To most folks, the phrase Detroit rock & roll either means the high-energy overdrive of MC5, the Stooges, and the Amboy Dukes, or the no-nonsense working-class rock of Bob Seger and Mitch Ryder. But before those acts established themselves in the public eye, the Motor City already had a thriving garage rock scene in the early to mid-'60s, and one of the real movers and shakers in pre-psychedelic Detroit rock was Dave Leone, who ran The Hideout, Detroit's leading teen dance club, and later branched out with his own record label, Hideout Records. Friday at the Hideout collects 21 highlights (18 on LP) from the Hideout catalog, and while legal problems prevented the inclusion of any of the six sides a young Bob Seger cut for Leone (among them the anti-draft-dodging classic "The Ballad of the Yellow Beret"), this is still a top-shelf collection of quality Midwest stomp, and at least two other names destined for bigger things pop up. Teenaged Glen Frey played with two different Hideout acts, the Byrds-centric the Four of Us and moody popsters the Mushrooms, both of whom are in fine form here (the former do a great version of " "Feel a Whole Lot Better," while the latter score with "Burned"), and future glam goddess and Happy Days regular Suzi Quatro's early band, the Pleasure Seekers, are on hand with their near-legendary paean to the joys of teenage beer-swilling, "What a Way to Die." Elsewhere, you get some quality frat rock with attitude from Doug Brown and the Omens (including "Youth and Experience," perhaps the only great garage rock tune written to endorse a candidate for the U.S. Senate), some fine guitar mauling from the Henchmen (no relation to the similarly named Detroit band of the '90s), five cuts from scene stalwarts the Underdogs (including "Man in the Glass," whose lyrics are cribbed from the Alcoholics Anonymous big book, and a solid version of the title cut), and the Fugitives, whose gloriously low-tech version of "Friday at the Hideout" drips with teen-club ambience as they explore the possibilities of reverb. It ain't exactly Kick out the Jams, but Friday at the Hideout is nearly as much fun, and a must for anyone interested in the roots of Detroit rock.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming