Band members Related acts
- Chris Bates -- vocals (1966-69)
- Jeff Glover -- bass (1966-69)
- Roger Pope -- drums, percussion (1966-69)
- Bruce Turner -- lead guitar (1966-69)
- Dave Wright - rhythm guitar (1966-69)
- Hookfoot (Jeff Glover and Roger Pope)
- The Final One
- The Soul Agents (Jeff Glover and Roger Pope)
- The Troggs (Dave Wright)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Title: The Loot Singles A's and B's
Country/State: Andover, England
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: The Loot Singles A's and B's
Available: not for sale
GEMM catalog ID: not for sale
Price: not for sale
There were simply so many gifted mid-1960s English bands that it's no wonder a talented pop group like The Loot simply got lost in the crowd.
Formed in 1966 the Andover, Hampshire-based band showcased the talents of
singer Chris Bates, bassist Jeff Glover, drummer Roger Pope, lead guitarist Bruce Turner, and rhythm guitarist Dave Wright. Glover and Pope had previously been members of The Soul Agents who recorded a series of 1964 - 1966 R&B-oriented singles for Pye. Guitarist Wright had briefly been a member of The Troggs. The Troggs connection also helped the band score a contract with Larry Page's Page One label where they recorded a series of four singles over a three year period:
- 1966's 'Baby' b/w 'Baby Come Closer (Page One catalog number POF 013)
- 1967's ''You Need Someone To Love' b/w 'I've Just Gotta Love You' (Page One catalog number POF 026) demo single, may not have been released
- 1968's 'She's A Winner' b/w 'Save Me' (Page One catalog number POF 095)
- 1969's 'Try To Keep It A Secret' b/w 'Radio City' (Page One catalog number POF 0119)
In an odd marketing move, the band also managed to release a pair of singles on CBS/Columbia:
- 1967's 'Whenever You're Ready' b/w 'I Got What You Want' (CBS catalog number 2938)
- 1968's 'Don't Turn Around' b/w 'You Are My Sunshine Girl' (CBS catalog number 3231)
UK and various European picture sleeve 45s
The group never recorded an album so if you're interested in hearing their catalog you've essentially got two choices - collect all of their singles (which are fairly expensive), or opt for one of the retrospective sets that may not be legitimate releases.
Released by James Plummer's Radioactive label, unlike a lot of releases on the label, there's a good chance "The Loot Singles A's and B's" was an approved compilation. I make that statement based on the fact the 1,000 copy pressing served to collect all of the band's six singles from Page One and CBS, along with a pair of demos ('You Need someone To Love' and 'I've Just Gotta Love You' and the 'A' side of a French-only single 'Gotta Get Home'. Messing with big label copyrights like CBS/Columbia would take considerable gumption ... Not that Plummer didn't have that characteristic. So aside from the business considerations what did these guys actually sound like? Most of the reviews I've seen have been lukewarm, labeling them second tier Troggs. Judging by these 14 tracks I'd beg to disagree. While nothing here was particularly original, Bates had a great voice (easily as good as Reg Presley), while the rest of the band were every bit as talented as their Page One competitors. Taking these in chronological order as opposed to the track listing sequence, here's a quick run down.
- Their first single, 'Baby' was kicked along by a killer Byrd's-styled jangle-rock melody with more than a little West Coast influence. One of Bates' prettiest vocal performances.
- 'Baby Come Close' was the debut 45's flip side. While not as immediately likeable, it's stutter rhythm and group chorus quickly grew on you. Quite different from the rest of their early material.
- Their second single 'You Need Someone To Love You' had a decent chorus, a 10 second segment that sounded like Pete Townshend and The Who had crashed the session, and not much else going for it. Curiously, in spite of the title, the lyric Bates sang was ' ... you need somebody to love you ....'
- The flip side to their second Page One single, 'I've Just Gotta Love You' sported an extremely commercial feel, but it sounded like they were trying too hard.
- Their third Page One single 'She's a Winner' was a transitional effort. Musically the song had a garage feel to it, but with a nice hook and a distinctive psych flavor to Bates vocals.
- 'Save Me' was the flip side to their third Page One single and boasted an unexpected Motown feel. Very nice ... Great vocal from Bates.
- Written by Caleb Quaye who would play with drummer Pope in Hookfoot and as a member of Elton John's touring band, their final Page One single 'Try To Keep a Secret' is one of my favorite selections. A driving rocker it sported a killer Bruce Turner guitar solo. Nice all the way through.
- The flip side to their second Page One single 'Radio City' had a distinctive psych edge and another Pete Townshend influenced guitar fill. Guess they enjoyed their trip to New York City.
- Penned by Bates, their CBS debut 'I Got What You Want' may have been their most enjoyable outright pop song. Sure the lyric was trite, but the hooky chorus would have sounded amazing on top-40 radio.
- One of their better flip sides, 'Whenever You're Ready' would actually have been the better 'A' side since it sported a more conventional and danceable song structure. Great hook.
- Their second CBS single 'Don't Turn Around' had all the ingredients required to be a hit; great flower power melody (complete with Indian-styled percussion),, irritatingly catchy hook, and an urgent vocal from Bates. The only drawback was the abrupt mid-song tempo change. Made it a bummer to dance to. Naturally it disappeared without a trace.
- The flip to their second CBS single, 'You Are My Sunshine Girl' was a threat to diabetics ... English bubblegum that was more suitable for a bread commercial.
As for the odds and ends:
- Released on a French EP (see below), 'Meet Jacqueline' was one of their lamer efforts. Dumb lyrics, little in the way of a melody ... forgettable. Guess that's why it ended up on a French EP ... The Troggs also recorded it. In case you were curious their version found on "Trogglodynamite" wasn't any better.
- Pulled from a French single, Turner's 'Gotta Get Home' had a weird Buddy Holly-ish feel. Slightly better than 'Meet Jacqueline' ...
Singles A's and B's" track listing:
1.) She's a Winner (Dave Wright - Grundley) -
2.) Try To Keep a Secret (Caleb Quaye) -
3.) Baby (Dave Wright) -
4.) Baby Come Closer (J. Price - T. Dwyer) -
5.) Meet Jacqueline (Hammond) -
6.) You Need Someone To Love (Jeff Glover) -
7.) Radio City (Dave Wright) -
2.) I've Just Gotta Love You (J. Price - T. Dwyer) -
3.) Don't Turn Around (Bruce Turner) -
4.) I Got What You Want (Chris Bates) -
5.) Gotta Get Home (Bruce Turner) -
6.) You Are My Sunshine Girl (Jeff Glover) -
7.) Whenever You Are Ready (Jeff Glover) -
For Loot completists there are a couple of other collectables. There's a four track French EP - "The Loot" (Fontana catalog number 460.260 ME). As mentioned above the EP included the non-45 track 'Meet Jacqueline'.
"The Loot" track listing:
1.) Baby Come Closer (J. Price - T. Dwyer) -
2.) Meet Jacqueline (Hammond) -
1.) You Need Someone To Love (Jeff Glover) -
2.) Baby (Dave Wright) -
There's also a 1997 various artists CD compilation on the EEC label (catalog number CDCW5710) entitled "Untamed and Innocent" that includes seven Loot tracks:
1.) Baby Come Closer (J. Price - T. Dwyer) -
2.) Whenever You Are Ready (Jeff Glover) -
3.) I Got What You Want (Chris Bates) -
4.) Try To Keep a Secret (Caleb Quaye) -
5.) She's a Winner (Dave Wright - Grundley) -
6.) Save Me (D. Glover) -
7.) Radio City (Dave Wright) -
The rest of the compilation showcased fellow bands The Sorrows, The Thoughts, and The Untamed.
In case anyone cares, Glover and Pope (along with Caleb Quaye) reappeared in the band Hookfoot. Pope went on to become a member of Elton John's studio and touring band.
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