Forgotten series: Paul Revere, the McCoys, others – Whole Lotta Lava (1993)

Found in the bargain bins at the now-defunct Borders Books some years ago, this Risky Business disc bears the subtitle “Make Out Music From The Psychedelic Era,” which is partially appropriate. Although the songs were indeed fathered during the hazy, crazy days of flower power, and a number of them do whisper and purr sweet nothings, a few of the tunes are actually suited more for shuffling the feet to than snuggling and cuddling to.

Take for example, the plucky garage pop of “Say Those Magic Words” by the McCoys (featuring future guitar god Rick Derringer), the jittery, silly bubblegum blush of Brute Force’s “Tapeworm Of Love,” and from Paul Revere and the Raiders, there’s the hopping, bopping ecstasy of “Tighter.”

In the hands of Deep Purple, “Hush” was a heavy duty monster, but here on the recording by Billy Joe Royal, a southern pop rock code, accompanied by smooth psychedelic shadings, conducts the performance. Fueled by zesty rhythms and knife-wielding breaks, October Country’s “My Girlfriend Is A Witch” punches in as a goofy ode to a broomstick riding lover.

Beaming on and on with silky textures and heartstopping harmonies, the Millennium’s “Some Sunny Day” certainly does produce images of sunshine, while the Wild Life’s “This Is What I Was Made For” blends crisp folk figures with lush pop accessories.

Soft, gentle and dripping with romance, Tommy Roe’s “It’s Now Winter’s Day” sparkles with beauty and sophistication, and “You Know I’ve Found A Way” by Sagitarius blinks brightly with decorative details consisting of colossal choruses, glistening melodies and wave upon wave of color and light. Set to a bouncy, easy going pace, the Lamp of Childhood’s “No More Running Around,” proposes a vow of fidelity, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band’s “Piggy Bank Love” is a cute and charming little ditty, and Chad and Jeremy’s “You Are She” shimmers and swells to a sensuous showcase of angelic vocals.

Slinking, sliding and swaggering with stirring sounds, Whole Lotta Lava is a thoroughly satisfying listen. Catchy arrangements, tangy hooks and just the right mix of mush and muscle allow the collection to be a real winner.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 on the national charts with "Stand By Me" - which is ironically one of her favorite songs, especially the version by John Lennon. She has also contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as associate editor of Rock Beat International. Paterson's own publications have included Inside Out, and Twist And Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.