The Premiers

Farmer John Live

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Although the parenthetical title of this disc claims it was documented "live" and even gives February 29th (must have been a leap year), 1964, as the date, Farmer John is, in reality, a studio recording with copious -- perhaps too much so -- sound effects added for ambience. The title track was originally by the R&B duo Don & Dewey, although it was the Premiers who were able to make a Top 20 hit in the summer of 1964 -- a rare feat during the burgeoning British Invasion. The garage rock styling and rag-tag vocal call-and-response chorus made it an apt predecessor to tracks such as "Louie Louie." The rest of the album retains the same loose party atmosphere and includes a bevy of timely cover tunes, including "Don't You Just Know It," "Over the Mountains, Across the Sea," and a pair of Johnny Ace tracks: "Anymore" and "Cross My Heart." A majority of the material is suited for dancing, such as the up-tempo and swinging "I Won't Be Back Next Year" and the appropriately titled "Feel Like Dancing," challenging even the fuddiest of duddies to keep their respective toes from tapping. This was the sole Premiers long-player, although several singles were cut in the mid- to late '60s for the indie Faro label prior to the group disbanding. In 2003, Collectors' Choice Music reissued the title in all its teenie bopper-meets-garage rock party glory.

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