Monday, December 3, 2012

#135: Paul Revere and the Raiders - Midnight Rider (1966)

At first I started to wonder if Paul Revere had considered the Google ramifications of choosing his name. SO I went to Google only to discover that his given name is 'Paul Revere Dick' and then I thought he made the right choice. 'Paul Revere and Raiders' has a better ring to it than 'Paul Dick and the Raiders'.

I'm not sure what I expected to hear, but wow this guy has a voice on him. It's sultry, soulful, and it rocks. Musically the song vamps a lot but it really allows the focus to stay on Revere. While the song could be redone today and would absolutely rock, it still holds it own all these years later. It's an incredibly solid track. Definitely worth the listen if you've never heard of this group before.

(I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone
Paul Revere and the Raiders sound like a mish-mash of several other bands. If I had to pick a band their most similar to, I'd have to choose the Zombies - except these guys rock a little more with a little less focus on harmonies. The album uses excessive vamping and for the most part it's very effective, especially when it kicks into a different phrase. It's good but it doesn't grab me quite like 'Kicks' did.

There She Goes
Now this song uses a ton of harmonies. It's got a very different feel to it, ditching part of the rock for a little more folk. However, it's the vocals that really make the track. I'm a sucker for vocals singing horn parts. Rhythmically and musically it varies a lot more each phrase stands on it's own. It's short, sweet, and to the point but it's also one of the best tracks on the album.

All in all, I fell in love with them on the first track and then slowly fell out of love throughout the album. Don't get me wrong, the album is solid throughout, but the record starts out at the top of the mountain and then slowly descends. I debated taking off points for the voice over at the end (reminded me of the nightmare that was Phil Spector's 'Silent Night') but decided against it. As the vocals stopped, I listened to the music and the harmonies and I realized that taking off points would be childish. Then, moments later, the same voice over started to replay in it's entirety. So I took off two points.

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