No other rock & roll band has experienced the rollercoaster ups and downs in reputation that Paul Revere & the Raiders have known across 40 years in music. One of the most popular and entertaining groups of the 1960s, they enjoyed 10 years of serious chart action, and during their three biggest years (1966-69) got as much radio play as any group of that decade, sold records in numbers second only to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and received nearly as much coverage in the music press of the period (which included a lot of teen fan magazines) as the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. Yet when most histories of rock started getting written, Paul Revere & the Raiders were scarcely mentioned -- at best, they were usually a footnote to the boom years of the late '60s.
If not as consistently a knockout as Spirit of '67, Revolution! is nevertheless right on its heels, containing as it does an even greater degree of pop experimentation within the form. Suffice to say that this group managed to make the transition from the simple, tough R&B-flavored rock they helped found to the more psychedelic popcraft/acidic majesty that soon unfolded behind the 1964-1965 Beatles' lead. And if Spirit is the Raiders' Revolver, then Revolution! is their less wacked-out Sgt. Pepper. Beginning with one of their most supreme moments — the rough-and-tumble, aggressive yet amazingly catchy "Him or Me — What's It Gonna Be" — the LP takes the same twists and turns as its predecessor through a multitude of entertaining styles, from the sharp laze blues of "Reno" to the quintessential upbeat smack of "Mo'reen" and especially "Gone-Movin' On." Through it all, bandleader Mark Lindsay is a minor marvel. Lindsay may not have been blessed with a classic pop voice croon, but his exciting lower-range grunt and snarl compliments his upper-range prettier voice in a way that adds bushels of unfiltered attitude. His gutsy, versatile style totally blends with the rough edges of both the production and playing, which belies the more gilded pop moments. Lindsay is the glue that holds what would have been a willy-nilly collection together. Truly 1967 was the most magical year in pure pop history. But if many with-it fans have already bathed in the unbelievable sonic pleasures of that year, far too few have given the Raiders their rightful place in this pantheon, even though they certainly held such a place in their time. There can be no reason for this oversight to continue, for here is the evidence once again laid bare. (AMG).
1. Him Or Me (What's It Gonna Be)
3. Upon Your Leaving
5. Wanting You
6. Gone - Movin' On
7. I Had A Dream
9. Make It With Me
10. Ain't Nobody Who Can Make It Like Leslie Can
11. I Hear A Voice