The Royal Guardsmen

The Best of the Royal Guardsmen

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Of course, the heart of this hourlong, 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 & Roll Star," "As Tears Go By"). Though they made four albums, this best-of is a little more than anyone really needs of the Royal Guardsmen. [The Best of the Royal Guardsmen is identical in tracks and sequencing to the 1995 One Way compilation of the Royal Guardsmen, Anthology.]

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