Almost Hits: Thee Prophets, “Playgirl” (1969)

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Based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Thee Prophets included Brian Lake on lead vocals and organ, Jim Anderson on lead guitar, David Leslie on bass and vocals, and Chris Michaels on drums.

Big things were in store for the band, but in the end their most notable claim to fame was “Playgirl” (Kapp Records), which peaked at the #49 spot on the national charts in the spring of 1969. Although the song frolicked to jubilant pace, the lyrics were stitched of a sobbing nature, as they scolded a liberated lady for her free-loving ways. So much for the sexual revolution of the times…

Swamped with creamy harmonies, slanted towards the doo-wop side of the field, aided by brassy instrumentation and a burst of bubblegum buoyancy, “Playgirl” owes a prominent nod to the slick and smooth style of groups such as the Buckinghams, the Spiral Starecase and the Grass Roots. All good vintage pop fans need not be informed the Knickerbockers previously released their own spiffy version of the tirelessly tuneful track.

Thee Prophets also issued an album, bearing the same name as their swinging single. Holding fast to the refined, radio-friendly sound heard on “Playgirl,” the disc sparkles with pristine pop presentations.

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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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