Here's a really cool one. This is Lesley Gore doing a cover of the Mindbenders' stomping mod classic "Off and Running", which originally appeared on the "To Sir, With Love" soundtrack. This version completely outpaces the original, in my opinion.
from the single Off and Running (Mercury) available on CD - Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows: The Best of Lesley Gore (Rhino)
Given the recent reevaluation of "mainstream" 60s pop acts such as the Association, the Monkees & Free Design, it seems a shame that more people aren't aware of how great the Grassroots were. Best known for their oldies-radio staples "Midnight Confessions" and "Let's Live for Today", they were purveyors of great well-crafted, country-rock-tinged pop music. This track is a perfect example, deftly combining vibes, mandolin, handclaps, fuzz guitar and terrific lyrics into an inimitable 60s L.A. sound. Check them out, it's high time that they got their due. And a special note for all you trainspotters out there...you can see the band perform this song in the 1968 Doris Day vehicle "With Six You Get Egg Roll".
from Feelings (Dunhill) available on CD - Anthology: 1965-1975 (Rhino)
11 Oct 05 ·adam12: Right! I can remember most local bands covering this tune in the mid-late 60's. Sounds good coming out of a garage. Kinda like "Nobody But Me" by the Human Beings.
Jimmy Scott turns in a monumental take on this Jerome Kern & Oscar Hammerstein standard. Scott's languid feminine phrasing and incredible diction really cause him to stand head and shoulders above nearly all other jazz vocalists. In this performance, he takes material that could come out rather saccharine and injects a healthy dose of pain into it. The result is a throughly memorable, soulful ballad. Due to Scott's lack of a record contract, this recording remained unreleased until 1993.
Here's another early Burt Bacharach composition, this one from (or just a promotional piece for?) the William Wyler film "The Desperate Hours." I haven't seen the movie, but this song makes me want to. This song is steeped in a heavy film noir atmosphere -- with vibes and wailing sax -- that I love. Needless to say, this has a very different sound from the stuff Bacharach would become famous for a few years down the road.