Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Vagrants - The Great Lost Album

Most famous for featuring Leslie West on guitar in his pre-Mountain days, the Vagrants were extremely popular in their home base of Long Island, NY in the mid-'60s, and recorded some decent singles without approaching a national breakout. Like fellow New Yorkers the Rascals, the Vagrants prominently featured a Hammond organ, and often played soul-influenced rock. The Vagrants were far more guitar-based than the Rascals, however, as well as projecting a more garagey, less mature outlook; their later material lands somewhere between the Rascals and Vanilla Fudge.

One of the few rock bands signed to the folkie Vanguard label, the Vagrants cut some fair singles between 1965 and 1968 that suffered from a lack of ... Read More...
The Great Lost Album 
01 - Respect
02 - I can't make a friend
03 - Beside the sea
04 - I don't need your loving
05 - Young blues
06 - And when it's over
07 - A sunny summer rain
08 - The final hour
09 - My babe
10 - I love you, i love you
11 - Oh those eyes
12 - You're too young
13 - Your hasty heart
14 - Satisfaction
Issued in 1987 and not available for too long, Arista's The Great Lost Vagrants Album is not an actual lost Vagrants album, but a ten-track compilation combining both sides of their three 1967-68 Atco singles, their 1966 Vanguard single "I Can't Make a Friend"/"Young Blues," and two 1966 outtakes. Seven of the ten songs are also on the Southern Sound Vagrants LP compilation I Can't Make a Friend, though that record's missing three songs (the outtake "My Babe," and the Atco B-sides "I Love, Love You (Yes I Do)" and "Beside the Sea") from the Arista anthology. The Southern Sound comp might have the edge, as it has some tracks not on The Great Lost Vagrants Album, including both sides of the pre-Vanguard 45, one of which, "Oh Those Eyes," is a cool garage rocker with a tune derived from "Walk Don't Run"; the Vanguard B-side "Your Hasty Heart"; and a 13-minute unreleased version of "Satisfaction." And neither of those LPs have been too easy to come by over the years. Got it all? That said, The Great Lost Vagrants Album really isn't a very interesting album, despite its historical significance as the launching point for Leslie West. Other than "Respect" and "I Can't Make a Friend," it's pretty average period 1966-68 fare without much of an identity, mixing varying loads of garage rock, soul, pop, and psychedelia.
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