Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Chambers Brothers - "I Can't Stand It" (Columbia)

Today, we have a little entry from The Chambers Brothers, a group known mostly for their 1968 classic "Time Has Come Today," which charted at #11 in the summer of that year. If it were only for that song, they'd probably only be labeled garage-psych punkers. (The album version of that song clocks in at 11 minutes and features a long psych-out jam.) But the truth is, they were more than that.

In fact, when George, Willie, Chester and Joe Chambers first started the group in 1954, they formed it to sing gospel. In 1965, they added Brian Keenan on drums and became a rock/soul act, making an impressive appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. They first recorded for Vault (their version of "Shout" on this label is worth hearing), before signing to Columbia in 1967. "I Can't Stand It" is their second 45 release (according to catalog number) on the label.

The song itself is a funky little groover that opens with a "1-2-3-4" count, then goes into a steady beat personified by a driving rhythm. Throughout the song, you can expect to hear wild drumming, massive chunks of funky guitar and smooth lead vocals and harmonies, all of which lead to a climax where everyone goes crazy and shrieks as the record fades out. But the Chambers never lose the beat and as a result, the song remains consistently groovy from the opening count to the end. You can't ask for anything better than that, can you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What album, if any, did this song appear on?