Red Squares, The

Band members               Related acts

- Andy Bell -- drums (1964-66)

- David Bell -- rhythm guitar, backing vocals (1964-65)

- David 'Georgie' Garrirock -- vocals (1964-69)

- Howie Gee (aka Howard Goldman) -- vocals, drums

  (1965, 66)

- Dennis Hastings -- bass, guitar, backing vocals

  (replaced  James Mason) (1968-69)

- Ronnie Martin -- lead guitar, vocals (replaced

  David Bell) (1965-66)

- James 'Pete' Mason -- bass, backing vocals (1965-68)

- Steve McGhee - rhythm guitar, backing vocals (replaced 

  Ronnie Martin) (1966-68)

- Michael Moloney -- drums (replaced Andy Bell) (1966-)

- Michael Geoffrey Rothwell -- guitar, backing vocals

  (replaced David Bell) (1965-69)

- Jahn Teigen -- bass, backing vocals (1968-69)

- The Beatmakers (Ronnie Martin)

- The Enemies (Jahn Teigen)

- David 'Georgie' Garrirock (solo efforts)

- The Squares



Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The Red Squares

Company: Columbia

Catalog: KSX 5

Year: 1966

Country/State: Boston, Lincolnshire UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: Danish pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5101

Price: $


In the wake of the mega mid-1960s successes enjoyed by The Beatles, The Stones and other English bands, it was only natural that thousands of other groups decided to give music a shot.  The only problem was that there was only so much room at the top, leaving thousands of talented (and not so talented) bands with no outlet for their products.  Many quickly gave up the chase, while others including The Red Squares decided to give it a shot outside of the UK.


The Red Squares were formed in late 1964 in Boston, Lincolnshire.  The initial line up featured guitarists Dave Bell and Ronnie Martin, singer David Garriock, bass player Pete Mason and drummer Andy Bell.  Unable to attract much attention in the UK the band relocated to France where they paid their bills playing on the US military base club circuit.  Guitarist Bell quit in 1965 and was replaced by Mick Rothwell, with Howard Gee coming on as a second vocalist.  Gee's stint with the band was brief.  Within a matter of months he'd relocated to Denmark where he quickly discovered a huge local demand for rock and roll.  He got back in contact with the rest of The Red Squares and at his urging in early 1966 the band packed up and relocated to Denmark.  Quickly signed to Columbia, over the next six months the group released a string of singles that catapulted them to the top of the Danish and Scandinavian charts:


- 1966's 'Pity Me' b/w 'Any Other Girl' (Columbia catalog DD-781)



- 1966's 'Sherry' b/w 'You Can Be My Baby' (Columbia catalog DD-784)



- 1966's 'Big Girls Don't Cry' b/w 'Mountain High' (Columbia catalog DD-789)



- 1966's 'People Get Ready' b/w 'Turning Round' (Columbia catalog DD-790)



- 1966's 'Turning Round' b/w 'You Can Be My Baby' (Columbia catalog DS-2341)



- 1966's 'Sherry' b/w 'Pity Me' (Columbia catalog DS-2328)



During that six month period the band underwent a couple of personnel shifts. Original drummer Bell went back to the UK and was replaced by Gee.  Unfortunately, lacking a Danish work permit Gee was promptly kicked out of the country.  He was then replaced by drummer Michael Moloney.  Luckily those personnel changes did nothing to stop the group's commercial successes and by the middle of the year they'd become major stars in Denmark and Scandinavia, leading Columbia to release a Red Squares LP.  


More of a marketing move than an artistic statement, the cleverly-titled "The Red Squares" essentially served as a compilation of the group's earlier singles.  Heavy on popular pop and soul covers tracks like 'I'm So Happy', 'I Get Around' and '' were certainly competent showcasing the group's affection for early-1960s American soul and harmony groups like The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons (represented on the album by two covers).  Garrirock had a decent voice and the band performances were all professional, but none of the covers added anything to the original versions.  It was easy to see why these guys couldn't make a go of it in the UK - for the most part their sound was simply too dated and too MOR for English (or American) tastes.  Simply hard to see how covering 'Theme from a Summer Place' or turning in one of the all time lame Motown covers ('Dancing In the Streets') was cool by any standard.  In contrast, the isolated band originals (largely penned by Martin and Bell), were first-rate  As good as anything The Who or other mod exponents were churning out the blazing 'You Can Be My Baby' was a killer slice of garage/proto-punk.  To my ears it's simply hard to imagine the song was recorded by the same band responsible for the album's other MOR covers.  Shame they didn't pursue that genre since they would've been a massive act ....


"The Red Squares" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I'm So Happy   (Ron Anderson) - 

2.) Rag Doll   (Bob Crewe - Bob Gaudio) - 

3.) I Get Around   (Brian Wilson) - 

4.) Theme from a Summer Place   (Max Steiner) - 

5.) You Can Be My Baby  (Ronnie Martin - David Bell) -

6.) Stay   (Maurice Williams) - 

7.) I Love You  (Ronnie Martin - David Bell) -


(side 2)
1.) Never   (Ronnie Martin - David Garrirock) - 

2.) Wishing and Hoping   (Burt Bacharach - Hal Davis) - 

3.) Pain   (Ronnie Martin - David Bell) - 

4.) Dancing In the Streets    (Stevenson - Marvin Gaye) - 

5.) Turning Around   (Fleet - Hill) - 

6.) People Get Ready   (Curtis Mayfield) - 

7.) Big Girls Don't Cry   (Bob Crewe - Bob Gaudio) - 




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