THE GRASS ROOTS – The Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles

Album: The Complete Original Dunhill/ABC Hit Singles

Artist: Grass Roots

Label: Real Gone Music

Release Date: March 04, 2014

Grassroots 3-4

www.realgonemusic.com

BY TIM HINELY

Like a lot of bands from the 1960s and ‘70s that had many hit singles their hits have been packaged and repackaged so many times it’s hard to keep up. The Grass Roots are no exception. The history of the band is a bit dodgy as several passed through their ranks and many of the bands hit songs were written by other folks. On top of that, many of the songs were written by Phillip Gary Schlein and Steven Barry Lipkin (you probably know them as P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri).  Sloan and Barri were writing songs for ABC and were cranking out hit singles for many artists including folks like Jan and Dean and Bruce and Terry (Sloan later gained fame as the writer for “Eve of Destruction” though it was sung by Barry McGuire: L.A. punks The Dickies later did a terrific cover of it as well).

The Grass Roots were another one of the band that the hitmakers were writing for (side note: Arthur Lee’s pre-Love band was called The Grass Roots but had to change it due to these guys existing).  Originally called The Bedouins, this particular group of individuals moved down from San Francisco and for a while they were the house band at famed L.A. club The Trip. Eventually some or all of the members got homesick and high-tailed it back to the Bay Area so a search for a new Grass Roots was on. One came in an L.A. band called the 13th Floor. The band eventually became a real band and began writing their own songs but you can read all about that in Ed Osborne’s extensive liner notes. (You don’t want me to tell the whole story, do you?). It does mention that the closest the band had to a career-long member was late vocalist/bassist Rob Grill (the “classic” lineup of the band also included guitarists Creed Bratton and Warren Entner and drummer Rick Coonce.

This 24-song disc has all the hits and more. Some of the songs, that I’d heard on the radio countless times as a kid in the ‘70s, were ones that I forgot (or didn’t realize) that the Grass Roots even did).  Here’s the list:” “Midnight Confessions,” “”Temptation Eyes,” “Where Were You When I needed You,” “Bella Linda,” “Lovin’ Things,” “I’d Wait a Million Years,” “Baby Hold On” and plenty more (don’t want to spoil all the surprises). [Er, let’s not forget the group’s hands-down greatest song, “Let’s Live For Today,” which not only sold more than two million copies in 1967 but was much later semi-famously covered by a pre-dB’s/Let’s Active North Carolina combo called Sneakers and, even more semi-famously, The Lords of the New Church. -Power Pop Ed.]

Just listening to this brought back a lot of good memories. The Grass Roots were a good band and these are good songs. Honestly, I don’t care who wrote ‘em, they’re here on this silver disc for all of us to enjoy so go enjoy it (in mono, no less).

DOWNLOAD: “Midnight Confessions,” “Temptation Eyes,” “Where Were You When I Needed You,” “Bella Linda,” “Lovin’ Things,” “I’d Wait a Million Years”

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