Let's Live for Today: The Rokes in English 1966-1968

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Formed in 1962, the Rokes were a better than average English pop group who found the competition for gigs was rather tough at home, so in 1963 they set their sights on Hamburg, where the Beatles had gotten their first break a few years earlier. While the German gigs didn't do much for their career, they did lead to an offer to tour Italy backing up U.K. vocalist Colin Hicks, and the Rokes became a major draw in Italy, scoring a number of hits with both original material and covers of popular American and British rock tunes translated into the native tongue. Rokes leader Norm Shapiro also wrote a number called "Passing Thru Grey" that became a major hit for the Grass Roots ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Formed in 1962, the Rokes were a better than average English pop group who found the competition for gigs was rather tough at home, so in 1963 they set their sights on Hamburg, where the Beatles had gotten their first break a few years earlier. While the German gigs didn't do much for their career, they did lead to an offer to tour Italy backing up U.K. vocalist Colin Hicks, and the Rokes became a major draw in Italy, scoring a number of hits with both original material and covers of popular American and British rock tunes translated into the native tongue. Rokes leader Norm Shapiro also wrote a number called "Passing Thru Grey" that became a major hit for the Grass Roots when the lyrics were changed to "Let's Live for Today." However, the Rokes' European success and Shapiro's talent as a songwriter didn't translate into any chart success in America or Great Britain, even though the band recorded plenty of English-language material during their long stay in Italy. Let's Live for Today: The Rokes in English 1966-1968 collects 16 rare sides from the group, and the happy irony is how veddy British this stuff sounds, even though it was recorded in Rome and was barely heard outside of Italy. "No No No," "Put the Pen Down," and "Ride On" are classic British Invasion-era pop, "Regency Sue" and "The Works of Bartholomew" suggest the characteristically English whimsy of the Kinks though Shapiro's melodic sense recalls Dave Davies rather than his brother Ray, "I Would Give the World" and "When You Are Gone" are fine exercises in Baroque pop, and "When the Wind Arises" is a splendid example of early psychedelic pop. The set also includes the Rokes' recording of "Let's Live for Today" as well as the unreleased original version, "Passing Thru Grey"; overall, this disc might seem like barrel-scraping to less educated fans of British beat-era stuff, but despite their obscurity, this collection shows the Rokes earned their success in Italy on their very real merits as musicians and songwriters, even if they didn't get the same respect at home.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/28/2008
  • Label: Rev-Ola
  • EAN: 5013929456228
  • Catalog Number: 262
  • Sales rank: 214,434

Album Credits

Performance Credits
The Rokes Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Stephen Sondheim Composer
Lucio Battisti Composer
Nick Robbins Recreation
Joe Foster Producer, Recreation
Mike Shepstone Composer
Guido Cenciarelli Composer
Mogol Audio 2 Composer
Franco Migliacci Composer
Andy Morten Producer, Artwork
Stefan Granados Producer, Liner Notes
Giuseppe Cassia Composer
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