Formed in Grand Rapids, MI in 1963 by a trio of Godwin High School students, the JuJus never recorded an album but released an impressive series of poorly recorded but wonderfully energetic singles on local labels, including the ragged and raw garage cult classic “You Treat Me Bad,” and if they weren’t exactly polished musicians, the band certainly understood what made the little girls scream. Led by singer Ray Hammel and the throaty saxophone playing of Max Colley, Jr., the group played the state’s frat circuit, mixing in thinly disguised R&B licks with a dose of folk-rock, British Invasion echoes, and, later, a nice splash of psychedelia, sounding a bit like the Beau Brummels crossed with the early Kinks. “You Treat Me Bad” got a lot of play on the regional radio stations, but the band was no more by 1967. This set collects all of the group’s singles and adds in a live track and a handful of unissued sides to make a complete history of this fun little band. Highlights include two versions of “You Treat Me Bad,” the breezy “There She Goes,” “Hey Little Girl” (in two versions), “Do You Understand Me” (which borrows the main riff from the Rolling Stones' “The Last Time” and somehow gets away with it), the impressive “Sometime or Other,” and the delightful “If You Really Love Me,” which may have been the band’s melodic peak and certainly deserved some airplay. Countless garage bands like the JuJus sprang up in the mid- to late '60s, and most of those never did more than play a handful of gigs and left behind nothing but stacks of yellowed handbills in someone’s attic or basement, but the JuJus left behind at least 23 fun tracks of local garage band history, all of which is collected here.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett