on July 16, 2003
This Pop/Rock group originated in Indiana, and is important since its the first appearance of Rock Zehringer (now Rick Derringer) who later performed with Edgar Winter and a mildly successful solo career, (Rock And Roll Hootchie Coo) in the seventies. He started the group with his brother Randy in the middle sixties time frame, and its amazing that they broke through in 1965 in a Garage Band style that was a year or two earlier then most.
Of course, their major hit "Hang On Sloopy" is here and thats where this collection gets interesting. This is the original version, in stereo, and has more content then the original, and is a bit longer as well. The mix is excellent and is a great addition. This song was also a hit for The Vibrations earlier, (My Girl Sloopy), but the McCoys make it their own.
Another single, "Fever" is also included, and is a mid-sixties "power" cut, and they do this classic song justice. Very tight. This set also includes other singles such as "Come on, Let's Go " and the underrated "(You Make Me Feel) So Good" which is a favorite. Provided in this set are many excellent B sides which I have been trying to get a hold of for a while, such as "Sorrow" and "I Can't Explain It"
A well crafted collection, well engineered, and at a great price. A worth addition to any collection. If a 60's DJ, this is required for the stereo mix of "Hang On Sloopy" and "Fever" (which is one of those songs never played on the radio stations anymore, but people remember). Its fun to watch peoples reaction when they here it saying "I haven't heard that in YEARS!"
Recommended! Good listening!
on August 26, 2006
This CD offers an excellent sound, I have a similar CD from See For Miles Records that sounds like it was recorded off another CD or even a vinyl source. All the hits and top B sides are here. If you are only familiar with Hang On Sloopy then you have a big surprise in store and a very pleasant one at that. Check out Sorrow (a big hit in GB by The Merseys), Up and Down, Richie Valen's Come On Let's Go and So Good. Some great album cuts like Smokey Joe's Cafe, Gaitor Tails and Monkey Ribs and a great unreleased version of Bald Headed Lena also covered by The Lovin' Spoonful.
These guys are young but are fine musicians, especially Rick Zehringer (later Derringer) on guitar. Their voices are very good and they harmonize nicely. There are 22 cuts and only a couple are weak, the rest are fun 60's rock and roll.
on October 24, 2005
The thing about the McCoys' songs is, though the overall sound is tame compared with the wilder garage sort of bands (the Leaves "Hey Joe"; the Thirteenth Floor Elevators "You're Gonna Miss Me"; Love "Seven and Seven Is"; Count Five "Psychotic Reaction"), they have a drive not unlike those bands, which keeps their never-tentative sound out of more shallow waters frequented by the Monkees, Gary Lewis and the Playboys, and the Turtles (in their post-folk-rock period). McCoys' songs elicit a more extended palate of colors, both bright and somber, than many of the bands on the mid-sixties scene.
Sexual expression pervades their `good-time' type songs: not-overly-subtle make-out metaphors are floated by their lyrics ["up and down, in and out, running all around, that's how it is - when it comes"] ["Sloopy let your hair down on me . . . .come on, come on, shake it shake it, Sloopy, hang on."]. One must mention the emphatic rhythmic drive, the tempos which are obviously perfect; it gets (subtly, or blatantly?) orgasmic, doesn't it?
This is "the joy of teenage sex" before the `book' was written . . . it's definitely not `forbidden' fruit. "You Make Me Feel So Good" is brimful of this energy. Unflagging repetitions of the chorus at the end just keep on building; we're totally ready to go with it, into it (for hours if necessary?) The Drifters' "Sixty Minute Man" from ten years back had nothing on this one! As not-yet accomplished teens in '65-'66, these songs presented to many of us hope for a future of budding possibilities; they got us really feeling good about things.
One of the main reasons the McCoys sounded so good was Rick Derringer - even at that young age he was one of the best-sounding lead singers, AND one of the most technically advanced, expressive lead guitarists around. Every lick he plays, and every melody he wraps his voice around can create a sense of astonishment in an alert listener - there's great inflection, tone, emotion etc. etc. etc. - and a warm, overall sense of ease in action. He's just plain listener-friendly
I think the only other similar band of the era both in terms of their ages and of overall sonic ambience was Dino, Desi and Billy. Before DD&B morphed into their late sunshine pop phase, both bands had just enough of a hard edge, and displayed ample imagination and grit to keep comparisons with afore-mentioned bands Gary Lewis, The Monkees [etc.] at bay. Amazingly well that D, D & B could play and sing, still they didn't have a Rick Derringer amongst them.
Back to the songs: there are those with which the McCoys were paying righteous tribute to the sound of other mid-sixties bands, notably the Beach Boys and the Rolling Stones.
Consider "Sorrow", the b-side of "Fever": if it had been available to them, the Stones should have covered this, as it would have been a perfect fit for them circa 1964-early 1965; if the McCoys would have made it one of their singles it could have moved their fan base in a different direction than did the trio of thoroughly happy-sounding singles that immediately followed "Fever" [those being "Up and Down", "(You Make Me Feel) So Good", and "Come On Let's Go"]. Then again, legions of budding teens might not have learned as innocently about compellingly happy sex. As for the other song with a very strong Stones connection: the chorus of "Don't Worry Mother (Your Son's Heart Is Pure)" leads the listener into melodic/tonal/rhythmic worlds parallel to "Paint It, Black", "Mother's Little Helper" and so on - especially listen for Derringer's recurring 7-note guitar lick., and the obvious modal melodic influence of middle eastern music (which the Standells also mined in "Why Pick On Me?").
There's a vocal lick from "Help Me Rhonda" ("bom, bom, bom, bom") that's dropped into a new Beach Boys' style song ["Runaway"]. The song is at least as appealing as anything up-tempo that the Beach Boys had produced up to that point in time (judging from this CD, the McCoys didn't seem to have recorded any ballads). As a lead singer, Derringer can sound more soulful than Mike Love (though Mike's voice is a perfect blend with the rest of his group). The McCoys' other very sweet BB-style song is "Mr. Summer", with its electric piano ostinado dropping in and out being very reminiscent of "California Girls", performed at a slightly more relaxed tempo.
Another surprise is an original song touting James Brown and his Famous Flames ["The Dynamite"]; it's a first rate send-up/amalgam of a couple of JB's contemporary songs from the period, and is intentionally hilarious. Rick D here paraphrases all kinds of Fabulous Flames guitar licks, yet backs off from trying to sound exactly like JB or his guitarist in terms of tone (settings). But yes, his and the band's rhythm and overall delivery are right in the pocket. The licks by the sax section hone a pure, furious funk perfection; and the overall joy is infectious.
Other great trax include their follow-up to "Hang On Sloopy" ["Fever"] which I considered my favorite at the time; there's a moving version of "Every Day I Have to Cry" (unbelievable that Derringer could sing with such heartfelt emotion at that age); and the relatively late "Say Those Magic Words", which re-captures the rhythmic drive of the `make-out songs', and may surpass them by flirting melodically with ever-shifting boundaries between major and minor modes.
"I Got To Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance)" and "Beat the Clock" are slightly second-rate, but will gather in lots of votes. The former follows the harmonic progression and even the general melodic contour of "Hang On Sloopy", but there's a syncopated calypsonian lilt to the lead vocal line with/by which Derringer awesomely busts us upside our haids. "Beat the Clock" seems over-produced: there's not enough air in the mix, i.e. it gets muddied by a slavish similarity between the lead singer's line and what the filler instruments are playing (both in terms of register and rhythm). The arranger might have had a brain fart, forgetting what he knew about counterpoint; but the mixing engineer didn't help matters by choosing too dark and thick-sounding of a reverb setting. The song has immense potential - I'd love to hear them re-record it.
The liner notes are generally informative, but the writer seems to go off the deep end, acting as if he thinks he's writing his masters thesis or something. He serially returns to a certain point he announces at the beginning, thereafter trying to `brilliantly' show how everything (in this case about the McCoys' history) derives from that `idea'.
His enlightened discovery is that they were still 'as if' little kids. He keeps coming back to that, over and over; after a while it starts feeling like a derogatory slant aimed towards the band members.
Some rock journalists can be such beasts of burden - trouble begins when they try to foist their personal intellectual baggage onto their readers. It would be better if this guy just told his story, made a few incisive observations at various junctures, and left it at that; instead he gets overbearing with his conjectures - they don't really hold water, as they're only meant to make history conform to his so-termed `big premise'.
on December 24, 2015
Like bands such as the Lovin' Spoonfull, the Turtles, the Grass Roots and the Beach Boys, the McCoys were one of those hipster bands from the 1960's and I highly enjoyed their album. standouts here include "Hang On Sloopy", "Up and Down", "Sorrow", which is exactly the same way covered by David Bowie in the 70's, "Little People", which has a Cliff Richard and the Shadows and Cascades sort of sound, "Come On Let's Go", which is the best cover I've heard, even better than Richie Valens, "Got to Go Back and Watch That Little Girl Dance", "Beat the Clock", "Runaway", which I like better than "Help Me Ronda", "Mr Summer", which should have become a Beach Boys song and even "Meet the McCoys", which hallariously starts off this CD and I cracked up laughing that they would even include this track on a CD called "the Best of the McCoys". I highly recommend "Hang on Sloopy: the Best of the McCoys" for a great 60's flower power band. Love it. Merry Christmas to the McCoys!
on January 1, 2013
If you grew up in the 60s like me,then you couldn't escape "Hang On Sloopy" on the radio,and you probably didn't want to,as it is still one of the catchiest and most fun pop singles of all time.The McCoys are most famous for that hit and for spawning the long career of guitar player Rick Derringer,whom I have always loved.Their only other real hit of note was their version of "Fever",which is included here.While their music was never intended to be earth shaking it was fun garage rock and they did show some growth during their brief career.I can't rate this 5 stars because some of the material,while very listenable,,doesn't approach the standard of the 2 mentioned singles.But if you liked the McCoys and "Sloopy" you'll find plenty of small treasures to like here.Recommended to anybody who loves 60s beat groups!!