The Beau Brummels

Beau Brummels '66 | Collectors Choice
By BRETT MILANO  |  June 27, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars
inside_THE-BEAU-BRUMMELS---
This little oddity owes its life to a classically bad mid-’60s A&R decision: Warners signed a California band renowned for their songwriting (they’d done the classic singles “Laugh Laugh” and “Just a Little” on a smaller label) and insisted they record a full album of cover tunes. (The new notes also suggest that the Brummels simply wanted to get an album out in a hurry.) The result flopped so badly that it went out of print at once and has only just now been reissued. Yet the album (here with no frills or bonus tracks) proves better than its reputation, if not quite a lost classic. The group bring their trademark folk-rock sound to a bunch of songs that fit (“Mr. Tambourine Man” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Homeward Bound”) and a few that don’t — you haven’t lived till you’ve heard “These Boots Are Made for Walking” or “Louie Louie” done with jangly 12-strings. The latter track particularly explains why early R.E.M. were compared with the Beau Brummels so often. Much of the album sounds as if it had been knocked off in one good afternoon, with the notable exception of “You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away,” which, unlike the Beatles’ original, was produced to be a hit single, with Spector-like drum flourishes and an emotive Sal Valentino vocal that heighten the lyric’s melancholy. The Brummels would have a second life as an artier country-rock band, but ’66 catches a moment — for the last time in a long while — when a rock album could be proudly disposable.
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  Topics: CD Reviews , The Beatles, Louie Louie, The Beau Brummels,  More more >
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