Forgotten series: You Ain’t Gonna Bring Me Down To My Knees: Strafford/Right Records Story (1965-1969)

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What we have here is a neat little 1996 overview of New England based bands whose efforts were handled by two local labels, Strafford and Right, during the greatest period of rock and roll.

Sounding like a bodacious blend of the Big Three and the Swinging Blue Jeans, the Tidal Waves nail pumping rhythms to monster pop hooks on “Laugh” and “You Name It,” while the sassy frat boy strut of “So I Guess” features a cool and sexy six-string solo.

Then there’s the Outside In’s “You Ain’t Gonna Bring Me Down To My Knees,” which surpasses the Animals at their own game. Combative vocals growling with intent crash headlong into militant riffs, screaming choruses, jittery breaks and creaking keyboards, resulting in a bona fide garage punk classic. The Outside In additionally check in with “Sometimes I Don’t Like Myself,” a smooth and classy soul ballad.

Stuffed with stabbing horns, “Operation Blue Light” by Skid Mark and the Victims jiggles and jives to a funky feel, and the heavily orchestrated “When Mother Nature Was A Girl” from the Falcons yields progressive rock frequencies.

Echoes of the Buckinghams and the American Breed can be heard on the big band pop arrangements of “You Make Me Shake The Blues” by the 90th Congress. A multifaceted group, they further toyed with psychedelic experimentation, as revealed on “The Sun Also Rises,” which contains flickerings of shivery raga rock runs complemented by summer breeze harmonies.

Low on quantity, but high on quality, You Ain’t Gonna Bring Me Down To My Knees: The Strafford/Right Records Story (1965-1969) (Collectables Records) involves a nice balance of styles. The music scene at the time was very rich and diversified, and this compilation offers a good look at the boundless creativity taking place.

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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 reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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