The Outsiders “Songbook”
After the Outsiders delivered their super raw, half live half studio lp in 1966, they released perhaps one of the finest records of the mid 60’s, Songbook (1967). At the time, this record was viewed as a proper sophomore release. In recent years Songbook has been seen as a compilation, consisting of 3 compositions from the debut album along with 11 singles only tracks recorded throughout late 1966 to mid 1967.
Songbook showed that Wally Tax and the band within a years time, had grown substantially as musicians and songwriters. The first four songs of the album were out of the box classics. Bird In A Cage is a sizzling live cut with studio quality fidelity that opened the album. The excellent static fuzz blues of Bird In A Cage gives way to two classic folk-rockers, Keep On Trying and Lying All The Time. This is arguably the Outsiders at their peak, making tough engaging outlaw rock n roll that few have equaled before or since. Filthy Rich was one of the few cuts from the debut, a proto slice of pure punk rock and angst.
It’s been reported that they even upstaged and outplayed the Rolling Stones at around the time of these recordings.
Other killers on this classic Nederbeat record are an eloquent european folk ballad, Summer Is Here, a forlorning but stately I’ve Been Loving You So Long and the bitter Monkey On Your Back. The latest recording sessions yielded the above fruits and hinted at the direction the Outsiders would take on a future release, the immortal CQ. Monkey On Your Back is a catchy pop rocker with Tax’s soulful world weary vocals and it’s priceless stuff. Tax’s vocals were always so brutally honest and had a matter of fact quality about them. It’s what made the Outsider’s so special, along with Ron Splinter’s blazing fuzz leads. Touch was another frantic, brutal rocker that had a unique euro-folk bridge and wild guitar riffs.
The Outsiders were one of the best of a fertile Holland scene that produced great bands like the Q65, Ro-d-y’s, Group 1850, Sandy Coast, Focus, the Zipps, Brainbox, the Motions, and the Golden Earring amongst many others. In recent years I have seen quotes floating around the rock critic world claiming the Outsiders to be one of the greatest unknown rock bands of the 60’s that are from a non-English speaking territory. I believe them to be one of the greatest underground groups period, regardless of territory or timeframe.
“Summer Is Here”
Below, one of their earlier tracks, the great punk classic, Won’t You Listen:
“Won’t You Listen”