Originally known as the Downbeats, Paul Revere & the Raiders came out of the Northwest's frat boy club scene, a group of young white guys trying desperately to sound black, producing a kind of garage R&B in the process, helped by the band's fun stage show and sax player turned lead singer Mark Lindsay's soulful voice and amazing ability at mimicry. By the time they became entrenched as the house band on Dick Clark's Where the Action Is television series in the mid-'60s, the band began to walk a delicate line between being teen idols and being a tough, sneering garage band, half cartoon and half substance on hit singles like "Kicks," "Hungry," "Good Times," and "Just Like Me," finally ending up as Columbia Records' best-selling rock group as 1967 dawned, with three gold record albums to their name. But the Beatles had released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and the times they were definitely changing in the pop music world, and the Raiders scrambled to find their place. Released in 1968, Goin' to Memphis was a straight shot of Stax-like R&B, and while it worked as much as it didn't, it didn't generate a hit or big sales. Something Happening, released later that same year, was a phased-out psychedelic and Lindsay-produced muddle, although it did contain at least one hidden pop gem, the this-should-have-been-a-hit "Don't Take It So Hard." Issued in 1969, Hard 'n' Heavy (With Marshmallow) had less production excesses and again had a couple minor gems, most notably "Time After Time" and the odd Freddy Weller-penned "Hard and Heavy 5 String Soul Banjo." But the Raiders' image didn't fit the emerging rock culture of the day, and the band took to blind submitting songs to radio under the fake name Pink Puzz, all of which were collected to make the Alias Pink Puzz album that appeared later in 1969. This double-disc set collects all three of these transitional albums in one package, adding select bonus tracks, including a couple from the band's ill-fated and bizarre 1967 Christmas album Christmas Present...and Past. It shows a talented band capable of doing anything from teen love ballads to hard-crunching, R&B-fueled rock stomps trying desperately to keep up with the mercurial changes of the pop world.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2