Monday, March 17, 2008
The Grass Roots - "You're A Lonely Girl" (Dunhill)
Okay, here's the other side of this blog reporting in. I know it's been at least a couple of months since I posted anything, but hey, life can sometimes get in the way, y'know? Well, anyway, that's my excuse and what a weak one it is. Enough of that. It's time to talk about another rockin' tune from the realms of the past and our focus today is on a group that should be familiar to all of you who cruise oldies radio stations from time to time. I'm talking about The Grass Roots.
Everybody knows The Grass Roots from all of their hits which emphasize a soul-pop oriented flavor accompanied by brassy horn arrangements. Hits such as "Midnight Confessions" (a personal fave), "I'd Wait A Million Years," "Heaven Knows," "Sooner or Later" and "Two Divided By Love" among them featured stellar big productions by Steve Barri that sounded great on AM radio and are still irresistable today. At least to me anyway.
Today's selection goes back to the beginning. The original Grass Roots were not the ones you're accustomed to hearing. They were originally a group called The Bedouins and they were recruited by Lou Adler, owner of then-new Dunhill Records to perform as The Grass Roots. That group recorded the side I feature today, "You're A Lonely Girl," a song composed by Barri and P.F Sloan Now, the Roots at this time had their stylings in a more folk-rock oriented vein, as evidenced by this first single's A side, a cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Jones (Ballad of a Thin Man)." Flip the record over and you get this rippin' bit of garage-pop with tasty fuzz guitar throughout. That's the side that matters here because it's pretty damn good. No evidence of horn-dominated pop here.
Anyway, what happened was the original group had a minor (#28) hit with "Where Were You When I Needed You." Then, they decided that they wanted more say-so in their recordings, something that Dunhill didn't want to do. So, the original group broke up and Dunhill searched for another group to use the Grass Roots' name. They found that group with a band named The 13th Floor, who had just recruited Rob Grill on bass and vocals. The new group soon had a #8 hit with "Let's Live For Today" and the rest is pretty much history, with the horn pop soon to follow.
But for now, let's enjoy the beginnings of The Grass Roots as they dwell in the land of fuzz with "You're A Lonely Girl."