You say you want a Revolution!? Now Sounds is ready to take you on a ride suitable for midnight or any time with its new Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition of Paul Revere and the Raiders' Revolution! (CRNOW 53). Originally released in August 1967, during the Summer of Love, the album blended pop, rock and R&B, West Coast-style, proving just how far the little band from Boise, Idaho had come.
Revolution! followed The Spirit of '67, which had actually been released in late 1966. That LP turned out to be the swansong for the classic band line-up of Paul Revere, Mark Lindsay (who earned a "Featuring" credit on the LP jacket), Phil "Fang" Volk, Drake "The Kid" Levin and Mike "Smitty" Smith. By the time sessions began for Revolution!, The Raiders' time on Dick Clark's daily television program Where the Action Is had come to an end. The group had also undergone a seismic line-up shift when Volk, Levin and Smith departed to form the avant-rock unit Brotherhood. Charlie Coe (bass), Freddy Weller (guitar) and Joe Correro, Jr. (drums) had replaced them. (This line-up would ultimately be short-lived as Coe departed in mid-1968, to be replaced by the band's Where the Action Is co-star, Keith Allison.)
But the new group of Raiders weren't responsible for most of Revolution! The album was crafted by the band's longtime producer-arranger Terry Melcher and lead vocalist Mark Lindsay in tandem with the studio wizards of The Wrecking Crew, including Glen Campbell, James Burton, Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, Ray Pohlman, Plas Johnson and Larry Knechtel. Contributions were made by Coe, Correro, Weller and even Drake Levin on one song ("Make It with Me") plus Keith Allison and Melcher's associates from the Rising Sons, Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. (Terry Melcher, Mark Lindsay and the Wrecking Crew joined Allison for his own studio recordings at Columbia, all of which and more were comprehensively collected by Real Gone Music in 2014 as The Complete Columbia Sides Plus!)
Melcher, Lindsay and co. provided a full-throttle, high-octane explosion with the opening "Him or Me...What's It Gonna Be?" The first of the album's eleven songs penned by the Melcher/Lindsay team, it combined the Raiders' most aggressive garage sound with catchy and rollicking pop in the spirit of Boyce and Hart or The Monkees. Ugly Things Editor Mike Stax's excellent liner notes quote Lindsay recalling the creation of the ambitious, multilayered track. Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon and Jim Keltner formed an unstoppable drum section (with Lindsay adding the tom-tom fills), and they were joined by around five guitarists including Allison and Glen Campbell on acoustic rhythm, James Burton on electric rhythm and Ry Cooder on slide - and studio ace Jerry Cole, too, on the introduction!
This Raiders-style Wall of Sound set the stage for a number of rocking tracks led by Lindsay's confident, robust pipes. The stomping, rambunctious "Gone-Movin' On" with its intricate Melcher-arranged vocals is one of the numerous kiss-off songs on Revolution! "Mo'reen" ("You're not what you seem!") swaggers thanks to distinctive fuzz bass, but the heaviest guitar on the album comes courtesy of Mike Deasy on "Make It with Me." It would never be confused with David Gates' "Make It with You," offering a storming rhythm infused with the blues.
R&B figures prominently on Revolution! The snarling, lusty "Reno" boasts expressive blues harmonica from Nick Hoffman, and Mark Lindsay took a page from Otis Redding for "Wanting You," though its lush harmonies, searing guitar and tack piano give it a sound outside the Stax realm. The slow, stately soul ballad "Upon Your Leaving" has slide guitar by Rising Sons Mahal and Cooder, adding color alongside Melcher's patented Beach Boys-style vocal sound. A blues spoof even found its way into the tunestack - "Ain't Nobody Who Can Do It Like Leslie Can." This comic novelty features a rare vocal contribution from Paul Revere in an exaggerated drawl, warbling about his rather gifted maid!
The brash, brassy pop style associated with the band takes the spotlight most winningly on "I Had a Dream." Led by Larry Knechtel's swirling organ, it has a sound unlike any of the album's other tracks. (The liner notes reveal that Melcher began the track solo, aided by his Bruce and Terry partner Bruce Johnston and the session crew plus Drake Levin.) Its light psychedelic flourishes prove the perfect lead-in to "Tighter," another uptempo, catchy pop confection-gone-spacey with sound effects including Lindsay's vocal processed through a Leslie speaker.
But Melcher's top-flight arrangement and production acumen shines most intensely on the album's closer, "I Hear a Voice." A hauntingly ethereal, echo-laden slice of psychedelia, it features the producer's stark piano and chiming percussion accompanying Lindsay's ruminations about suicide and the voices calling him from the other side. This altogether atypical track underlines a fact that should have been evident to anyone listening to Revolution!: that the Raiders were in step with the times, creatively exploring and experimenting as they pushed the commonly-held boundaries of pop and rock.
Now Sounds' new Mono Deluxe Edition, produced by Steve Stanley, marks the first time the album's mono mix has been released on CD. It also offers an abundance of bonus material including the three tracks appended to Sundazed's 1996 stereo reissue. The non-LP single "Ups and Downs," a driving nugget with Jack Nitzsche's majestic horns, preceded the album's release and fits comfortably on it. The tongue-in-cheek "Him or Me" B-side "The Legend of Paul Revere" recounts the band's history; as on the Sundazed disc, it's presented in its extended version. The outtake "Try Some of Mine" is another blues-rooted track, adorned with an almost John Phillips-esque harmony sound.
When Revolution! was originally issued on LP in stereo, four tracks ("Wanting You," "Gone-Movin' On," "Make It with Me" and "Ain't Nobody Who Can Do It Like Leslie Can") remained in mono. So this edition happily includes all seven stereo mixes among the bonus material, meaning that this reissue features the complete mono and stereo album programs. Those only familiar with the stereo release will doubtless be transfixed by the sound here; the mono mixes give the album a muscularity missing from the stereo versions. Alan Brownstein has remastered all audio superbly from the original master tapes. Mike Stax details the album's story in the 16-page booklet beautifully designed with authenticity by producer Stanley. (Note, too, the vibrancy of the cover artwork compared to past reissues!)
Showcasing a range of styles from the versatile Mark Lindsay and Terry Melcher, Revolution! is a brisk, entertaining West Coast pop-rock romp. It's also a testament to late bandleader Paul Revere, who died in 2014. While he may not have featured prominently on the group's most famous records, he had the vision to make them possible. With Now Sounds' splendid reissue, kicks just keep getting easier to find!
Paul Revere and the Raiders, Revolution! Deluxe Expanded Mono Edition (CRNOW53, 2015) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
- Him or Me...What's It Gonna Be?
- Upon Your Leaving
- Wanting You
- Gone...Movin' On
- I Had a Dream
- Make It with Me
- Ain't Nobody Who Can Do It Like Leslie Can
- I Hear a Voice
- Ups and Downs (Single Version)
- Try Some of Mine
- The Legend of Paul Revere (Extended Version)
- Him or Me...What's It Gonna Be?
- Upon Your Leaving
- I Had a Dream
- I Hear a Voice
Tracks 1-11 from Revolution!, Columbia CL 2721 (Mono), 1967
Track 12 from Columbia single 4-44018, 1967
Tracks 13 & 14 included on Revolution!, Sundazed SC 6096, 1996
Tracks 15-21 from Revolution!, Columbia CS 9521 (Stereo), 1967
Spencer Marquart says
"Melcher, Lindsay and co. provided a full-throttle, high-octane explosion with the opening “Him or Me…What’s It Gonna Be?” The first of the album’s eleven songs penned by the Melcher/Lindsay team, it combined the Raiders’ most aggressive garage sound with catchy and rollicking pop in the spirit of Boyce and Hart or The Monkees. Ugly Things Editor Mike Stax’s excellent liner notes quote Lindsay recalling the creation of the ambitious, multilayered track. Hal Blaine, Jim Gordon and Jim Keltner formed an unstoppable drum section (with Lindsay adding the tom-tom fills), and they were joined by around five guitarists including Allison and Glen Campbell on acoustic rhythm, James Burton on electric rhythm and Ry Cooder on slide – and studio ace Jerry Cole, too, on the introduction!" And, this is only track one!!! Probably my favorite tune by Paul Revere & The Raiders. And, it features three of my favorite drummers?! Incredible that Lindsay added those incredible tom-tom fills? Wonderful review Joe and this one is on my list for sure!!
Philip Cohen says
It should also be noted that, on the original 1960's "stereo" vinyl "Him or Me-What's It Gonna Be" was also in mono. The stereo mix wasn't created until the 1990's. It may well be, that for some of the remaining 4 mono tracks, that live-during-mixdown overdubs may preclude the creation of stereo mixes. "Ain't Nobody That Can Do It Like Leslie Can" was a b-side from the previous year, and almost certain;y features the "classic" Raiders line-up. That song is likely Revere's last involvement in the studio. By then, Terry Melcher had replaced Revere as Mark Lindsay's songwriting partner. Revere's public image was always a bit like Dave Clark, in that both were businessmen first, musicians second.
My only unfortunate thing about The Raiders, is, that unlike Terry Melcher's other client The Byrds, it seems that The Raiders(after the hits started in 1966) didn't record many more songs than were required. Yes, Columbia, Sony & Sundazed have released occasional unreleased tracks(and large quantities of live in the studio 1965 tracks), but it would seem that the vaults have been emptied.
After "enduring" dissent from other group members(Phil "Fang" Volk, Drake Levin & Mike "Smitty" Smith) who had songwriting ambitions, Mark Lindsay was determined to exclude the 3 new members from the recording process for some time. "Revolution" is mostly a Mark Lindsay/Terry Melcher album, and the next two albums ("Goin' To Memphis" & "Something Happening") were totally Lindsay solo efforts.
Gray Newell says
Just one correction, it was Nick Hoffman who played harmonica on 'Reno' - somehow you have turned him into a Terry in this review. Nick also recorded 45s as a solo artist and was a member of the legendary The Dovers, as well as the lead guitarist for Santa Barbara psychedelic outfit Turquoise.
Joe Marchese says
Thanks, Gray. That's just a typo from too much Melcher on the mind!
Gray Newell says
Thanks, Joe! I've written an article on Turquoise which will appear in the next issue of Ugly Things magazine that features quite a lot of input from Nick. Great guy - he makes great guitars too! http://nickhoffmanguitars.blogspot.co.uk/