The Royal Guardsmen

Anthology

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Of course, the heart of this hour-long, 20-track compilation is the series of Snoopy novelty hits enjoyed by the Royal Guardsmen in the mid-'60s, starting with the million-selling "Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron." The group had a few other singles chart entries, all of which are here, sometimes making reference to aerial themes ("Airplane Song [My Airplane]"). Though cute and catchy with their martial drumming and banjo picking, the Snoopy songs have a trash-rock quality in the tradition of "Louie, Louie" and "Hang on, Sloopy." Elsewhere, the group veers from one mid-'60s style to another, sometimes re-creating the good-time sound of the Lovin' Spoonful, other times using harmonies that sound like the Association, then resorting to covers (an instrumental version of "So You Want to Be a Rock 'N Roll Star," "As Tears Go By"). Though they made four albums, this anthology, which brought them back into print in 1995, is a little more than anyone really needs of the Royal Guardsmen.

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