging London: Haven't heard that for years! Nice to be reminded of it. My fave by them is 'Pretty Ballerina'.
As far as I know, they never had a hit here in England.
A very cool track, but not in the way I normally find Walter Wanderley's quick-draw hammond organ technique cool. This is a simple, bluesey number on which he is joined by the Brazilian singer Luiz Henrique. Luiz doesn't sing though, he just contributes some nice scat vocals, rather like the work Marcos Valle does on 'Garra'. In my experience, this is about as close as Walter gets to 'funky', and this version from the 'Popcorn' album is a great improvement from the 1967 'Kee-ka-roo' LP version.