The Outsiders

Time Won't Let Me

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There aren't too many debut albums anywhere quite as strong as the Outsiders' first long-player. The fact that "Time Won't Let Me" is only the most familiar song here -- but not even necessarily the best track on the album -- demonstrates just how firm a footing Tom King, Sonny Geraci, Bill Bruno, and Mert Madsen had in delivering their first long-player. The 11 songs here, five of them originals co-authored by Tom King -- which encompass the classic title track and four others that are pretty good (and two better than that) -- and six covers, are all fine examples of mid-'60s garage rock with a blue-eyed soul edge, and there's hardly a moment on this album that isn't engaging in the extreme. Indeed, the big surprise to listeners today is how strong the rest of the album -- beyond "Time Won't Let Me" -- is, whether they're covering the Spencer Davis Group ("Keep on Runnin'"), Bobby Day ("Rockin' Robin" -- in a rendition that really does rock), or Buddy Holly ("Maybe Baby"); indeed, the only slack moment anywhere might be a less-than-riveting rendition of the Jay & the Americans chestnut "She Cried"; and they make up for it with a very successful and slightly arty, string-accompanied original ballad in the equivalent position on side two, to close the album. The other amazing aspect of this album's history is that no one has seen fit to reissue it on CD, as of 2009.

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