Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The Outcasts: Run Away/Would You Care (Prince PR-1265) The Outcasts: I Can't Get Through To You/I Know All About You (Karate 45-531)
You hear the name "Gary Puckett and the Union Gap" and you want to hurl. That San Diego group was responsible for such million-selling swill as "Lady Willpower," "Over You" and "Young Girl." These are the kind of songs that have you screaming "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" and have you fumbling madly to change the station every time they come on the radio. But now that I've got that image in your head (sorry), let's turn back the clock a few years to 1965 and 1966 when Gary and his gang were one of many period bands with the Outcast moniker. In that period, they recorded these two 45s that have one garage gem on them apiece. As par for the course, the b-sides are nothing to shout about, but the A-sides are the winners. "Run Away"'s got a sneering fuzz lead, tight vocals and frantic organ. "I Can't Get Through To You" (not to be confused with the Honeycombs tune of the same name) also has that fuzz guitar sneer, but pumps the frantic organ up an notch and goes full speed with the tempo. Both of these songs are killers. In 1967, the group changed their name to The Union Gap and the rest is history. And those songs, like pesky mosquitos, continue to irritate no matter how many times we swat them away. But these two records show that they had some killers in them, so I'll stick with these.