I remember the hype for Rhinoceros (1967). Full page ads in Rolling Stone, Crawdaddy by their second label Elektra. Elektra was a major player in the west coast scene with bands like Paul Butterfield, The Doors, The Stooges – so expectations were high. Turns out the band created through auditions – just the Monkees. when their first self-named was released1968 it sold like hotcakes & then – well, the band sort of fizzled. The music was solid enough but didn’t live up to the hype.
I did buy the lp & was unimpressed & didn’t bother with the others until I decided some 40 years later to see whatever became of them. They did realize a couple of more Satin Chickens 1969; Better Times 1970 – which are solid but uninspired & not that focused. Footnotes not chapters to the west coast music scene.
The Castaways had one big hit in 1965 Liar Liar – which I loved. Garage rock built on driving Farfisa & guitar riffs. I have a ‘hits’ compilation that repeats that formula on standards like Hit The Road Jack & originals like Bad Hair Day. Disposable groovy unpretentious radio fodder that I dig.
Another of those mid-60’s disposable groovy unpretentious radio fodder that I dug was The Knickerbockers whose one big hit was Lies. Garage rock built on driving guitar riffs. I have a ‘hits’ compilation that repeats that formula on a fun set of mostly original work.
Speaking of garage rock built on driving guitar riffs. I have on this compilation The Kingsmen In Person (1963) that features the gold-standard of garage Louie, Louie. Some sources say this is actually a studio recording with the crowd dubbed onto it; others claim it is a live show. Who cares, it’s great fun.
Next is some great r’n’b soul by James and Bobby Purify (1966) who are cousins, not brothers. Their one major hit was I’m You Puppet. I have a hits compilation Shake a Tail Feather! which is bouncy, danceable fun. A bit more soulful is Britain’s Soul Sisters: I Can’t Stand It (1964). Not much info online about them so I don’t even know if they were actually sisters. There were enough US girl groups, i.e. The Supremes, The Crystals, that the Soul Sisters never made an impact here. Worth searching out.