Paul Revere & The Raiders: Essential

At 14, I’d literally run home from school to watch a rock ’n’ roll TV show called Where The Action Is that was on every weekday in 1965 at 4:30 p.m. Its house band was a crazy combo dressed in Revolutionary War attire called Paul Revere & The Raiders, and damn if they weren’t good. So good I made my mom buy me such cherished early ‘60s rock band singles as “Steppin’ Out,” “Just Like Me” and “Kicks,” which I’d sing in front of the mirror with my hair-brush as a microphone.

Paul Revere & The Raiders started the great tradition of pre-punk bands emanating out of the Pacific Northwest. They recorded “Louie Louie” (included here) at around the same time as their friends, The Kingsmen. Despite their visual shtick making them the most televised band of the ‘60s (more appearances than even The Beatles or The Monkees), they really were down ’n’ dirty three-chord primitives with a flair for self-promotion. Their mock-soulful lead singer Mark Lindsey rivaled the mighty Jagger himself for space in that era’s teen magazines.

Disc number one of this two-disc Essential contains 18 gems of earthy and gritty garage glory from 1963 to 1967.

Unfortunately, Disc number 2 simply doesn’t cut it. Getting carried away by the tide of 1967’s Summer Of Love underground experimental sound, the band attempted to mature and, in so doing, lost sight of what made them so great in the first place.

In A Word: Half-Good