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Where Were You When I Needed You
     

Where Were You When I Needed You

5.0 1
by Bob Dylan
 

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Before the Grass Roots reached the peak of their pop
ock popularity, they were a much more folk-rock-oriented outfit. Indeed, this debut album is a matter of much confusion; apparently the original Grass Roots were pretty much a front for the songwriting team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, who ended up performing on much of the album themselves. In any case, this

Overview

Before the Grass Roots reached the peak of their pop
ock popularity, they were a much more folk-rock-oriented outfit. Indeed, this debut album is a matter of much confusion; apparently the original Grass Roots were pretty much a front for the songwriting team of P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, who ended up performing on much of the album themselves. In any case, this is decent, though not top-of-the-line, early folk-rock, falling about halfway between the Byrds and more pop-oriented peers like the Turtles and the Mamas & the Papas. Highlights include the hit title track and other Sloan-Barri originals like "Lollipop Train," "Look Out Girl," "This Is What I Was Made For," and "You Baby," which was a hit for the Turtles.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/10/2005
Label:
Rev-Ola
UPC:
5013929439320
catalogNumber:
93

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Grass Roots   Primary Artist
Nick Robbins   Synthesizer
Joe Foster   Synthesizer

Technical Credits

Ivory Joe Hunter   Composer
P.F. Sloan   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Marvin Gaye   Composer
Mick Jagger   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
John Sebastian   Composer
Paul Simon   Composer
Sloan   Composer
Steve Barri   Composer
Steve Boone   Composer
Clyde Otis   Composer
Clarence Paul   Composer
Keith Richards   Composer
William "Mickey" Stevenson   Composer
Joe Foster   Producer
Jon "Mojo" Mills   Liner Notes
Andy Morten   Artwork

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Where Were You When I Needed You 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Given that The Grass Roots had one of the most impressive Top-40 runs in American chart history (including the perennials "Let's Live for Today" and "Midnight Confessions"), it's amazing that these early chapters in the band's history are so little known. Adding to the obscurity is that the band(s) heard here have virtually no personnel in common with the better-known version, save for songwriter/producers Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan. ¶ Barri and Sloan are best known for compositions like "You Baby" (The Turtles), "Eve of Destruction" (Barry McGuire), and Secret Agent Man (Johnny Rivers), but in 1965 they found themselves recording their own "Where Were You When I Needed You" with Sloan on lead vocal accompanied by Byrds-like 12-string guitar. The harmony-laden, wall-of-sound chorus is as informed by Spector and Wilson as by the then-burgeoning folk-rock scene. In what would come to be a Grass Roots' hallmark, an actual band had to be recruited to take to the road in the wake of the single's success. ¶ The second Grass Roots (counting Barri & Sloan as GR#1) was a northern California band originally called The Bedouins. Riding the sound of the initial single, GR#2 relocated to Los Angeles and became well-known for their performances at Sunset Strip clubs like The Whiskey A-Go-Go and The Trip. Studio sessions yielded almost enough sides for an album, but a rift with their producer/writers (over how much the band would play, and how much their lead singer would be supported by studio hands) destroyed GR#2 before the albums was complete. ¶ Sloan and Barri pulled together some earlier demo tracks (with Sloan singing) to flesh out the GR#2 tracks, and an LP was readied. In preparation for the album's launch, a re-recorded version of "Where Were You When I Needed You" was released as a single, with Bill Fulton of GR#2 singing lead. Once the single caught on, the LP was released (though, most confusingly, with the earlier P.F. Sloan sung version of "Where Were You"!), but with no band to promote it on the road, it flopped. ¶ The obscurity to which this album was condemned is criminal, as Barry & Sloan's vision of folk rock is a superb combination of The Byrds and Beau Brummels, mixed with sunshine pop elements of bands like The Turtles. Their compositions and cover selections are true ear candy, and the various singers who put their voices to them strike the perfect balance between folk harmonies and garage grit, as on a wonderfully snotty cover of Dylan's "Ballad of a Thin Man." The band was equally adept at the sort of melodic pop-rock that The Monkees cut so convincingly as they were at tougher garage rockers. ¶ Rev-Ola's magnificent reissue includes the twelve tracks of the original LP, along with eight terrific bonuses. Included in the extras are the single version of "Where Were You," a third version of "Where Were You" (sung by eventual GR#3 vocalist Rob Grill), a fuzz-guitar garage B-side ("You're a Lonely Girl"), and a nice garage cover of "Hitch Hike" This CD defines what great reissues are all about.