Almost Hits: Love, “My Little Red Book” (1966)

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Authored by Hal David and Burt Bacharach, “My Little Red Book” was a staple of just about every garage rock band’s diet during the ’60s.

Manfred Mann’s jazz styled version of the song — which appeared in the movie, “What’s New Pussycat” and on their My Little Red Book Of Winners album — spoke of heartache leading to romance on the rebound. That may have been the initial inspiration for groups to tackle its charms, but credit goes to Love for taking the tune to an even higher profile and turning it into a real classic.

Fusing the ragged and bluesy aggression of the Animals and the Pretty Things with the spangly folk pop of the Byrds, Love’s cover of “My Little Red Book” (Elektra Records) shudders and shimmers in tandem to an intense performance stamped with the jingly sound of a shaking tambourine, gruffly passionate vocals, a thudding beat and a hard and heavy groove.

Although “My Little Red Book,” which was released in the spring of 1966, was a huge hit in Love’s hometown of Los Angeles, as well as some other regions throughout the country, it missed clasping the national Top 40 charts. Nonetheless, the song has lived on and became the yardstick by which authentic garage band rock is measured by.

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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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