The La De Das

How Is the Air Up There? 1966-1967

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This 29-track compilation collects pretty much all of the cover versions that the La De Das -- one of New Zealand's most popular bands of all time -- recorded as a group during their most productive two-year period. Most of these tunes were originally recorded by mod British groups, as well as hardline American R&B acts, appearing variously on 45s, an EP, and their first two albums. Their first hit -- 1966's "How Is the Air Up There?" -- entered the then-recently started New Zealand Hit Parade, eventually peaking at number four. The song was picked up by Sydney radio stations and before long it was number one on the charts there. Their cover of John Mayall's "On Top of the World" (released in November 1966) made it to number two on the national charts. Afterwards, they began maintaining a residency at Auckland's hippest night club, the Galaxie, hitting again with a cover of Bruce Channel's "Hey Baby," which scored a number one position in March 1967. Other covers included here include: "Gimme Some Lovin'" (Spencer Davis Group), "My Little Red Book" (Love, the Standells), "Hey Girl," "What'cha Gonna Do About It," and "Shake" (the Small Faces)," as well as the oft-covered blues/R&B chestnuts "Bright Lights, Big City" (Jimmy Reed), "I Put a Spell on You" (Screamin' Jay Hawkins), and "Land of a Thousand Dances" (Chris Kenner, Cannibal and the Headhunters).

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