Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tower Records Spotlight: The Standells - Barracuda

The Standells were without question, Tower Records' biggest hit makers. The Los Angeles quartet gave Tower the label's first genuine hit when Dirty Water went to #11 on the national charts shortly after it was released in the final hours of 1965.

The Standells had been kicking around LA for a number of years and had released six singles on three different labels before they were paired with producer Ed Cobb and Tower Records. Drummer Dick Dodd -- who had been in the surf band, The Bel-Aires -- was promoted to lead vocal duties and the band changed under Cobb's tutelage from a lightweight frat band to a snarling garage band spilling over with Rolling Stones attitude.

Our featured song today was not one of the many fine singles from the band. Instead, Barracuda, written by Ed Cobb, appeared on the band's final album, Try It!, from 1967. Filled with bravado and dripping with sexual tension, Barracuda was quintessential Ed Cobb tapping into the attitude of the times. The same attitude that got the title track from the LP banned, much to the band's delight. Dick Dodd performs the number with the requisite anti-charm. Dig baby, dig!

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!


  1. ''Try It'' is my favorite Standells slab. I got French Eva label 80's reissue with ''Animal Girl / Soul Drippin'' 7'' added on. I think it sounds pretty solid even it's presumably a boot [I did a rip you can check out on my blog] Badass producer Ed Cobb did a great job with 'em as with CWB but push it a little to much to the soul side [99 and half isn't necessary]. Anyway, there are enough cool garage as ''All Fall Down'', ''Riot...'', ''Did You Ever...'', 'Try It'' and yeah! Barracuda. ''Soul'' tunes as ''Trip To Paradise'', ''Poor Shell Of A Man'' and ''Animal Girl'' are also fine, cover of ''St James Infirmary'' too. Heavenly rich top garage production. Tower Records was a home for my fav guitar-slinger Davie Allan but that's another story. Dig!

  2. I'm with you on those rather lame soul songs. It was a sad way for the band to fade out.

  3. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that Ed Cobb wrote the riff for Dirty Water, Barracuda and the Watch Band's Sweet Young Thing. Is that possible?

    1. And many more. Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, Tainted Love, made famous by Soft Cell, Every Little Bit Hurts for Brenda Holloway, Why Pick On Me for the Standells....

    2. Yeah. But those riffs are epic.

    3. Makes the bassline in No Way Out seem totally Cobbable.