Saturday, August 13, 2005

The Sparkles - Hipsville 29 B.C. (I Need Help)

Couldn't let the weekend go by without posting one of my all-time favorite discs, "Hipsville 29 B.C." by the Sparkles. Not only does it carry one of the coolest titles ever but it's also among the best rock and rollers you're likely to hear. Notorious among fans of 60's garage rock, "Hipsville" is one of the primo examples of r&b injected, hip shakin', garage stomp.

The record opens with such a pounding beat, it sounds like the drummer is trying to drive nails with a sledgehammer. The lead guitar comes in and starts playing the same riff over and over about 100 miles an hour. Then, the manic, outta control vocals kick in. The lyrics are muffled, distorted and only partially intelligible but, thanks to some help, they've been transcribed as:

Eight eyes in the jailhouse
Four lips didn't speak
I beg to see a lawyer
I ran a red light on the street

(Chorus)The blind can't lead the blind
And baby, I'm blind as you
I can't help myself
How can I help you?
I need help, girl

Two bums in the alley
One of the hobos said:
I dare you run through the drugstore
Get an aspirin for my head


Two fools in the forest
Said, "Could you help me?"
I can't see the forest
There's too many trees


Great and yet the lyrics alone don't list every yelp, scream and extra cry of "help!" from the lead singer. I mean, you REALLY believe this guy needs HELP!. Who knows, you may need some too, after repeated listenings.

There's a break from what I assume is the bass guitar after that second chorus. It sounds a little like some nut sitting around with his finger on his lip going "b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b-b". Whew, anyway it fits right in with the rest of the proceedings. The whole thing is wrapped up in just over two minutes. It's a wild ride, to say the least. You can keep all of your guitar god virtuosity. I'll take something like this every time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

thanks for this great review of one of my all-time garage favorites. This song REALLY rocks! I listen to it every day when I drive to work at maximum volume.
I think you did a very good job in describing this killer with words. That bass part is mindblowing and the vocals feature the wildest screams I've ever heard.