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Land of 1000 Dances

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Album Review

With "Land of 1000 Dances (Naa, Na, Na, Na, Naa)," L.A.'s Cannibal & the Headhunters had one of the great party hits of the '60s. It hit number 30 on the charts and inspired one of Wilson Pickett's finest covers. The group never followed it up with any hits, but their album, 1965's Land of 1000 Dances on Rampart, is a lost classic, one of the strongest you are likely to hear from a mid-'60s "party" band. Backed by musicians borrowed from the cream of the city's Latin groups like Thee Midniters and the Premiers, the group runs through a selection of contemporary hits like the Temptations' "My Girl," Junior Walker's "Shotgun," and the Ad Libs' "The Boy from New York City" and a handful of originals composed by the band and fellow members of the Rampart Records family like Chick Carlton and Larry Tamblyn. The covers are fun and energetic, but the originals like "Strange World," a powerful ballad led by Frankie "Cannibal" Garcia's yearning lead, the stomping brown-eyed soul shouter "Don't Let Her Go," and "The Fat Man," a loose frat rocker with some wild harmonica, demonstrate what an exciting and fun band they were. The only fault with the album is that the group never followed it up.


Formed: Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s

Cannibal & the Headhunters were one-hit wonders, but what a hit to have, if you're only going to have one: "Land of 1000 Dances." The group was also one of the first Mexican-American rock bands to have a national hit record, courtesy of that same tune. Founded by Frankie Garcia -- who reportedly earned his nickname "Cannibal" as a boy when he bit an opponent during a fight -- with Robert Jaramillo and Joe Jaramillo of East L.A. in the mid-'60s, the group grew out of a number of earlier bands, including...
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Land of 1000 Dances, Cannibal And The Headhunters
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