Forgotten series: Willie and the Walkers – 30th Anniversary Collection (1996)

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During the latter half of the 1960s, Willie and the Walkers experienced phenomenal success throughout their home turf of Western Canada.

To give you an idea how special the band was, they nabbed a deal with Capitol Records and traveled to Clovis, New Mexico, where they cut a string of piping hot sides at Norm Petty’s studio, which is of course best known for producing top of the line tunes by Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

Blessed with a gift for composing their own material, Willie and the Walkers not only had what it took to write appealing lyrics, but they were also highly strategic when it came to organizing and arranging the goods.

Songs such as “The Door Leads To Nowhere” and “I’ve Given Up My Soul” sparkle like fireworks in a star-filled summer sky, “Baby Do You Need Me” gushes with yearning emotion and “My Friend” gallops along at a super spunky beat that makes you want to dance, sing and click your heels with joy.

Characterized by crystal clear vocals, stately harmonies, jangly guitar chords and hefty melodies, impressions of the Beach Boys, the Zombies, the Hollies and the Fortunes are firmly imprinted within the priceless pop pieces featured on this disc.

A whiff of psychedelic perfume further appears on the set, in the form of “The Magic In Her Eyes,” which squirms and wiggles to a spellbinding Middle Eastern sound.

Presenting nothing but superb songs, 30th Anniversary Collection (El-Jay Records) is a dazzling display of a band that deserved to be heard by a far bigger audience.

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at
Beverly Paterson

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