The Knickerbockers

Knickerbockerism!: Hits, Rarities, Unissued Cuts & More...

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Though its modern-day connotation means something quite the opposite in terms of flattery, the Knickerbockers in their heyday were the ultimate bar band. With a stripped-down lineup of guitar, bass, drums, and tenor saxophone and all four members singing, their repertoire truly "covered the waterfront." Their harmonies were gorgeous, fuller and sharper than your average self-contained band, and their collective ear for mimicry was unparalleled. When they recorded a deadly accurate Beatle sound-alike original, "Lies," for the tiny Challenge label, it started zooming up the charts, and the band seemed poised for multi-talented stardom. Alas, it was not to be, but certainly not for lack of talent. This definitive 36-track two-disc set documents -- if not the best the group had to offer -- at the very least, the best they were allowed to commit to magnetic tape, and spotlights their many strong points (impeccable harmonies, a solid-as-a-brick rhythm section, and a willingness to adapt to different types of material thrust upon them). We'll never really know what the Knickerbockers were ultimately capable of, but this collection shows that even when their rockin' locomotive was put on a single direction track, they still had much to contribute. A one-hit group, perhaps, but one with more talent than chart success, that much is obvious.

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