The Squirrels

Scrapin' for Hits

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

For a band that never has gotten the attention it clearly deserves, the Squirrels and main man Morgan had built up one heck of a repertoire by the mid-'90s -- the result, Scrapin' for Hits, a celebration of all that is wonderful in Squirreldom sampling from all over the band's career. Organized in no particular way other than to cause maximum entertainment, Scrapin' brings together cuts familiar and not as familiar to make the best case for Squirrels godhead one could hope for. Four new tracks surface: one's a remake of "Betsy" from Harsh Toke of Reality, and a fine one at that, while the other three again show Morgan's mad range. Semi-regular guitarist Henry "Henry Boy" Jenkins contributes the kicky original "Too Bad" that opens the set, "Johnny B. Marching Home" shoehorns Chuck Berry's rock landmark into the patriotic standard, and "Hawaii Take 5-0" gives a similarly fun treatment to Dave Brubeck and the Ventures. As for the older cuts, plenty of winners from the legendary What Gives? and Harsh Toke albums surface, as do five numbers ("Hungry for Love," "Spirit in the Sky," "Hair," "Restless," and "Amos Moses") from Five Virgins. Other rarer tracks reappear here, including their contribution to Pravda's series of tributes to '70s-K-Tel hell, a trudging-with-kid-vocals version of "Seasons in the Sun" that speeds up and evolves into Van McCoy's "The Hustle." The legendary "Oz on 45" single appears in a new (and third overall) mix, as does its rarer flip side, a straightforward and weirder for it take on Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)." Another '70s pop trash classic, Daniel Boone's "Beautiful Sunday," gets a fantastic revamp, which originally appeared on another compilation. Topping it all off are the two sides of Morgan's pre-Squirrels single when leading early Seattle new wave sorts the Pudz: "Take Me to Your (Leader)" and, forecasting his later cover antics, a take on R. B. Greaves' singalong 1970 hit "Take a Letter, Maria." Liner notes and essays from appreciative friends and fans like Mojo Nixon and Scott McCaughey, a family tree, and another wickedly funny cover, parodying the legendary butchers cover of the Beatles' Yesterday and Today, all help make this a definitive collection.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
2 2:14
4 1:13
6 2:58
7 3:15
8 0:42
9 1:51
10 1:57
11 3:53
12 3:10
13 3:12
14 3:01
15 3:31
16 1:25
17 2:19
21 2:02
22 2:56
23 2:55
24 2:14
25 2:35
27 3:53
blue highlight denotes track pick