Friday, September 01, 2006

The Sundowners - "Dear Undecided"


A happy holiday weekend to everyone! Today, I thought that I'd write about a great pop single. You know, the kind with an irresistible hook, that you might spin several times in a row. And since The Sundowners have been a recent topic of discussion over at the Psychotic Reactions forum at garagepunk.com (see link on this page), there's not been a better time to blog "Dear Undecided". I found this record way over a year ago and though I've filed it several times, it always finds its way right back on my turntable. That's about the best testimonial that I can give a record.

I don't know a lot about The Sundowners, except that they released at least three singles and an album for Decca in 1968. They also probably hailed from California, since they got to appear on an episode of The Flying Nun and also the Robert Wagner spy drama, It Takes A Thief. It was on that program that they lip synched to today's record.

"Dear Undecided" was written by band member, Domenic DeMurri. It could loosely be called garage pop and even has a bit of a mod sound. It's tuneful, with guitars, lots of good drumming and background vocals galore. And the hook is just incredible. Lyrically, the song is about a guy who's willing to wait for a girl's current relationship to washout before he gets his chance.

I've seen "Dear Undecided" described as Beatles influenced and I suppose that's true. I also think it sounds like The Sundowners had listened to a lot of Who singles. Anyhow, the British Invasion plays a major role but The Sundowners certainly put their best spin on it here and whipped up an unforgettable tune of their own. It seems ripe for a revival. I'm surprised that some contemporary outfit hasn't remade this with a bigger guitar sound and a bit faster tempo.

The flipside of this gem, "Always You" isn't bad either. It falls more into the sunshine pop category but is also tuneful, with a few strings added to the mix. I'm not sure how common the record is but I don't think it's very pricy. My copy cost a whopping 50 cents. I'm now on the lookout for The Sundowners' other 45's and their album.

The Sundowners entertain on It Takes A Thief, circa 1968

9 comments:

Håkon said...

I feel stupid for asking, but where is the link?

Anonymous said...

Where is the download link to this track?

Stuart Shea said...

I think that the Sundowners toured with the Monkees in summer 1967, and a couple of them co-wrote "Hard to Believe" on the Monkees' 4th album. Drummer was Kim Capli, who played all the instruments on the track.

Todd Lucas said...

Stuart, thanks for the additional info. These guys were good.

John said...

The sundowners Were And Still Are An East Coast Band, They are from Lake George, New York And They Are Still Active In The Area. Their Website is http://www.bobbydick.com

John said...

Back again,
There is a zip file of the Captian Nemo Album on this site. Click on The Sundowners above the album cover.
http://redtelephone66.blogspot.com/2008/03/sundowners-captain-nemo-1968-decca-lp.html
Its not in the greatest shape,there are some pops and crackle and the end of the songs are cut off before they fade out, and Dear Undecided is missing about 3 seconds of the end of the song. The songs are 192 Kbps Mp3's
Captain Nemo has been re-released (2007) and CD Universe has it, if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

Drummer Kim Capli played one song the Monkees 4th lp "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd" released November of 1967. Micky played drums on "Cuddly Toy" and "The Door Into Summer". Kim Capli played on "Hard To Believe" and Fast Eddie Hoh played drums on everything else.

Regards,
monkeeman3

David Loehr said...

I saw The Sundowners on several occasions. They used to play at the teen dances in Pittsfield, Massachusetts around 1965. I also saw them when they opened for The Rolling Stones along with another great band, The Knickerbockers at The Palace Theater in Albany, NY on April 29, 1965... Great Band!

Anonymous said...

The Sundowners are a New York state band. One of the members
is from my home town in central New
York. Heard them live back then and are as good live as on the album. Speaking of, just bought the
CD ( Captain Nemo ). I do remember having the 45 which contained Blue Green Eyes / Sunnyday People. Both hits off of the album.