Monday, July 30, 2007

Number 584 - Kingsmen

Number 584


"Louie Louie"

Genre:Garage Rock
Picture by EmiValo666
Before the Datsuns, the D4, The Vines and even before the immortal Iggy Pop, Garage Rock was tub thumping in 1963. Define GarageRock you say, er ok "Garage rock is a raw form of rock and roll that was first popular in the United States and Canada from about 1963 to 1967. During the 1960s, it was not recognized as a separate music genre and had no specific name. In the early 1970s, some rock critics retroactively labelled it as punk rock. However, the music style was later referred to as garage rock or '60s Punk to avoid confusion with the music of late-1970s punk rock bands such as the Sex Pistols and The Clash." Sounds like a load of old rock to me. (yea but good rock)

A rock & roll band from Portland, Oregon, the Kingsmen's one big hit "Louie, Louie" defined the garage-band style and became one of the all-time classics. The original lineup included Jack Ely (lead singer and guitar), Lynn Easton (drums), Mike Mitchell (lead guitar), Bob Nordby (bass), and Don Galucci (piano). After Ely had "incorrectly" taught the rest of the band the Wailers version of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" (thus altering the basic rhythm into the now famous duh-duh-duh, duh-duh, duh-duh-duh, duh-duh riff that has become the only way anyone has played it since), they recorded it for fifty dollars at a primitive local recording studio with only three mikes, Ely hollering the lyrics into an overhead boom mike suspended ten feet in the air. Released on a local label, the record went nowhere after Paul Revere & the Raiders quickly covered it in the Northwest market, although it had quickly become a standard for all teen bands in that area. Parakai
In 1964, the record started to break nationally, causing the breakup of the original lineup when Easton copyrighted the group's name, informing the other members that he was now sole owner of the Kingsmen and its new lead singer. Ely formed his own Kingsmen, touring at the same time as Easton, who was lip-synching the record whenever possible. Only Easton and Mitchell were left from the original lineup, but they kept scoring big with frat-band versions of "Money" and "Little Latin Lupe Lu," reaching their peak with "The Jolly Green Giant," while Ely languished in relative obscurity and Gallucci formed Don & the Goodtimes. By the early '90s, history had redressed itself somewhat. While replacement members from the Easton version of the band toured as the "original" Kingsmen, Jack Ely finally received some of his due, headlining the 30th Anniversary Louie Louie tour. Though the song itself has been covered repeatedly, the version by Ely and the original lineup remains definitive. ~ Cub Koda, [All Music Guide]

For Iggy Pop see Number 980
For The Clash see Number 999

What does Rolling Stone think about the Kingsmen?
The Kingsmen's cover of a Richard Berry R&B song, a blast of raw guitars and half-intelligible shouting recorded for fifty-two dollars, hit Number Two in 1963, thanks to supposedly pornographic lyrics that drew the attention of the FBI. The song's indecipherability was unintentional: The Portland, Oregon, quintet recorded it crowded around a single microphone. "I was yelling at a mike far away," singer Jack Ely told ROLLING STONE. "I always thought the controversy was record-company hype." [RS Top 500 Songs]

Stuff, you just need to know..
The chords to the main riff to "Louie Louie" (as played by the Kingsmen) are A major, D major, and E minor. (In chord symbols: A-A-A, D-D, Em-Em-Em, D-D; in more formal harmonic analysis: I-I-I, IV-IV, v-v-v, IV-IV.) It can be heard in many songs, including the following:
"Wild Thing" - The Troggs
"Why Do I Cry" -
The Remains
"Hold Me Now" -
The Rumors
"Don't Tread On Me" -
Get Off of My Cloud" - Rolling Stones
"Vicious" -
Lou Reed
"Beg Borrow And Steal"-
The Rare Breed
"Don't Talk To Me" - GG Allin
For the Rolling Stones see Number 767 & Number 689
For the Troggs see Number 602
For Lou Reed see Number 953 & Number 918
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number 55 and the Album ranked at Number (Ha! We had a one hit wonder ranked higher than you!)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 72.6 out of 108 pts

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