Monday, April 27, 2015

Southern California Spotlight: The Leaves - Too Many People/Love Minus Zero

Our final Southern California Battle of the Garage Bands entrant. What a rich well of music out of SoCal!

The Leaves hailed from Los Angeles. I thought that The Seeds discography was a mess with multiple releases of the same song with different catalogue numbers and different flip-sides. Man, let me tell you, The Leaves take the cake.

We focus today on The Leaves' first release, Too Many People/Love Minus Zero. It was released on the local label, Mira Records, and hit the stores in July of 1965. The A-side was composed by the band's first lead guitarist, Bill Rinehart and bassist, Jim Pons. Too Many People is a scorcher of an original. Wailing harmonica, pounding bass, double vocal attack from Pons and John Beck, snarly lyrics about fighting back against "the man" and some very nice Rickenbacker guitar leads.

With this first release, the flip-side was Bob Dylan's Love Minus Zero. A perfectly fine version, but ultimately a tepid number compared to the A-side.

Too Many People would be rerecorded for the band's LP. That rerecording is a greatly inferior version to what we have here on their debut single. The single would get released again, a full year after this initial release, with Girl From The East as the flip-side. That song would be released on no less than four straight singles from the band! And we haven't even touched on the three different recordings of Hey Joe that the band released in less than six months. Sheesh!
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

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