Australasia's Biggest Online Store

We won't be beaten by anyone. Guaranteed

The Challenge Recordings *
By

Rating
Hurry - Only 2 left in stock!

Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Contrary to popular opinion, the Knickerbockers had more than one hit. They had two. "One Track Mind" just missed Billboard's Top 40 in 1966, several months after "Lies" galloped to a peak position of 20 in late 1965. Twenty isn't a blockbuster number but "Lies" is considered a classic 45 thanks in part to its inclusion in Lenny Kaye's 1972 garage rock compilation Nuggets. Their presence on Nuggets suggested the Knickerbockers were a hard and wild garage band, an assessment that isn't strictly true. Certainly, the Jersey-based quartet could kick up some dust as they bashed out three chords but Sundazed's four-disc 2015 box set The Challenge Recordings -- a disc containing everything the group did, including the full-length LPs Jerk & Twine Time and Lies, the 1994 archival set The Great Lost Album!, singles, alternate takes, and previously unissued demos -- paints the portrait of a hard-working combo willing to try on any sound that might get them an audience. This eagerness led them straight to "Lies," as expert an imitation of the Beatlemania-era Fab Four as there ever was, but the Knickerbockers didn't content themselves with mimicking John, Paul, George, and Ringo. During their brief time at Challenge -- a stint that essentially amounts to all of 1965 and 1966, although there is a demo from 1964, a stray single and other unreleased items from 1967 -- the band touched upon every mainstream rock or pop sound of the pre-psychedelic '60s, starting as a fratty combo grinding out party covers of R&B and British Invasion hits -- not to mention a version of "The Jolly Green Giant" by early '60s rock & roll kingpins the Kingsmen -- and quickly touching upon surf and the limbo, folk-rock, and swinging pop, coming across like an AM pop station condensed into one quartet. After the hit, the productions got grander -- they were slathered in strings and horns that placed them somewhere between B.J. Thomas and Glen Campbell -- but they also had an eye for snazzy covers of crossover standards ("Harlem Nocturne," "The Girl from Ipanema") and they were hip enough to spin "King of the Road" into a groover in the style of the Sir Douglas Quintet. All of this can be heard on Sundazed's original CD reissues of the band -- apart from the unreleased 1967 side "Guaranteed Satisfaction," where the group swaggers convincingly -- but the reason why these recordings sound better as a box than on their own is how listening to four discs in succession emphasizes how the Knickerbockers jumped aboard every trend and, even if they didn't always cop a style with distinction, there's a charm to their hard-working aesthetic. Plus, their malleability is almost an asset: it makes The Challenge Recordings seem like a time capsule of what American rock & roll really sounded like in the mid-'60s. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Ask a Question About this Product More...
Write your question below:
Look for similar items by category
Home » Music » Pop » Pop Rock
How Fishpond Works
Fishpond works with suppliers all over the world to bring you a huge selection of products, really great prices, and delivery included on over 25 million products that we sell. We do our best every day to make Fishpond an awesome place for customers to shop and get what they want — all at the best prices online.
Webmasters, Bloggers & Website Owners
You can earn a 5% commission by selling The Challenge Recordings * on your website. It's easy to get started - we will give you example code. After you're set-up, your website can earn you money while you work, play or even sleep! You should start right now!
Authors / Publishers
Are you the Author or Publisher of a book? Or the manufacturer of one of the millions of products that we sell. You can improve sales and grow your revenue by submitting additional information on this title. The better the information we have about a product, the more we will sell!
Item ships from and is sold by Fishpond.com, Inc.
Back to top