Pop Culture Gadabout
Monday, July 02, 2007
      ( 7/02/2007 07:04:00 AM ) Bill S.  

"ARE YOU READY, BOOTS? START WALKIN'!" – If ever there was a cautionary example of a group mishandled by the music industry, the Beau Brummels are it. With two sublime folk-rock singles ("Laugh Laugh" and "Just A Little") on the charts in 1965, the San Fran band's first record label, the short-lived and shot-loose Autumn Records, quickly collapsed and sold its catalog within a year. As a result, the Brummels wound up at Warner Bros. Records, and their first release for Warners turned out to be . . . a collection of cover songs! (And this despite the fact that the band had a strong songwriter in guitarist Ron Elliot.) Whose bright idea was this, anyway?

In the liner notes for Collector's Choice Music's new reissue of this musical misfire, Richie Unterberger attempts to nail the responsible parties, but doesn't provide a definitive answer. To be sure, the Brummels weren't the only ones padding their resumes with a current covers set – in '64, the Supremes attempted a collection of then-contemporary British Invasion hits, for instance – but it was a decidedly odd choice for a major label debut. To make matters worse, the final product, 66, can't decided whether it wants to be a group-flavored reinterpretation of these oh-so-familiar tracks or a Sounds of the Sixties studio group replication. When it's the former, the platter has its enjoyable moments, when it's the latter – as when lead singer Sal Valentino subordinates his uniquely mournful voice to imitate Peter Noone crooning "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" – it just sounds lame.

66 is typically most successful when the material being reworked has a folk-rock vibe in its core. The album opens on a strong note: John Lennon's "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away," a track that fits Valentino's melancholy song stylings beautifully. Further along, the band puts its sonic stamp on Paul Simon's (mislabeled "Paul Smith" – of Smith & Garfunkle? – by CCM on the disc's back cover) "Homeward Bound" and the Mamas and Papas' "Monday Monday" to good purpose. And in perhaps the album's most surprisingly successful remake, they replace the descending bass lines in Nancy Sinatra's big hit, "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," with garagey guitar fillips. The amusing results wouldn't sound out of place on one of Rhino's Nuggets compilations, placed 'tween tracks by the Standells and the Music Machine.

Much more hapless are remakes of "Louie, Louie" and "Hang On Sloopy" (essentially the same song, of course), along with a totally misapplied version of Sonny Bono's "Bang Bang." The Brummels' "Bang" fumbles the memorably kitschy bridge of Cher's original single so completely that the guys never get the song back afterwards. "The Hits of Our Time Performed by Five Who Know How," is how Warner Bros. attempted to sell 66 to a less-than-enthusiastic record-buying public. Listening to "Bang Bang" or the band's misapplied attempt at recreating Rolling Stones menace on "Play with Fire," and you might wanna take issue with the "who know how" part of that blurb . . .

(Coming Soon: A look at the Beau Brummels' self-titled final album for Warners Brothers – also being reissued by CCM.)
# |

Pop cultural criticism - plus the occasional egocentric socio/political commentary by Bill Sherman (popculturegadabout AT yahoo.com).

On Sale Now!
Measure by Measure:

A Romantic Romp with the Fat and Fabulous
By Rebecca Fox & William Sherman

(Available through Amazon)

Measure by Measure Web Page

Ask for These Fine Cultural Blogs & Journals by Name!

aaronneathery.com News
Aaron Neathery

American Sideshow Blow-Off
Marc Hartzman

Arf Lovers
Craig Yoe

Sean T. Collins

Barbers Blog
Wilson Barbers

The Bastard Machine
Tim Goodman

The Beat
Heidi MacDonald

Kevin Church

Big Fat Blog
Paul McAleer

Big Mouth Types Again
Evan Dorkin

Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Blog This, Pal!
Gordon Dymowski

Rod Lott

Cartoon Brew
Amid Amidi & Jerry Beck

Cartoon Web Log!
Daryl Cagle

Clea's Cave
Juana Moore-Overmyer

Collected Editions

The Comics Curmudgeon
Josh Fruhlinger

The Comics Reporter
Tom Spurgeon

Christopher Butcher

Comics Waiting Room
Marc Mason

Comics Worth Reading
Johanna Draper Carlson

a dragon dancing with the Buddha
Ben Varkentine


Electromatic Radio
Matt Appleyard Aaron Neathery


Eye of the Goof
Mr. Bali Hai

Fred Sez
Fred Hembeck

Greenbriar Picture Shows
John McElwee

The Groovy Age of Horror
Curt Purcell

The Hooded Utilitarian
Noah Berlatsky

Hooray for Captain Spaulding
Daniel Frank

The Horn Section

The House Next Door
Matt Zoller Seitz

Howling Curmudgeons
Greg Morrow & Friends

The Hurting
Tim O'Neil

I Am A Child of Television
Brent McKee

I Am NOT the Beastmaster
Marc Singer

In Sequence
Teresa Ortega

Innocent Bystander
Gary Sassaman

Irresponsible Pictures

Jog - The Blog
Joe McCulloch

The Johnny Bacardi Show
David Allen Jones

Dirk Deppey

King's Chronicles
Paul Dini

Let's You And Him Fight
One of the Jones Boys

Mah Two Cents
Tony Collett


Michael's Movie Palace

Nat's TV
Nat Gertler

Ned Sonntag


News from ME
Mark Evanier

No Rock&Roll Fun
Simon B

Omega Channel
Matt Bradshaw

Pen-Elayne on the Web
Elayne Riggs

Peter David

Dorian White

Progressive Ruin
Mike Sterling

Punk Rock Graffiti
Cindy Johnson & Autumn Meredith

Revoltin' Developments
Ken Cuperus

Marc Bernardin

Matt Hinrichs

Self-Styled Siren

Spatula Forum
Nik Dirga

Tales from the Longbox
Chris Mosby


The Third Banana
Aaron Neathery & Friends

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Ivan G. Shreve, Jr.

Toner Mishap
B2 et al

Trusty Plinko Stick
Bill Doughty

TV Barn
Aaron Barnhart et al

Unqualified Offerings
Jim Henley

Various And Sundry
Augie De Blieck

Video WatchBlog
Tim Lucas

When Fangirls Attack
Kalinara & Ragnell

X-Ray Spex
Will Pfeifer

Yet Another Comics Blog
Dave Carter

A Brief Political Disclaimer:

If this blog does not discuss a specific political issue or event, it is not because this writer finds said event politically inconvenient to acknowledge - it's simply because he's scatterbrained and irresponsible.

My Token List of Poli-Blogs:

Roy Edroso


Jane Hamsher

James Wolcott

Lance Mannion

The Moderate Voice
Joe Gandelman


Amanda Marcotte & Friends

The Sideshow
Avedon Carol

Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo

Talking Points Memo
Joshua Micah Marshall

This Modern World
Tom Tomorrow

Welcome to Shakesville
Melissa McEwan & Friends

Blogcritics: news and reviews
Site Feed

Powered by Blogger

    follow me on Twitter