Sunday, March 1, 2009

Syndicate Of Sound - Little Girl (1966)

Formed in San Jose, CA, in 1964, the Syndicate of Sound were one of the premier garage bands and forerunners of psychedelic rock, establishing a national following based on one massive 1966 hit, "Little Girl." Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Don Baskin, guitarist/keyboardist John Sharkey, lead guitarist Jim Sawyers, bassist Bob Gonzalez, and drummer John Duckworth, the predecessors to the Syndicate of Sound were groups called the Pharoahs and Lenny Lee and the Knightmen. After recording an unsuccessful single for the Scarlet label, on January 9, 1966, Syndicate of Sound recorded "Little Girl" at a studio in San Francisco for Hush Records; it became a regional hit in California after San Jose ... Read More...
1 Big Boss Man Dixon, Smith 2:54 2 Almost Grown Berry 2:11 3 So Alone Sharkey 3:04 4 Dream Baby Walker 2:37 5 Rumors Sharkey 2:06 6 Little Girl Baskin, Gonzalez 2:27 7 That Kind of Man Baskin 2:17 8 I'm Alive Ballard 2:20 9 You Sharkey 2:44 10 Lookin' for the Good Times Sharkey 2:24 11 The Witch Roslie 2:30 12 Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby? Austin, Jordan 2:20 13 The Upper Hand [*] Baskin, Gonzalez 2:14 14 Mary [*] Baskin 2:32 15 Keep It Up [*] Baskin 2:44 16 Good Time Music [*] Baskin, Gonzalez
The teen-band pride of San Jose, CA, the Syndicate of Sound scaled the heights of the rock & roll world for a very brief moment in the summer of 1966 with their Top Ten hit "Little Girl." With a catchy, jangly electric 12-string riff, a solid beat, a macho teen vocal, and a chord progression heavily influenced by "Hey Joe," the tune perfectly mirrored the sound of the times and was a can't-miss hit, a British sound played with American garage enthusiasm. But their success ride was short; within a year or two, their ranks were decimated from the draft, touring exhaustion, and the musically changing times. This reissue serves as their lasting legacy, combining the original 12-song album with four bonus tracks. Kicking off with a pair of souped-up R&B covers, the album casts a pretty wide net, with half of the tunes penned by various bandmembers. Of these, ballads sit alongside rockers like "Lookin' for the Good Times (The Robot)" and "Rumors" (complete with Yardbirds-style fuzz guitar rave-up in the middle), while the Kinks-style "That Kind of Man" is an imaginative British-sound knockoff. The outside material, however, is where the band shows their true chameleon-like strength. Covers of the Hollies' "I'm Alive," Louis Jordan's "Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby" (via Buster Brown's version), the Sonics' "The Witch," and Roy Orbison's "Dream Baby" show a band that could either play a song "just like the record" or bring their own twist to the proceedings. The four CD bonus tracks likewise demonstrate that the group had no shortage of original material, but unfortunately nothing compiled here has the hit sound of "Little Girl," an easy explanation as to why the group ended up with one-hit wonder status
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