Monday, December 14, 2015

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Riot Squad

THE RIOT SQUAD-I Take It That We're Through/Working Man U.S. H.B.R 1966

The Riot Squad cut 7 singles in the U.K. for the Pye label in the 1960's, the last  five were produced by the legendary Joe Meek. Three of the band's 45's gained U.S. releases on three different labels, the last two were Meek productions.  Today's subject (recorded in Meek's apartment at 504 Holloway Road on March 14, 1966), is in my estimation  is the strongest of all the band's Meek produced material. It was their last U.S. 45 released in July 1966 on the always eccentric  Hanna Barbera Records label (who in between releases from their cartoons put out 45's by garage teens The Guilloteens, The Five Americans, "The Avengers Theme" by Laurie Johnson and U.K. artists like The Epics and Jimmy James & The Vagabonds among others).

"I Take It That We're Through" kicks in with some over the top bass/fuzz guitar on the intro before adding a combo organ and sax that mesh perfectly.  The vocals have the all too familiar sound technique used by Meek and remind me of several Honeycombs sides.

The tour de force continues on the B-side with "Working Man" that utilizes the sax/organ mix and a great fuzz bass/guitar lick at the end of each chorus and a gritty guitar solo worthy of Meek's previous release "Crawdaddy Simone" by The Syndicats.

The bands ever shifting line up for this 45 was: founding member Bob Evans (sax) and Nero Gladman (vocals), Terry Clifford (guitar), Butch Davis (organ), Roger Crisp (bass) and Del Roll (drums). The latter five musicians reconstituted the band in a 1965 reshuffle with Evans being the only original band member and appeared on all five of the group's Meek produced 45's. Both sides were credited to "The Riots".

The Riot Squad '66 line-up.

Both sides are available in a variety of places, notably Sequel's 2003 CD compilation "Jump".  The A-side cropped up on Sequel/Castle's 1991 CD "The Joe Meek Story: The Pye Years" and on their 2006 CD "Joe Meek Freakbeat" while it's flip wound up on their 2002 "Doin The Mod" series on "Volume 4: Ready Steady Stop!".

Hear: "I Take It That We're Through":

Hear "Working Man":

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