Garage Rock Classics CD (2004)

Artist: Various Artists

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Superb disc of '60s garage rock

by on 6/27/2004

When Lenny Kaye put together the legendary double-LP "Nuggets" in the early '70s, he kicked off an anthologizing craze that's still going strong. Varese's producers navigate a rockin' line between the more well-known names of '60s garage rock and the sort of obscurities found on anthology series' like "Pebbles" and "Beyond the Grave." It's a winning mix, combining killer classics like Paul Revere & The Raiders "Just Like Me" and The Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie" with lesser-known gems like The Moving Sidewalks' "99th Floor" (featuring a young Billy Gibbons, later of ZZ Top) and The Litter's "Action Woman." ¶ Followers of garage rock will know most these tracks, but given the regional fame of many singles, and the uneven quality of their anthological reissue over the years, there will be some nice surprises for even die-hard collectors. More importantly, those familiar only with the national hits will treasure this introduction to a broader sampling of mid-60s garage rock riches. This is a superb disc for charting a course to additional purchases (e.g., original album reissues and multi-disc box sets like "Nuggets" and "Nuggets II"), with 25 well-selected original tracks and liner notes from garage rock authority (and "Ugly Things" fanzine editor) Mike Stax. ¶ Cuts 1-3, 9-12, 17-18, and 24 are true stereo, while the rest are AM-radio-ready mono. Tracks 26-28 were recorded live at the Cavestomp garage rock celebrations in 1999 and 2000, and show aging garage rockers - especially The Standells - to hang on to their mojo with impressive force.

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Product Overview

Garage Rock Classics features 25 “must have” 60s Garage Rock hits (with three bonus live tracks), plus many highly sought-after tracks found nowhere else that are making their CD debut. This is one of the best single-volume compilations of Garage Rock ever assembled!


Label Varese Sarabande
SKU 61009421
UPC 030206656527
UPC 14 00030206656527
Format CD
Release Date 6/8/2004
Author Various Artists
Technical Info
Producer Dale Hawkins; Dave Hassinger; Maurie Bercov; Eddie Davis; Scott Cameron; Max Uballez; Gordon Bynum; George Badonsky; Hal Winn; Bill Holmes; Clark Besch; Ken Chase; Timothy Kehr; Mike Fornatale; Joe Hooven; Brian Ross; Normann Gregg H. Ratner; Billy Carden
CatalogID 066565
Lable Name Var?se Sarabande (USA)
Released 06/08/2004
Original Release 2004
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00030206656527
Musical Guests
Paul Lindsay
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: Jack Ely (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Mike Stax .
Recording information: Westbeth Theatre Centre, New York, NY (??/??/1960-11/05/2000).
Arrangers: Steve Rabe; Gary Lovetro; Brian Ross; Billy Cardenas; Gene Gunnels; The Premiers; The Romancers; Ed King.
Hey, the title doesn't lie. Well over a dozen of these tracks are '60s garage rock classics -- Paul Revere & the Raiders' "Just Like Me," the Sonics' "Psycho," the 13th Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me," the Kingsmen's "Louie, Louie," the Electric Prunes' "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)," the Nazz's "Open My Eyes," the Music Machine's "Talk Talk," the Leaves' "Hey Joe," the Amboy Dukes' "Journey to the Center of Your Mind," and Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction" all qualify with flying colors. In fact, no less than 17 of these tracks also appear on the Nuggets box set, the widely acknowledged cr?me de la cr?me of the genre (and Nuggets did not include the Shadows of Knight's biggest hit, "Gloria," which does make the lineup here). However, that also means it's a little puzzling who the audience for this single-disc anthology is, other than those who might want a less expensive compilation and aren't too particular about assembling a big library of the best garage cuts. That's particularly the case since the menu's filled out by half a dozen or so far rarer, less familiar cuts that aren't in nearly the same league as their neighbors, though some of these are pretty nifty, like the bizarre early psychedelia of the Giant Crab's "Listen Girl" and Strawberry SAC's "In Relation" (which unsurprisingly sounds much like the Strawberry Alarm Clock, considering that it featured several former members). If you're a casual fan who's just looking for the odd good garage comp, though, there's no reason to be disappointed with this disc -- there are lots of classic garage cuts here (including a couple of great regional-only hits that also appear on Nuggets, the Litter's "Action Woman" and the Del-Vetts' "Last Time Around"), with a range that encompasses influences from pop, psychedelia, and folk-rock. The CD ends with three bonus tracks of live 1999-2000 performances by the Standells, the Blues Magoos, and the Syndicate of Sound reprising their big hits, and while it would have been far better to feature the original 1960s versions, at least all of the 25 preceding cuts are the original 1960s recordings. ~ Richie Unterberger
Professional Reviews
Mojo (Publisher) (p.130) - 4 stars out of 5 - "25 great examples of high-octane proto-rock."
Disc 1
1 Just Like Me - Mark Lindsay/Paul Revere & the Raiders - (featuring Paul Lindsay)
2 Outside Chance - The Turtles
3 Gloria - Shadows of Knight
4 Psycho - The Sonics
5 You're Gonna Miss Me - The 13th Floor Elevators
6 Fortune Teller - Thee Sixpence
7 Louie, Louie - The Kingsmen
8 Mr. Moon - The Coachmen
9 Liar Liar - The Castaways
10 Little Black Egg, The - The Nightcrawlers
11 I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night) - The Electric Prunes
12 Open My Eyes - The Nazz
13 E.S.P. - Rain
14 Listen Girl - Giant Crab
15 I See The Light - The Five Americans
16 Talk Talk - The Music Machine
17 Hey Joe - The Leaves
18 Last Time Around - The Del-Vetts
19 Action Woman - The Litter
20 Farmer John - The Premiers
21 99th Floor - The Moving Sidewalks
22 In Relation - Strawberry SAC
23 Love's The Thing - The Romancers
24 Journey To The Center Of Your Mind - The Amboy Dukes
25 Psychotic Reaction - The Count Five
26 Dirty Water - The Standells (live)
27 (We Ain't Got) Nothing Yet - Blues Magoos (live)
28 Little Girl - The Syndicate of Sound (live)
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Superb disc of '60s garage rock by on Jun 27, 2004