Les Sauterelles

The Columbia Recordings 1965-1967

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The Columbia Recordings 1965-1967 is basically a reissue of Les Sauterelles' 1966 debut LP with nine bonus tracks, the extras including a few outtakes, the 1965 non-LP single "Hong Kong"/"Janet," and both sides of a couple of Italian-language 45s. The album was one of the first rock LPs recorded by a Swiss band, and though quite derivative and filled almost wholly by covers of American and British artists, it was a decent if raw approximation of the mid-'60s British beat sound. Certainly the material chosen was diverse, from the Byrds and Dylan to Bob Lind, Ian & Sylvia, the Beatles, and the Who. Their garage-like covers of Lind's "Cheryl's Going Home" and the Sorrows' "No No No No" were actually quite good, and their perky cover of Dylan's "Desolation Row" unusual, though other numbers were substandard or little more than faithful copies of the prototypes. A small glimpse of a more original sound could be heard in one of the two originals, "Springtime," which was pretty fair Who-style mid-'60s mod rock. The English-sung bonus tracks are pretty forgettable, and one of the Italian singles is just Italian versions of two songs from the LP ("Routine" and the Byrds' "I'll Feel a Whole Lot Better"). The other two Italian numbers, though, are more interesting, "Aiuto!...Va Sempre Male" fleshing out the 1966-1967 Who influence, "Il Quinto Non lo Paghi" showing more of a folk-rock/Beatles flavor, though with showbizzy horns.

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