Friday, April 11, 2014

The Dakotas - Meet The Dakotas


The Dakotas' four-track 1963 EP Meet the Dakotas combined the A-sides and B-sides of their first two singles, "The Cruel Sea"/"The Millionaire" and "Magic Carpet"/"Humdinger." All of the tracks (unlike the Merseybeat ones they cut as the backup group to Billy J. Kramer) show them to be a very accomplished instrumental group in the style of the Shadows, with perhaps some Ventures influence, too. Easily the best of the four is the taut and eerie "The Cruel Sea," which made number 18 on the British charts, though American listeners might be more familiar with it via the Ventures' cover version. Though The Dakotas did release five singles in the U.K., they never put out an album, making this rare EP, oddly, the lengthiest Dakotas release. The four tracks, fortunately, were all included on the Billy J. Kramer compilation The EP Collection, which otherwise features material from Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas that appeared on mid-'60s EPs.

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