The Turtles

Outside Chance

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Song Review by

While the Turtles were largely undistinguished as song writers, they were first rate when it came to choosing good material from others. Co-written by their White Whale label mate Warren Zevon, Outside Chance is a defiant statement of personal irony, melding the sound of the folk-rock era onto a deceptively bittersweet pop tune. Solidly backed by John Barbata’s percussion beats, Howard Kaylan’s lead vocals capture just the right contrast of optimism and false-bravery. The lyrics, in which the vocalist brashly rejects a former lover’s attempt to reconcile, are an early example of Zevon’s ability to create incisive sharp-edges surrounding a song that doesn’t sound like it should have them. Like a wounded lover hedging bets on a second chance, Kaylan’s vocals make you believe that he’s secretly hoping to be wrong, that the outside chance of getting back together comes through.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
You Baby/Let Me Be 1966 Sundazed 2:08
Golden Hits [White Whale] 1969 White Whale
Turtle Wax: The Best of the Turtles, Vol. 2 1974 Rhino 0:00
The Turtles' Greatest Hits 1984 Rhino 2:10
30 Years of Rock N Roll: Happy Together 1995 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 2:10
Elenore: 30 Years of Rock 'n Roll 1995 Laserlight / Delta Distribution 2:10
Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 [Box Set] 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:04
Most of the Turtles 1999 DJ Specialist 2:08
Solid Zinc: The Turtles Anthology 2002 Rhino 2:09
Garage Rock Classics 2004
Various Artists
Varèse Sarabande 2:07