1965: Paul Revere & The Raiders - Here They Come!

Full disclosure: my dad, who died five years ago, loved this record, a fact that will likely cloud my judgment. In fact, I’m counting on it: I decided to check out Here They Come! as an exercise, a way to understand his tastes. He was a guy who knew what he liked and knew when he needed the things he liked. As a music obsessive, I’m the same way; he was no addict, but we shared a belief that music can heal almost all wounds.

Here They Come! was the debut record by Paul & The Raiders, a band that started in Boise but relocated to Oregon. They quickly became a sensation in the Pacific Northwest, but because of promotional opportunities pending a scheduled TV appearance, the band’s first album came out two years after Columbia signed them. That two year-gap -- between 1963 and 1965 -- is clearly evident on Here They Come!, with a first side devoted to early-'60s garage rock and a second mainly focused on Rubber Soul-era balladry.

This dichotomy works surprisingly well, giving the record a focused, concept-album feel. The live tracks on side one show how Paul Revere & The Raiders became an act that knew how to get the party started. The album starts, in fact, with the sounds of a crowd ready to have a good time -- a few stray claps and some random exclamations as the band tries out their Hammond B3. The notes get louder, the drums rumble, and an announcer says the band’s name as if introducing Cassius Clay. They launch into the barnburner “You Can’t Sit Down” as if only rock ‘n’ roll will keep them alive.

Frontman Mark Lindsay sings “stomp and shout and work it on out” a few times in these early tracks, and he’s a consummate showman throughout, whooping like James Brown and screaming like Roger Daltrey. His band is no less exuberant, and the rhythm section here is especially incredible; drummer Mike Smith’s fills on “Money (That’s What I Want)” are nothing short of explosive. Audiences must have loved these guys (though I choose not to use the crowd on this record as evidence either way; I swear I heard the same “woo!” and clap pairing multiple times. I smell studio trickery).

Side two works equally well, but in different ways. Paul Revere & The Raiders clearly knew their way around their instruments, as evidenced by the slow R&B track “Sometimes,” which hints at the fuzzy psychedelia of the late-'60s. It’s a heart-wrencher, as is the next track, “Gone,” which lets the Hammond organ that was used to start the party wind things down. The band also tries their hand at “Fever” and “Time Is On My Side,” both gems filled with wailing guitars and Lindsay’s raspy delivery.

I suspect I’d love this record without my dad’s influence, but, of course, I’ll never know; when I listen, I can only picture him humming along to bass lines and tapping his foot in time. My sister and I both got married within a couple years of each other, both shortly after my dad died. We shared a wedding band, and they played a Paul Revere song at both occasions, in his honor. They stomped, shouted, and worked it on out as much as a wedding band could, and both times, as guests danced furiously, it reminded me of my dad’s love of making people happy. In this, he shared an interest with Paul Revere & The Raiders, a bunch of crowd-pleasers who believed in the power of fun.

1. You Can’t Sit Down
2. Money (That’s What I Want)
3. Louie, Louie
4. Do You Love Me
5. Big Boy Pete
6. Ooh Poo Pah Doo
7. Sometimes
8. Gone
9. These Are Bad Times (For Me and My Baby)
10. Fever
11. Time Is On My Side
12. A Kiss to Remember You By

DeLorean

There’s a lot of good music out there, and it’s not all being released this year. With DeLorean, we aim to rediscover overlooked artists and genres, to listen to music historically and contextually, to underscore the fluidity of music. While we will cover reissues here, our focus will be on music that’s not being pushed by a PR firm.

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