Paul Revere and the Raiders “The Spirit of ’67”

Spirit of 67

Silly costumes aside, the Raiders were one of America’s great rock bands. Their costumes and top 40 pop image kept the band from being taken seriously and a later, 70’s version of the Raiders placed more emphasis on comedy and entertainment than artistic merit. Surely it was one of rock’s hardest downfalls but in their day the Raiders were something special and Spirit of ’67 was one of their unqualified triumphs.

This album was released at the tail end of 1966 and could best be described as the band’s Revolver. Mid period Raiders’ records had the benefit of a strong in-house writing team (Lindsay/Revere) and the production talents of the great Terry Melcher. The hits Good Thing and Hungry are here, and while they are a fine testament to the group’s commercial image, the rest of this record is just as impressive taking on a dizzying array of pop styles without a single stumble or fall. Highlights include the gritty Northwestern hard rock of Louise, which harkens back to the band’s early Oregon days, a jangly folk-rocker Why? Why? Why? that had a strong Byrds feel, reflective 60’s pop in the form of Oh! To Be A Man and the pulsating psychedelia of 1001 Arabian Nights. The band even found time to write Undecided Man, an excellent Eleanor Rigby cop with a prominent string arrangement and dramatic Mark Lindsay vocals.

The last track, The Great Airplane Strike, a minor top 40 hit, was one of the band’s finest ever. Airplane Strike is a hard, lean rocker with powerful, spiraling fuzz leads and Lindsay’s best Jaggeresque vocals. It’s a killer track and while the band would release another good record in Revolution, they never bettered Spirit of ’67. Recommended.

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“The Great Airplane Strike”

:D CD Reissue | Sundazed | 1996 | buy from Sundazed | amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1966 | ebay ]

Paul Revere & the Raiders – Kicks

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  • daniel

    Hi guys. Great stuff on this blog. I’m running a swedish blog with kind of the same music, but it’s in Sweden so you won’t understand a word… Great to see that others share love for this great music. Keep up the good work!

  • Hey, thank you for the link to my Beatles’ posts from last week. I think your blog is awesome, so I am happy to stumble across it. I’m 25, and my father was a radio disc jockey in Wisconsin for about ten years, mid-1960s to mid-70s….back when “the radio” was listenable. I’ll have to forward him this site and see if he remembers anything! I know for certain that he will fondly recall Paul Revere and the Raiders, as I’ve actually seen them in concert with him.

  • Len Liechti

    I’ve been fascinated by this outfit for more years than I can remember, but it’s taken me until now to bite the bullet and buy the compilation (Kicks! The Anthology 1963-1972, on the fine Raven label from Oz). You have to realise that the original Raiders didn’t do diddley here in the UK. Even the offshore “pirate” radio stations that ruled pop broadcasting here from 1964 to 1967 never gave them a mention: totally incomprehensible for such a high-profile act in the States. Yeah, we got the 1910 Fruitgum Company and the Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus, so it wasn’t bubblegum phobia that held them back. And after we gave you guys the treasure that was Herman’s Hermits, the least we could have got in return . . . anyway, you get my drift.

    Pleasant surprise! Apart from the rather limp early version of “Louie, Louie” and the misguided attempt at smooth country rock from “Indian Reservation” onwards, everything in between is damn good power pop with occasional psych overtones, well played (assuming they did play on all their own records) and funkily sung. The mid-period Terry Melcher-produced stuff even bears comparison with Aftermath and Between The Buttons-period Rolling Stones (“Great Airplane Strike”, “Good Thing”, “Louise”, “Tighter”, “Peace Of Mind”). So why the complete indifference until comparatively recently? There’s nothing here that the Monkees weren’t also guilty of, and they’ve been reassessed and revalued – quite rightly – for a long time now. Well, nothing apart from those dreadful uniforms. Perhaps we Brits haven’t forgiven you lot for the Revolutionary War yet.

  • I own a copy of the Spirit Of ’67 LP. A friend at work was cleaning out his collection and gave me another copy of the LP. I was surprised when I played his record to find that his Spirt Of ’67 LP had a longer version of ‘The Great Airplane Strike’ than mine did. It’s the same exact cover. They’re both mono copies, but his outro for the song is about 20 or 30 seconds longer than the one on the copy of Spirit Of ’67 that I owned. Have you heard of this before? Do you know why, or how this happened? I’m mystified!

    Oh yes, and Paul Revere And The Raiders are a very cool band, and Spirit Of ’67 has some great songs on it, ‘The Great Airplane Strike’ being one of those. My favorite line–“The man come back, he said sorry but that wing space just been sold!”

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