The Complete Columbia Singles
Collector's Choice, 2010
REVIEW BY: David Bowling
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/29/2010
“Just Like Me” is a song that is instantly recognizable to me, even over four decades after its release. It was a song of my youth and I played the battered old 45 to death back in the day. It still resides proudly in my record collection.
Paul Revere and singer Mark Lindsay met during the late ‘50s and formed the Downbeats. By the turn of the decade, they had taken the name Paul Revere & The Raiders and later added “featuring Mark Lindsay.” In 1961, they released “Like, Long Hair” on the small Gardena Label. This song, based on Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude In C-Sharp Minor” rose to number 38 on the National charts in the United States and prompted the large Columbia label to sign the group to a contact.
They were mainly a singles band, as their album releases did not have the same consistent quality. When you gather their singles output into one place, you have an outstanding album and a nice slice of mid-‘60s to mid-‘70s music.
Collector’s Choice has now gathered the sixty-two A-and B-sides of their single releases onto the three-disc set titled The Complete Columbia Singles. Included as bonuses are the single they recorded for Chevrolet dealerships “SS396/Corvair Baby” plus a commercial for
Their memorable hits form the heart of the release. “Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “The Great Airplane Strike,” “I Had A Dream,” and “Too Much Talk” are ‘60s pop music at its best.
During the early ‘70s, the group shortened its name to The Raiders and tried to create more serious music. While these attempts were hit-or-miss, they did produce one of the best singles of the time period: “Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian)” became their only number one hit during May of 1971.
Many of the B-sides and failed singles have never been issued on CD or at best have long been out of print. Some of their mid-‘70s work, which failed to chart, shows a musical evolution and an evolving sophistication. “Birds Of A Feather,” “Powder Blue Mercedes Queen,” “Golden Girls Sometimes,” and “Seaboard Line Boogie” show they could change with the times.
Everyone hopefully has musical memories, and one of mine is “B.F.D.R.F. Blues,” which was the flip side of “Just Like Me.” I have a huge 45 collection and this may be the worst B-side in music history. At the end of the track you can hear someone telling the band, “You guys have got to be kidding me.” It’s so bad it becomes memorable.
The Complete Columbia Singles is a wonderful trip down memory lane and it’s nice to have this material available again. Paul Revere And The Raiders are still out on the road and they and their music are still worth a listen today. This is an essential release for any ‘60s collection.
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