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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Non stop solid rock'n'roll, 12 May 2008
This review is from: Very Best of The Kingsmen - ""Louie Louie (Audio CD)
Before the Kingsmen came a splinter act from Bill Haley's Comets who were the first to use the name the Kingsmen-which indicated that the members were connected with one of the Kings of Rock'n'Roll-Bill Haley.
These Kingsmen became famous because they won the Louie Louie race with a song recorded at the time Haley was a national star.
As a result the song made its creator Richard Berry a belated star in his own right.
The Kingsmen were by no means the first of the North West groups to cut the song-they just happenned to have controversy on their side when deejays decided it was a song full of questionable lyrics and the FBI of all people wasted a lot of time investigating a song which was not even rude and which has sheet music available at the time.Did this really happen or is it an Urban Myth. Apparantly not but the Kingsmen vocalist had garbled the lyrics in any case and even admitted later to have been unsure of the lyrics.But a comparison with any of the other versions shows they sung the right words.
Whatever this is the version which inspired the early career of the Kinks who also covered the song.
Its even possible that without the Kingsmen version the song would have been nowhere near as big-maybe just top 40.
In the U K the group were one hit wonders but in the States there were many more hits all on this CD
So what else did the Kingsmen do to warrant all these Greatest Hits and Best ofs?
For a start both they and the Trashmen were the last great shout before the British Invasion and the Louie follow up was a version of Money later to be made more famous by the Beatles.Nest came a stunning version of the Righteous Brothers' Little Latin Lupe Lu and into the next 2 years at least a series of other hits like The Jolly Green Giant with many albums following which were chock full of covers.
Quite what made the band record that terrible downer song Death of an Angel is beyond me.The original by Donald Woods & the Velours was made on the same label as the Richard Berry original of Louie Louie yet the Kingsmen version was a Top 20 hit.
An interesting fact about the Kingsmen is the amount of stuff they cut which was made to sound like Louie-such as Long Green (another Money song) which uses the same chords backwards.
However in the U K the Kingsmen are one hit wonders
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Very Best of The Kingsmen - ""Louie Louie
Very Best of The Kingsmen - ""Louie Louie by The Kingsmen (Audio CD - 1999)
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