The most versatile of the R&B-steeped bar bands that played the club circuit in the Pacific Northwest in the early '60s, Paul Revere & the Raiders at their best somehow managed to merge Spike Jones, King Curtis, James Brown, the Byrds, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, the Kinks, and the Rolling Stones into one rollicking pop pastiche. They also had energy, drive, and ambition, and they knew how -- and were willing -- to play the game. This three-disc, 66-track set collects all of the singles, both A- and B-sides, the group released for Columbia Records between 1963 and 1975. There’s a little bit of everything here, from crisp soul-jazz (“Night Train,” “Swim,” “Terry’s Tune”) to California surf (“Corvair Baby”), R&B country (“Leslie,” “Seaboard Line Boogie”), Beatlesque pop (“There She Goes,” “Him or Me -- What’s It Gonna Be?”), and the punk garage sound of the band’s biggest hits (“Just Like Me,” “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “Good Thing”). It adds up to a pretty concise portrait of a remarkably entertaining band whose pretensions only occasionally overwhelmed its R&B-fueled pop energy.
The Complete Columbia Singles Review
by Steve Leggett