Saturday, 6 July 2013

SINGLE: Paul Revere & The Raiders - Just Like Me (1965)

UK - CBS 202027 (January 1966)
US - Columbia 4-43461 (November 1965)

Paul Revere & The Raiders are, for me one of the greatest American singles bands of their time. And yes, I include their later, more pop orientated releases, although it's the garage roar of their 1965-67 run which is their most celebrated period. "Just Like Me" is their masterpiece of this phase, and also contains one of the most exciting moments in rock and roll history ever in my book.

As it stands it's already perfection from the first note. For starters Revere's organ opens proceedings, telling you these guys mean business before Mark Lindsay's vocal unleashes a torrent of angst and unrequited love. So far so good, but then comes the masterstroke. It's only 58 seconds in when guitarist Drake Levin achieves rock-and-roll immortality, letting loose with a double-tracked solo that could strip paint and break windows from 2 miles away, the rest of the band holding down the track's sub-Louie Louie riff whilst Levin sets off every fire alarm in the district. It's only 30 seconds later when, job done, Levin leaves the band to pick up the song again with a big act to follow. Somehow they manage it, and crank up the angst quotient another notch. Then, less than a minute later, the song fades, the needle lifts off the record, and you're left saying "what in the name of all that is holy... was that?!?"

Once again, the mono single mix is best, but it's well worth seeking out the stereo mix to hear that guitar solo (gasp!) separated between the left and right channels. Absolutely mind melting.

The band never had a hit in the UK. That's our loss...


Hungry For Kicks - Singles & Choice Cuts 1965-1969 (Revola/Cherry Red CD 2009) link
Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (1965-1968) (Rhino Box Set 1998)

Or for the stereo remix...

The Legend Of Paul Revere (Columbia CD 1990)

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