From the Vault...


Various Artists
"Battle Of The Bands"

© K-Tel Records

Year of Release: 1988

track listing
  • "Hang On Sloopy"--
    The McCoys
  • "A Question Of
    The Balloon Farm
  • "We Ain't Got
    Nuthin' Yet"--
    Blues Magoos
  • "Little Bit O'Soul"--
    The Music
  • "Keep On Dancing"--
    The Gentrys
  • "Dirty Water"--
    THe Standells
  • "Talk Talk"--
    The Music
  • "I Fought The Law"--
    The Bobby
    Fuller Four
  • "Lies"--
    The Knickerbockers
  • "Shake"--
    Shadows Of Knight
  • "Psychotic Reaction"--
    Count Five
  • "Road Runner"--
    The Gants
  • "Pushin' Too Hard"--
    The Seeds
  • "Blue's Theme"--
    Davie Allan &
    The Arrows

  • WSVNRadio Archives
    A B C D E F G H I J K L M
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    Various Artists
    "Battle Of The Bands"

    Battle Of The Bands has always been a phrase that every band enjoys. It gives each band exposure, and hopefully, become the main act to perform at clubs. (From personal experience, it is a great feeling to have that opportunity; the band I was in in 1985, performed for a Battle Of The Bands at the Thirsty Whale in Illinois, and not being a heavy-metal band, as the main format of the bands that played at this club, we were given the opportunity to headline a weekend there.)

    K-Tel's Battle Of The Bands is a "Best Of The 60's Garage Bands," another term for the young and inspiring bands. Most bands start out playing in someone's garage, with months and months of practice, and destined to become a name for themselves. 14 songs are on this release, and most of them are artists and songs that everyone has heard.

    So, let's bring them out, and see who's the Best, for the Battle Of The Bands -- Best Of The 60's Garage Bands...

    Band 1: The McCoys vs. Band 2: The Balloon Farm
    First off, we have The McCoys (featuring Rick Derringer) vs. The Balloon Farm. "Hang On Sloopy" would become a common favorite song in Rock & Roll: It became a standard song for every band starting out, likewise a song heard at most weddings. It also reached #1, becoming The McCoys only #1 hit. Rick Derringer would later become a very popular artist in his own right, having a big hit in the 1970s, with "Rock And Roll Hoochie Coo", and would also become a popular album producer for Johnny and Edgar Winter.

    The Balloon Farm, however, would only have one hit, "A Question Of Temperature," therefore becoming a one-hit wonder. It's a good psychedelic tune, yet we never heard of The Balloon Farm with another hit. Therefore, our winner is definitely The McCoys.

    Champ: The McCoys vs. Contender: The Balloon Farm
    The Blues Magoos released 4 albums from 1966 to 1982, yet their claim to fame is with only one hit record, "We Ain't Got Nuthin' Yet," a great psychedelic number, having a great sound, and easily fitting the garage band stereotype. Their best-of compilation, Kaleidoscope Compendium, features their best recordings from their career. Most people thought The Blues Magoos were a one-hit wonder; that may be true to a sense, but they did have other albums, yet never achieving another hit as big as "We Ain't Got Nuthin' Yet."
    With the popularity of The McCoys, (and yes, they had other hits and albums), The McCoys wins again.

    Champ: The McCoys vs. Contender: The Music Explosion
    The Music Explosion was another one-hit wonder, with "Little Bit O'Soul." This song is a classic... having the old Laurie 45 as a youngster, it was always played constantly, and on a more lengthy note, this song would be sampled by The 2 Live Crew. "The F**k Shop" mixes this song with Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love."
    With great personal memories of this song, The Music Explosion gets the nod in becoming the new champ.

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: The Gentrys
    The Gentrys only had two albums in 1965 and 1970. "Keep On Dancing" would be the title of their first album, and the title track would be their most famous hit. Lead vocalist Jimmy Hart would later become famous, not as a singer, but as a wrestling manager for the World Wrestling Federation in the 1980s; his famous client was Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan.
    The memories of "Little Bit O'Soul" keeps on dancing...

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: The Standells
    Now we have some competiton... The Standells "Dirty Water" is a classic song for any band to start out their musical tastes. The Very Best Of The Standells features 16 songs from 3 albums the band released. But, "Dirty Water" stands out as being their most famous hit.
    Hmmmm, this one is too close to call... Yet those memories are still there...

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: The Music Machine
    The Music Machine's "Talk Talk" would become a standard for punk bands. Even Alice Cooper had his own version when the Coop was experimenting with punk music, on his 1980 album Flush The Fashion. The Music Machine was another one-hit wonder. With "Talk Talk" becoming popular for other artists in the next decade to come, we never heard of The Music Machine again. Therefore...

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: The Bobby Fuller Four
    Another good competition here... "I Fought The Law" would also be a staple for garage bands, likewise for punk bands as well. The Clash would release a version of this tune on their self-titled debut. The Bobby Fuller Four released only two albums, one in 1965, and the other in 1966. Tragically, Bobby Fuller was found dead in his car in 1966. Sources said it was suicide, yet friends speculated in was murder by mobsters.

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: The Knickerbockers
    With one album to their name, The Knickerbockers would have one hit, "Lies." This song has the early Beatles sound, and it would have been interesting to hear more of this band, if they had more albums. Vocalists Bobby Randell and Jimmy Walker would have unsuccessful solo careers; Walker replaced Bill Medley as a Righteous Brother, but we all knew that was a lie -- Medley's voice is so recognizable, often imitated, never duplicated.

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: Shadows Of Knight
    The Shadows Of Knight has Van Morrison to thank: "Gloria" would be a big hit for Morrison's band Them, likewise for The Shadows Of Knight. However, "Shake" is the tune here, where they proved that they were not a one-hit wonder. "Shake" is a great tune, just as "Gloria" and another hit they would have, "Oh Yeah." All 3 of these songs can be found on Dark Sides: The Best Of The Shadows Of Knight.
    Oh yeah, the judges still has The Music Explosion winning the battle.

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: Count Five
    The Count Five had one album and a live release. Yet "Psychotic Reaction" would be their only claim to fame, a great psychedelic tune.
    Too much psychotic, and not enough little bit o'soul...

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: The Gants
    The who? No, that was another band. The Gants may never have been a household name, but the mostly instrumental "Road Runner" would have a recognizable sound effect -- the famous "beep beep" heard in the Road Runner Looney Tunes cartoons. A good 60s tune, it has the atmosphere of another famous 60s song, "Hippy Hippy Shake."
    The Music Explosion -- still running the road...

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: The Seeds
    Now here's where I get critical. The Seeds released 7 albums from 1966 to 1993, and "Pushin' Too Hard" seemed to be the most popular... I never liked this song, and with 5 of 7 albums released in the 60s, this is what they came up with.
    The Music Explosion -- doesn't need any pushin' here...

    Champ: The Music Explosion vs. Contender: Davie Allan & The Arrows
    What ever became of these guys? "Blue's Theme" is a great instrumental, that could have easily been a biker's favorite. It's another one-hit wonder from 1967; this song was from the movie The Wild Angels. Starring Nancy Sinatra and Peter Fonda, a motorcycle gang rescues one of their own from the hospital and uses the occasion to run rampant in the place. When their friend dies on the way home, they stage a funeral service that soon becomes an orgiastic, drug-induced celebration.

    The final votes has been tabulated, and the winner is...
    The Music Explosion

    K-Tel's Battle Of The Bands is a great trip for those who have been in a garage band, and for any band who is starting out, just to get the musical juices flowing. Any of these songs are definites to those who started out in a band, whether in a garage or not.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of K-Tel Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #786
    Neil Diamond--The Greatest Hits 1966-1992
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    Alice Cooper--Dada