Paul Revere and the Raiders – Spirit Of 67′

Artist: Paul Revere and the Raiders
Genre: Rock, Classic Rock
Title: Spirit Of 67′
Musicians: Paul Revere-Keyboards, Mark Lindsay-Lead vocals (except as indicated), saxophone, Phil “Fang” Volk-Bass, lead vocals on “In My Community” and “Why? Why? Why?”, Michael “Smitty” Smith-Drums, lead vocals on “Our Candidate”, Drake “The Kid” Levin-Guitar, backing vocals, Jim “Harpo” Valley-Guitar
Producer: Terry Melcher

Paul Revere & the Raiders was an American rock band that saw considerable U.S. mainstream success in the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s. Initially based in Boise, Idaho, the Raiders began as an instrumental rock band led by organist and founder Paul Revere Dick (January 7, 1938 – October 4, 2014) In his early 20s, Revere owned several restaurants in Caldwell, Idaho and first met singer Mark Lindsay while picking up hamburger buns from the bakery where Lindsay worked. The circumstance of their meeting was later referred to in the tongue-in-cheek song “Legend of Paul Revere”, recorded by the group. Lindsay joined Revere’s band in 1958. Originally called the Downbeats, they changed their name to Paul Revere & the Raiders in 1960 on the eve of their first record release for Gardena Records. The band garnered their first hit in the Pacific Northwest in 1961, with the instrumental “Like, Long Hair”. When Revere was drafted for military service, he became a conscientious objector and worked as a cook at a mental institution for a year and a half of deferred service. During the same time period, Lindsay pumped gas in Wilsonville, Oregon. On the strength of their Top 40 single, Lindsay toured the U.S. in the summer of 1961 with a band that featured Leon Russell taking Revere’s place on piano.

By summer 1962, Revere and Lindsay were working together again in Oregon with a version of the Raiders that featured Mike “Smitty” Smith, a drummer who would spend two extended periods with the band. Around this time, KISN DJ Roger Hart, who was producing teen dances, was looking for a band to hire. Hart had a casual conversation with a bank teller who told him about a band called “Paul Revere-something”. Hart obtained Revere’s phone number and they met for lunch. Hart hired the band for one of his teen dances. Soon afterward, Hart became the group’s personal manager. It was Hart who suggested they record “Louie Louie”, for which Hart paid them about $50, producing the song and placing it on his Sandē label, ultimately attracting the attention of Columbia Records.  Whether the Raiders or the Kingsmen recorded “Louie Louie” first is not certain; however, both groups recorded it in the same studio in Portland, Oregon, in April 1963. By then, the Raiders included Revere, Lindsay, Smith, guitarist Drake Levin, and bassist Mike “Doc” Holliday, who was replaced in early 1965 by Phil Volk.

In 1965, the Raiders began recording a string of garage rock classics. Under the guidance of producer Terry Melcher, the group relocated to Los Angeles and increasingly emulated the sounds of British Invasion bands such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Dave Clark Five, and the Animals, while adding an American, R&B feel. Their first major national hit, “Just Like Me” (No. 11, 1965) was one of the first rock records to feature a distinctive, double-tracked guitar solo, performed by guitarist Drake Levin.

The Spirit of ’67 is the sixth studio album by American pop rock group Paul Revere & the Raiders. Produced by Terry Melcher and released in November 1966 by Columbia Records, and featured the singles Hungry, The Great Airplane Strike, and Good Thing. This album was reissued five more times in the United States. In 1966, it was reissued by Columbia on Vinyl as a Mono version #CL2595, which is the one I have. (My cover is in better condition as well than the one I used to illustrate this review).
From the back cover: Paul Revere is the leader of the group, Paul is the oldest of the group. Mark Lindsay is a magnificent physical package of the sort the Creator may throw into a generation as a bonus to the deserving or as a gesture of apology for some of His other subjects. Philip Volk is the baby Raider, and the cute Raider and the happy Raider. Jim Valley is a winner. He is nicknamed “Harpo” because he not only resembles the Marx brother, but performed with a Portland band who wore top hats and he wanted to join the Raiders who don’t. Michael Smith is the smallest and quietest Raider. He was discovered by Revere in a poor attempt at playing guitar and running a teenage club in Portland. He became  the drummer.

This is a good example of the fact that sometimes the mono version is better than the stereo version (depending on how it is done).
Surprisingly, this is a rather diverse LP, which I will note in the song breakdown to follow.

1. “Good Thing” – This sounds like a combination of the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys (on the chorus).
2. “All About Her” – This is a sad breakup song and well done with great lyrics and a mandolin is used as well that gives it a unique flavor.
3. “In My Community” – Paul Volk takes  the vocal duties on this track and it features the organ of Paul Revere, of course. This is just a great song that almost sounds like an answer to The Who’s “My Generation”, but not as hard and it’s more of a bright song.
4. “Louise” – By the title one would think it would be a love song in the style of a ballad, but nope. It’s a rock song with a slight Monkees flavor.
5. “Why? Why? Why? (Is It So Hard)” – This sounds like another Monkees flavored song and in fact, Paul Volk takes the vocals here as well and does sound a bit like Peter Tork of The Monkees in this slightly psychedelic song.
6. “Oh! To Be a Man” – This track is a ballad and somewhat dark. It would be my least favorite.

Side two
7. “Hungry” – This was one of their hits. To me it is kind of in the style of many bands of the time. It is typical 60s rock, but the good stuff that really has that feel and can set the mood for a party.
8. “Undecided Man” – They use a full string section on this song and no other instruments are used in it. Very interesting to do this type of song on a rock LP. It has a slight Beatles flavor too.
9. “Our Candidate” – This is a Blues/Rock style song done in a similar style to Bob Dylan’s “Motopsycho Nightmare”.
10. “1001 Arabian Nights” – This is the longest song on the LP, but only four and a half minutes long. It has that east Indian influence of the sixties, slightly psychedelic and stays true throughout the song, but it is interesting.
11. “The Great Airplane Strike” – This closing song is kind of like a psychedelic Rolling Stones.

This LP earns high marks for its sound and content.


Here’s a treat, this is a 14 minute clip of the late Paul Revere and the Raiders live doing the song “Hungry” and two others. First is a shtick on vinyl records that is funny.

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