Almost Hits: The Beau Brummels, “Don’t Talk To Strangers” (1965)

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Credit usually goes to the Byrds for founding the folk-rock movement, but the Beau Brummels were actually the first band to not only play such a style but obtain commercial success in the process.

Based out of San Francisco, California, the group dispensed a pair of back to back TOp 20 hits with “Laugh Laugh” and “Just A Little” early in 1965, predating the rise of the Byrds by a good couple of months.

Original, grounded and sporting as much teen appeal as their British counterparts, the Beau Brummels boasted an additional secret weapon, which was lead guitarist Ron Elliott’s exceptional songwriting abilities. Few and far American bands composed their own material at the time, making the Beau Brummels an ace of an anomaly.

Only Reaching No. 52 on the charts in the fall of 1965, “Don’t Talk To Strangers” (Autumn Records) plugs in as a tour de force of its kind. Flooded with glistening guitars, sweeping harmonies and sophisticated melodies, the attentively arranged and performed tune radiates with fire and passion.

Crisp and punchy, “Don’t Talk To Strangers” is a quintessential illustration of folk-pop godliness.

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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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