Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Hal Blaine - 1965 - Drums! Drums! A Go Go

Hal Blaine
Drums! Drums! A Go Go

01. Topsy '65 2:14
02. Wooly Bully 2:25
03. Whiskey A-Go-Go 2:19
04. Money 2:22
05. Cannonball 1:53
06. La Bamba 2:58
07. Rumble 3:03
08. California Sun 2:19
09. Oo Poo Pah Doo 2:25
10. Midnight At Pinks 2:42
11. Land Of 1000 Dances 3:45
12. Drums A-Go-Go 2:36

cd bonus:
13. Bang Bang Rhythm 2:42
14. The Invaders 2:37
15. The Swinger 2:13
16. Secret Agent Man 2:30

Tracks 13 to 16 are designated as bonus tracks:
13 - Dunhill single 4049; 1966, previously unavailable on album
14 - Dunhill single 4102; 1967 from the album Have Fun!! Play Drums!!, Dunhill 50035; 1967
15 - Dunhill single 4074; 1967 from the album Have Fun!! Play Drums!!, Dunhill 50035; 1967
16 - Dunhill single 4021; 1967 from the album Have Fun!! Play Drums!!, Dunhill 50035; 1967

The real way to gain an appreciation for Hal Blaine's Hall of Fame-caliber abilities is to hear him as a sessionman, and not on his occasional recordings as a solo artist. This instrumental album is something of a novelty rather than a serious attempt to build solo credentials. It consists almost entirely of cover versions of well-known rock hits from the late '50s through the mid-'60s, with live "party" noises dubbed on to simulate a concert recording (although it was cut in the studio). Still, it's better than might be expected considering its frivolity, with a bunch of top fellow Hollywood session musicians providing pretty energetic support, particularly in the surf-ish guitars. Producers P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri take the writing credits for "Drums A-Go-Go," although in fact it's built around the main riff of the Kinks' "All Day and All of the Night." [The CD reissue of Drums! Drums! A Go Go adds three bonus tracks from the 1967 album Have Fun!! Play Drums!!, as well as the 1966 non-LP single "Bang Bang Rhythm."]

It has been said that Hal Blaine is the most recorded drummer in pop music history. After 50 years in the music business, he has played on over 4,000 records. Over 3,000 of these made it onto the Billboard Hot 100. More than 300 were certified gold and at least 40 of them hit the #1 position. Some of the artists Blaine has worked with include The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Simon & Garfunkel, Jan & Dean, The Carpenters and Herb Alpert. Most of Phil Spector's lush productions for The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and others featured the drumming of Hal Blaine, as did many orchestral pieces by arrangers such as Jimmie Haskell and Nelson Riddle.

This CD features Hal's second solo album. It is an instrumental album, since Hal didn't sing. The album mostly features cover versions of recent hits. Although it is not a live album, it features audience reactions dubbed in, to simulate the "a go-go" sound featured on the Johnny Rivers live albums that were popular at the time. Although this is not an important album by any stretch of the imagination, it is still a lot of fun. It is designed to showcase Hal's drumming, and it does that quite well. The CD features four bonus tracks that were not on the original album. Fans of 1960s instrumentals should dig it.

1 comment: