One Track Mind: Kenny Loggins and the Second Helping, “Let Me In” / “Hard Times” (1968)

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Never in a million years would anyone guess the lead singer of this gritty and gutsy single is Kenny Loggins. Sounding like a remarkable cross-pollination of the Standells, the Pretty Things and the Shadows of Knight, rather than the designer folk rock and impeccably manicured pop Kenny is known for, both sides of the disc key in as killer slices of premium garage punk.

Fierce vocals, fuming with frustration, deliver the message loud and clear on “Let Me In,” which scolds a girl, who won’t come out of room or answer the phone, for not returning Kenny’s affections. Spiked with sharp and pointy guitar riffs and taunting keyboard breaks, the tune boils with hot and fiery action from start to finish.

The flipside of this Viva Records single, “Hard Times,” boasts rather crude production values — which is understandable, considering it was recorded in a living room. But the garbled, mumbling sneering combined with speedy strumming and trashy drumming are in total accord with the tenor of the theme.

Hailing from Alhambra, California, the Second Helping released a pair of other singles before parting company. Although they weren’t the most technically gifted musicians, there’s no debate they were energetic and passionate, which are traits that always go far when it comes to making great rock and roll.

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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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