Ravers, The


Band members               Related acts

- Peter Behrens -- drums, percussion

Hans Joachim "Hajo" Teschners -- vocals, lead guitar

- Werner Klug -- bass

 

 

 

- Silberbart

- The Spots

- The Tonics

- Trio (Peter Behrens)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Dear Mrs. Applebee

Company: TIP

Catalog: 63 3069
Year: 1965

Country/State: Hamburg, Germany

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: German pressing

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5865

Price: $100.00

 

Mid-1960s West German beat bands are a mystery to me.  There's a host of genre records out there, but as far as I can tell there are no decent reference works to tell you what to look for and what to stay clear of.

 

The Ravers were apparently an alias for The Tonics (who also recorded material as The Sports and under other guises).  I'm not sure about the complete line up, but believe that it included drummer Peter Behrens, singer/guitarist Hans Joachim Teschners, and bassist Werner Klug.  Kind of the ultimate for-hire studio group, these guys were willing and able to play virtually anything for a price, making them an in-demand entity for television, commercials, etc.  Signed by the cheapy TIP label (imagine a German version of Pickwick), the group managed to churn out a staggering eight mid-1960s LPs for the label before calling it quits.  

 

 

The fifth in the series, "Dear Mrs. Applebee" served as a pretty good example of the group's business plan and recording repertoire - quickie collections of Anglo-American pop, rock, and soul hits.  Musically known of these 14 tracks were particularly inventive, seldom straying far from the originals.  That made you wonder why they bothered.  Overlooking the monetary factor (like a K-tel set, buying one of these was far cheaper than having to purchase all of the originals),  the only real reason to hear these collections rested in the weirdness factor - there was something kind of strange hearing the heavily accented vocals on tracks like 'Mellow Yellow' and 'Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James'.  'Course that's not going to appeal to most folks, but there's an oddball cult following out there ...  

 

- The band's cover of Neal Diamond's 'I'm a Believer' was virtually a note-by-note version of The Monkees' hit.  Musically the song sounded pretty good, including a nice little fuzz solo with the highlight being the accented vocals.   rating: ** stars

Former Manfred Mann vocalist had a small hit with 'High Times'.  The song wasn't particularly good so the cover isn't much.   rating: ** stars

- Hum, taking on Donovan's 'Mellow Yellow' was an interesting choice since the lyric was kind of a challenge.  Love hearing the anonymous vocalist sing 'electric banana' ...   rating: ** stars

- The title track was a minor 1967 UK pop hit for David Garrick.  Unfortunately Garrick's version wasn't very good to start, so the cover didn't have a chance, though the breezy melody and dumb lyric about a bad boy-turned-good trying to convince a mother to let him get his paws on her chaste daughter were pretty funny.  The tart horn arrangement provided the highlight here.   rating: *** stars

- Because the English lyric was so cumbersome, their cover of Manfred Mann's 'Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James' has always been one of my favorite performances.  Nice ...   rating: *** stars

- There were clearly a host of criticisms associated with an album like this, but you had to give The Ravers, or their handlers credit for good taste when it came to musical selections.  You wouldn't think that a German band would have a chance covering a quintessential British band like The Kinks, but this cover was actually pretty good, though the arrangement was a near copy of the original.   rating: *** stars.  

- I think Roy Head had the original US hit with dozens of subsequent covers.  Again, this version adds little to the original though there's a nice stinging guitar solo.   rating: ** stars

- Side two's energetic cover of Cat Steven's 'Matthew and Son' is my pick for one of the standout performance.   rating: *** stars  

- Why would anyone want to cover Skeeter Davis' 'End of the Word'?   Hideous track.   rating: * star

- With a country tinged feel, 'Green Green Grass of Home' was every bit as bad as the Porter Wagoner, or Tom Jones versions.  The spoken word segment was literally cringe inducing.   rating: * star

- With a different singer handling lead vocals their Beach Boys cover was actually kind of different.  Surprisingly raw and sporting the album's best guitar solo, 'Dance, Dance, Dance' was worth hearing.   rating: **** stars  

- One of the most energetic vocals and pushing the bass even further up in the mix made 'I'm a Man' my pick for best performance.  You won't forget the Spencer Davis Group original, but this was one of the better covers and sounded pretty good on a quality stereo system.  Shame it ended so quickly. rating: **** stars  

- The problem with a chestnut like 'On Broadway' stems from overexposure.  Everyone in the world knows this one, so what can you possibly do to put an original touch on it?  That said, there was a tasty, jazz guitar solo on this one.   rating: ** stars  

- Their second Paul Jones cover, this one was a minor UK hit for Jones and this is a rote cover.  Very short ...   rating: ** stars  

 

Certainly a niche product.  Wonder if anyone's ever bothered to collect the entire Ravers catalog ...

 

"Dear Mrs. Applebee" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I'm a Believer   (Neil Diamond) 

2.) High Time   (Leander - Mills)

3.) Mellow Yellow   (Donovan Leitch)

4.) Dear Ms. Applebee   (Meshell - Baar)

5.) Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James   (Stephens)

6.) Dead End Street   (Ray Davies)

7.) Just a Little Bit    (McCorkle - Moore - McKinney)

 

(side 2)
1.) Matthew and Son   (Cat Stevens)

2.) End of the World   (Sylvia Dee - Arthur Kent)

3.) Green Green Grass of Home   (Claude Putnam - Loose)

4.) Dance, Dance, Dance   (Brian Wilson)

5.) I'm a Man   (Stevie Winwood - Miller)

6.) On Broadway   (Barry Mann - Weil - Leiber - Stoller)

7.) I've Been a Bad Bad Boy   (Leander - London) -

 

 

 

 

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