This is one of the “scary hippy records” handed down from my aunt’s collection when I was a pup. That’s a preschooler’s perspective, obviously. The Standells were neither scary nor hippy.
The were gritty, though, which is why Lenny Kaye included the great “Dirty Water” on his Nuggets compilation. It was a favorite of Paul Shaffer’s, too, at least in the early days of the Letterman show. Maybe he still plays it during commercial breaks, I don’t know. If you’re a Red Sox fan you’ve heard it many times in that context, too.
“Dirty Water” may have been their only hit, but The Standells should get a footnote in rock history for putting a version of “Hey Joe” on this album before Hendrix’s Are You Experienced was released. Their version is fast and edgy; you can almost taste the benzedrine:
So were The Standells proto-punk? They get my vote: short, raw, simple songs played fast. That’s why this album still gets time on my turntable.
The big money here is for a mint condition mono release, which will set you back $150 American if you’re lucky. But if you don’t have to have the most collectible of collectibles you can pay as little as 5-10 bucks for a fair condition stereo version. Happy hunting.