Sandy Nelson ‘Big Sixties Frat Party!!!’ – album review

Sandy Nelson ‘Big Sixties Frat Party!!! (Ace/Big Beat Records)
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Simply a mighty fine collection of instrumentaldance orientated mid-60s numbers by the enduring, legendary drummer/band leader, Sandy ”˜Let There Be Drums’ Nelson (born 1938 in Santa Monica, California).

Infectious and life affirming, Nelson’s recordings for the Imperial label retain a vital rocking vibrancy. Nelson had 11 hits on the US album charts between 1962 and 1966, and this compilation (expertly compiled and noted by Dave Burke and Clive Poole of Pipeline Magazine) draws on 10 of these releases.

From a powerhouse version of Stevie Wonder’s ”˜Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby’, featuring bottomless baritone sax, blaringtrumpets, screeching Hammond organ, through The Temptations’ ”˜Ain’t Too Proud To Beg’ and the Supremes’ ”˜My World Is Empty Without You’, soul dynamo Wilson Pickett’s ”˜Mustang Sally’ and Jimmy Smith’s jazzy reworking of ”˜I Got My Mojo Working’ (with Smith’s vocal line substituted by an extremelyoverdriven fuzz guitar), Nelson and his crew of the best producers (Joe Sarceno, Dave Pell, Dallas Smith and Ted Glasser), arrangers (Nick deCaro, Rene Hall, Don Peake, Al Capps and Mike Post)and musicians will successfully tackle anything.

Tommy James & the Shondells’ bubblegum anthem ”˜Hanky Panky’,Question Mark and The Mysterians’punky ”˜I Need Somebody’, the Mamas & Papas’ poignant ”˜Monday Monday’, Shirley Ellis’ buoyant ”˜The Clapping Song’, The Lovin’ Spoonful’s elegant ”˜Summer In The City’ and Oscar Brown Jr’s classic ”˜Work Song’ all get transformed into Nelson style foot stompers. Nelson is not afraid either to tackle some iconic instrumental numbers and make them his own. His rendition of Neal Hefti’s ”˜Batman’ theme anticipates dub echo, The Chantays’ surf song of praise ”˜Pipeline’ is remade/remodelled, while, perhaps best of all, Henry Mancini’s sleazy ”˜Peter Gunn’ crime jazz theme (previously only available on single and utterlydissimilar to the Sandy Nelson LP version) is a one minute 45 second magnum opusof massed horns, uncontrolled dirty fuzz guitar and the unstoppable Nelson beat.

Sandy Nelson’s big Sixties Frat Party !!! does what it says on the tin. If you still feel down after listening to this, all hope is lost.

Track Listings
1. Nothing’s Too Good For My Baby
2. Casbah
3. Batman Theme
4. Mustang Sally
5. Sabre Dance
6. Let’s Go Trippin’
7. Uptight (Everything’s Alright)
8. My World Is Empty Without You
9. Just Like Me
10. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg
11. Hanky Panky
12. The Clapping Song
13. Hang On Sloopy
14. Tim Tom Drum
15. Monday Monday
16. Niki Hoeky
17. The Jerk
18. Got My Mojo Working
19. Summer In The City
20. Pipeline
21. I Need Somebody
22. Peter Gunn
23. Good Thing
24. Work Song

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  1. Sandy nelsons big sixties frat party album – can I buy a download of this album? I live in Africa and don’t trust couriers to there unless it’s fedex r dhl or ups.

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