Paul Revere & The Raiders, Midnight Ride, Columbia CS-9308, 1966
I think this band had some incriminating evidence on Columbia Records. While they had a few decent hits after being heavily promoted daly on national tv, with songs written by Brill Building all stars, virtually anyone would have found success. And even as the hits dried up, Columbia kept on releasing Paul Revere & The Raiders records well into the mid 70s. Blackmail is about the only thing I can think of as to why this happened.
The big hit here is Kicks. Turned down by Eric Burden & The Animals, this Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil composition was an anti-drug anthem that came out just as the LSD fueled counter culture was kicking in. Anti Drug songs were not heard at the Monterey Pop Festival, and Paul Revere & The Raiders were not invited to perform. It was right about the time that this record came out that they began fading out their Revolutionary War outfits, another thing that might have endeared them to corporate media but not necessarily the creative direction that music was taking. And yet the major label releases kept on coming.
Critics say that if you want to get one Raiders album, make it this one. The original version of I’m Not Your Stepping Stone, later a B-Side smash for The Monkees is here. Kicks has also aged well for its Beatles-esque guitar work and placed at #400 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Songs Of All Time list. If this was a Standells record, or any group that wrote and performed their own music, it would be a $100 record. The Raiders just happen to be a competent little band from the Pacific Northwest that won the lottery by getting signed to Columbia. It’s still listenable album, but fairly priced at $2.
Cost: $2, $192 Remaining
$70 Spent, $2.33 per record