THE GO! SESSIONS - The Cherokees (Corduroy)
The Corduroy Detective Agency's on the job again, tracking down obscure slabs of music and bringing them to the current generation. This is licensed from Canetoad Records, who originally issued it on CD. The Corduroy release is on vinyl only, restricting its audience to those who are still turntable-capable. There are a surprisingly large number of us, actually.
The Cherokees came out of Melbourne and lasted from 1961-68 - which is a damn sight longer than most of their contemporaries. They never quite cracked it for major success, however, having to contend with a plethora of similar sounding beat bands with identical aspirations. They scored a number-three hit in several states ("Oh Monah", missing here) and backed the Monkees on a national tour. And so did Jimi Hendrix...
This is classic beat pop with occasional forays into fuzz rave-ups ("Little Lover"). Tracks like "I'll Give You Love" - Barry Windley's wild drumming apart - reveal a strong Beatles alignment. Windley's work behind the traps on the early songs (he sang, too, but left midway through their career) is what sets the Cherokees apart from other beat acts of the time.
At the direction of record companies (and, in the US, svengalis), many '60s bands put covers or relatively tame songs on the A sides, reserving their harder stuff or experimentation for the flip. I'm not familiar enough with the Cherokees to say if that's the case here. Much of this stuff is workmanlike but the results are occasionally great on tracks like "Ain't Gonna Cry No More" or "That's if You Want Me To", where the band really cuts loose.
Many, if not all of these tracks, have been transferred from vinyl pressings rather than master tapes and there are a few pops and imperfections evident. Six of the tracks have been omitted from the CD issue, so if you're a completist you're probably going to feel it comes up short. (Then again, if you're a completist you'll probably already have the CD and you'll want to hear it on black plastic).
If you're a beat aficionado, you'll want to lay your hands on a copy. It's not the wildest Oz '60s stuff around but has its moments and shows the Cherokees to be an act that probably deserved more attention. And speaking of relatively obscure Aussie '60s stuff that deserves attention, if you can burn me a copy of the Devil's Children Volume One, well you know my e-mail address. - The Barman
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