From the Stacks

From The Stacks: The Standells – Dirty Water

Standells Dirty Water

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.

Standells Dirty Water Rear

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