Various Artists

Dance with Me: The Autumn Teen Sound

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Thirty songs (16 previously unissued) drawn from the archives of Autumn Records, the San Francisco-based label founded by deejays Tom Donahue and Bobby Mitchell, with a young producer named Sylvester (aka "Sly") Stewart mostly running the musical end. The biggest act ever on Autumn was the Beau Brummels, who ended up on Warner Bros. when the label was sold in 1966, but there were lots of other good (and even a few better) groups on the label -- the Mojos, represented here by the title track and a nicely snarling version of the Stones' "Off the Hook," and a bunch of others, among them the Tikis (later much more famous as Harpers Bizarre), the Chosen Few, the Us, the Bundles, the Gear One, and the Knight Riders. The sounds here are, obviously, quintessential mid-1960s, with some good garage band representation, including "Little One" (in a stripped-down alternate take) by the Spearmints, the moody "Anything" and the soaring "I Still Love You" by the Vejtables, and the Knight Riders' "Won't You Be My Baby" (very Outsiders-like, and unissued until 1994), but there's also surf music (the Upsetters' "Draggin' the Main") and protest songs (the Mojo Men's "As I Get Older," written by Sylvester Stewart). The Knight Riders' "I" is a wonderfully sneering piece of garage rock which somehow failed to get released until 1968, two years after the label folded. The sound is killer -- there seem to be original tapes on everything here, and it was all recorded good and loud. Alec Paleo's notes are pretty cool too.

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