Spanky and Our Gang

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1: (1966-67)

- Oz Bach (RIP 1998) -- bass 

- Lefty Baker -- vocals, guitar 

- Malcolm Hale (RIP 1968) -- guitar, drums

- Elaine 'Spanky' McFarlane -- vocals, percussion

- Nigel Pickering -- bass


  line up 2: (1967-98)

- Lefty Baker -- vocals, guitar 

NEW - Kenny Hodges -- bass (replaced Oz Bach) 

- Elaine 'Spanky' McFarlane -- vocals, percussion 

- Nigel Pickering -- bass 

NEW - John Seiter -- drums, percussion (replaced Malcolm Hale)





The Turtles (John Seiter)





Genre: pop

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Without Rhyme or Reason b/w Anything You Chose

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SR 61183

Year: 1969

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: original inner sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4607

Price: $15.00

Cost: $66.00


Anyone who thought Spanky and Our Guys were nothing more than a second rate Mamas and the Papas is likely to be pleasantly surprised by 1968's "Without Rhyme or Reason b/w Anything You Chose".  Co-produced by Stuart Scharf and Bob Dorough, the band's third studio set was recorded in the wake of personnel upheavals that saw original bassist Oz Bach replaced by Kenny Hodges and the addition of new singer/guitarist Lefty Baker.  Musically the album stood as their most diverse, experimental and enjoyable collection.  Apparently intended as a concept piece, the collection found the band turning in an impressive and seamless suite of music that included stabs at blues, vaudeville, folk-rock, jazz, MOR, pop, psych, and hard rock.  Highlights included the weird lead off rocker 'Leopard Skin Phones', the Malcolm Hale sung 'Jane' and the should've been hits 'Since You've Been Gone' and 'And She's Mine' (one of the niftiest sunshine pop songs you'll ever hear).  Curiously Mercury chose to release 'Give a Damn' b/w 'The Swinging Gate' (Mercury catalog number 72831) as a single.  It seems funny in this day and age, but in 1968 the song title was enough to provoke a widespread airplay ban though the 45 still managed to hit the top-100 charts.  That's even funnier given the lyrics were one of the era's more effective pleas for understanding and cooperation.  Go figure ...   Mercury also tapped 'And She's Mine' b/w 'Leopard Skin Phones' (Mercury catalog number 72926) as a follow-on single.   Sadly, the album was completed amidst personal tragedy - guitarist Malcolm Hale contracted pneumonia and died during the recording sessions.  

"Without Rhyme or Reason b/w Anything You Chose" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Leopard Skin Phones   (Lefty Baker - Kenny Hodges) - 2:58

2.) But Back Then - 1:08

3.) Mecca Flat Blues   (Spanky McFarlane - Little Brother Montgomery - 3:21

4.) Without Rhyme or Reason   (Bob Dorough - Landsman) - 2:29

5.) 1-2-5-8 (Pedagogical Round # 2)   (Bob Dorough) - 1:09

6.) Jane   (Stuart Scharf) - 3:08

7.) Since You've Been Gone   (Stuart Scharf) - 4:35


(side 2)
1.) Anything You Choose   (Stuart Scharf) - 2:46

2.) And She's Mine   (Kenny Hodges) - 2:34

3.) Yesterday's Rain   (Lefty Baker) - 3:20

4.) Hong Kong Blues   (Carmichael) - 3:45

5.) Nowhere To Go   (Stuart Scharf) - 0:50

6.) Give a Damn   (Bob Dorough - Stuart Scharf) - 3:33