When the Kingsmen's ragged, stumbling and accidentally brilliant version of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" broke out as a national hit in 1964, it created a three-chord stomping template for garage and frat bands everywhere, and the Kingsmen themselves never abandoned the organ-driven R&B approach that spawned the song, working the formula into other hits like "Jolly Green Giant" and the huge, crushing "Killer Joe." This set collects the essential tracks and tosses in a few instrumentals, as well. A few of the cuts are supposedly done live in concert, but one can never be sure with the Kingsmen, since the group's early albums would frequently have dubbed in audience noise added to studio performances. Not that it matters much with a group this immediate and raw -- the Kingsmen hardly needed audience noise, real or not, to sound exciting.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett