the Standells ~ 1964 ~ The Standells In Person At P.J.'s
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A year or two before they really hit upon the garage rock style for which they're most known, the Standells were a popular club band in Los Angeles, grinding out covers of recent hits. In Person at PJ's is a document of their live set at the time, the ten tracks devoted mostly to well-worn R&B/rock tunes like "Money," "Louie Louie," "Bony Maronie," "Linda Lu," "So Fine," and "I'll Go Crazy," with a nod to the British Invasion in the Beatles' "You Can't Do That." If this is a disappointment, it's only in relation to the far more original work the Standells would do only shortly thereafter. If judged as a frat rock album (disregarding its having been recorded in a prominent urban club rather than a frat), it's actually considerably above the average; the group plays well and with verve. But the lack of original material and particularly distinctive approaches to the songs means it's not nearly as interesting as what they'd record later, and the sound quality is actually a bit subpar, though certainly listenable. You can hear a hint of what was to come in Dick Dodd's lead vocal on one of the less famous songs, Jimmy Reed's "Help Yourself," but largely this bears little relation to the Standells' best records. ~ Richie Unterberger
Larry, Very nice to hear such important details first hand. Very important for me such detailed information on the line-up of musicianss. I tried to lead you to edit line-up. It is impossible to cover everything. Thank you very much.
A fairly accurate review. However, the Standells at the time of this album were composed of Larry Tamblyn, Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino & Gary Lane. "The Shake" was recorded previously to this album in a studio. It was not part of the "Standells In Person at PJ's LP, but was added later as a bonus on "The Standells Live and Out of Sight" LP (released after the Standells first hit "Dirty Water". Gary Leeds was the drummer in that song, but left shortly afterward to form the Walker Brothers, in which he changed his last name to "Walker". He was replaced by Dick Dodd who actually sang on two tracks on this album; "Help Yourself" and "What Have I got of my own". Larry Tamblyn did most of the lead singing on this album, and later occasionally sang lead on some of the Standells material, including "Mr. Nobody" (The flip side of "Why Pick on Me"), & "Saint James Infirmary". Like the Beatles, the Standells played in night clubs for several years before having their first hit record, and like the Beatles the Standell did R&B cover songs like "Money". You can go to the Standells official Facebook page to learn more.
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