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One Terrific Single Plus Loads of Lesser Stuff
on February 4, 2000
Essentially the Outsiders were a one-hit wonder. Even though they actually placed four songs in the top 40 in 1966, does anyone really remember anything other than "Time Won't Let Me"? It's an engaging, hook-laden single with a catchy horn riff and this Cleveland-based quintet road it all the way to No. 5. It was their finest hour.
Several follow-up singles were modest successes. The saccharine "Girl in Love" (No.21) is a fairly lifeless ballad. "Respectable" (No. 21) continued the Outsiders' horn-sound. "Help Me Girl" (No. 37) downplays the horn section in favor of a harpsichord which expands the group's sound, but doesn't excite fans and it becomes their last hit.
The numerous album tracks offered here aren't much of a revelation. The band attempts to rock out on "Gotta Leave Us Alone" with an uninspired guitar break. "Was It Really Real" is a respectable ballad. "What Makes You So Bad" is a Yardbirds-style raver with its bluesy harmonica break. "I'll See you in the Summertime" is a generic ballad (complete with seagulls!). "Lost in My World" has the Outsiders essentially rewriting their biggest hit. (If any other band had recorded this song, they would have been guilty of plagiarism. It's practically a note-for-note copy!)
All told, this anthology in for completists only. Most people will be content with "Time Won't Let Me," which can be found on any number of various artists collections. [And the recommended one is Rhino's Nuggets 1965-1968. Let's face it, there were dozens (hundreds?) of sixties artists who put out one or two terrific singles. Save your money, buy this box set, and experience sixties euphoria. You won't regret it!] If you want even more from the Outsiders, consider Collectables' live disc 30 Years Live with a re-formed Outsiders featuring original guitarist Tom King, but minus original vocalist Sonny Geraci.