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The Very Best of the Standells

The Standells

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Album Review

The Standells were a one-hit wonder, and that hit was "Dirty Water," which appropriately opens and closes this compilation (the second version is in stereo). Among the 15 other tracks are the group's less successful follow-ups to their hit, notably "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," and LP tracks from their three albums of 1966-67, including their versions of standards like "Hey Joe," "My Little Red Book," and "Ninety-Nine and a Half." Of course, nothing is as good as "Dirty Water," even if many of the tracks echo its snotty garage rock appeal, especially the taunting "Try It," a single that Cub Koda's entertaining liner notes reveal was banned in Boston, which, for a band that declared (falsely), "Boston, you're my home" on its hit single, must have been traumatic.


Formed: 1962 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Standells made number 11 in 1966 with "Dirty Water," an archetypal garage rock hit with its Stones-ish riff, lecherous vocal, and combination of raunchy guitar and organ. While they never again reached the Top 40, they cut a number of strong, similar tunes in the 1966-1967 era that have belatedly been recognized as '60s punk classics. "Garage rock" may not have been a really accurate term for them in the first...
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