From 1966, Columbia Record Club fake hits, by the no-cheating-in-the-packaging Copy Cats. I mean, let's cut to the chase--No "Jack and the Hit-Makers" or "Columbia Record Club-eers;" just the plain ol' Copy Cats. Honesty in packaging. And these are what you might term boringly competent fakes, depending upon how fake you prefer your fakes, or you might find them refreshingly spot-on. All the tracks are in glorious mono, though I think I have a stereo copy someplace in my overflowing rows. And there's unmistakably a certain amount of flanging happening in/on select tracks (Bus Stop, in particular), and I have no idea why. Typically, flanging involves a second or third tape machine on which the tape speed is subtly manipulated to produce either a delayed or ahead-of-time out-of-sync effect--the type I get when I place two MAGIX files atop one another. A hollow "wooshing" sound is one of the features of flanging. I generally find it annoying.
My first thought was that somehow the flanging happened in the studio when Columbia combined the left and right channels, but I can't believe those could happen out of phase, unless somehow Columbia was using separate machines for the right and left channels. Such a thing seems not only improbable, but impossible. So, it's a mystery.
I was nine when these songs dominated the Top 40, so I recall all of them first-hand--except for Hungry. Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (Lil' Red Riding Hood) seemed pretty cool to me at the time, though not so much now that I'm 64. I remember the Hollies' Bus Stop getting tons of airplay both during its hit period and afterwards as an oldie, and I loved it, whereas Hanky Panky did, and continues to do, nothing for me. I don't remember when I discovered Tommy and the Shondells were covering a 1963 record by the Raindrops, a group consisting of a multi-tracked Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, but it was a bit of a surprise, if not a shock. The Shondells gave the number a garage-band feel, which was their prerogative, though I think the lyrics sound more appropriate in the Greenwich-Barry original, which was a typical song describing a dance, a song type which included The Twist, The Loco-motion, and, in earlier eras of pop, The Creep, The Bunny Hop, and Charleston. The Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the City was another mega-hit, at least in my Top 40 market (NW Ohio), and it, too, joined the perpetual oldies loop for the next however many years. Which I mostly didn't mind, since it's a fine number.
Today's Bacharach-David number, Trains & Boats & Planes, is regarded as one of Burt and Hal's classics, though I've never been overly fond of it. I've tried to fall in love with it, but you can't force love. Nor can you hurry it. And You Can't Hurry Love is a number I couldn't wait to be unburdened with back when AM stations were repeating it long past its chart life, but now, years later, I'm free to objectively evaluate its merits, and I've decided it's a superior number and production, even in this Copy Cats copy-cat version. Wild Thing was another played-to-eternity oldie, and I frankly never cared for it, nor do I care for it now. So there. However, my take should have no bearing on your enjoyment or lack of enjoyment of this inane, slightly irritating classic. A nice version of Guantanamera, a song popularized by Pete Seeger, and whose folk history I don't remember much of, except that the origins are very strange (a Cuban songwriter/radio host singing about a girl from Guantanamo and adding one verse per week, or something like that, with the addition of beautiful verses by 19th century poet José Julián Martí Pérez). Bottom line is that, in its present form (forms?), it works superbly as a patriotic/protest song, as a plea for the rights and dignity of the poor. I find it incredibly moving, however strange its history. The Copy Cats do a very decent job copy-catting the excellent Sandpipers.
Fourteen tracks, though the entire playlist only takes about 39 minutes.
NOTE: Once again, my Chrome browser is telling me that the downloaded zip file is "dangerous" (I always do a test download), which it also did with my previous two uploads. However, last time, the notice stopped happening within a day, so it's clearly some kind of temporary glitch occurring somewhere (in my browser, at the hosting site...?). Please let me know if you have any issues. Update: I've added a Box.com link.
DOWNLOAD: You Can't Hurry Love--The Copy Cats (1966)
Box.com download link: https://app.box.com/s/pg8tfr7uv1xgdesja064ktyd2r64jifc
Land of 1000 Dances
Trains & Boats & Planes
Red Rubber Ball
I Saw Her Again
You Can't Hurry Love
Summer in the City
Lil' Red Riding Hood
You Can't Hurry Love--The Copy Cats (Columbia Record Club D 242; 1966)