Uniques, The

Band members               Related acts

- Mike Love -- drums, percussion (1963-71)

- Ray Mills -- lead guitar (1963-71)

- Bobby Sims -- rhythm guitar (1963-68)

- Bobby Stampley -- bass (1963-71)

- Joe Stampley -- vocals, keyboards (1963-71)

- Ronnie Weiss - guitar

- Jim Woodfield -- guitar (replaced Bobby Sims) (1968-71)




- Mouse and the Traps (Ronnie Weiss)

- Rio Grande (Ronnie Weiss)

- Joe Stampley (solo efforts)





Genre: garage

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Uniquely Yours

Company: Paula

Catalog:  LP-2190

Year: 1966

Country/State: Louisiana

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: small punch out hole lower right corner; stereo copy

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5288

Price: $50.00


In this day and age if they're recognized at all, Louisiana's The Uniques can probably trace that recognition to the fact lead singer/keyboardist Joe Stampley's successes as a country artist.  That said, most folks including Stampley fans probably don't realize that he started his musical career as a member of a talented garage/blue-eyed soul quintet.     


Fromed in 1963 and fronted by singer/keyboardist Stampley and his bass playing brother Bobby, the rest of the band consisted of drummer Mike Love, lead guitarist Ray Mills and rhythm guitarist Bobby Sims.  Playing a mix of garage, soul and pop material the band apparently became quite popular touring throughout Louisiana, Arkansas, and Eastern Texas, eventually attracting the attention of the Shreveport, Louisiana-based Paula Records. Signed in 1965 by Paula, over the next year they released a string of singles:


- 1965's 'Not Too Long Ago' b/w 'Fast Way of Living' (Paula catalog number 219)

- 1965's 'Too Good To Be True' b/w 'Never Been In Love' (Paula catalog number 222)

- 1965's 'Lady's Man' b/w 'Bolivar' (Paula catalog number 227).


While none of the singles was a breakout hit, Paula management was happy enough with the results to finance an album.  Released in 1966, "Uniquely Yours" featured a mixture of garage, blue-eyed soul, and sappy MOR pop.  About half of the selections were band originals credited to Joe.  As lead singer Stampley was also quite good.  His voice wasn't the most distinctive instrument you've ever heard, but it was commercial and quite versatile, allowing him to easily navigate between the band's diverse catalog.  Certainly not a big surprise, the group were at their best on blue-eyed soul numbers and tougher, garage-influenced songs like the harmonica-propelled opener 'You Ain't Tuff', their cover of Roy Head's 'Treat Her Right', 'Fast Way of Living' and 'Strange' (which should've been a big radio hit).  In contrast their more commercial numbers like 'From Heaven To a Heartbreak', 'Not Too Long Ago', and 'Never Been In Love Before' sounded prefabricated and rather lame.  The funny thing about this record was that with the exception of their cover of 'House of the Rising Sun' (which was notable for Stampley's weird clipped vocals and clumsy performance),  nothing here was exceptional.  None of the songs were particularly original and there wasn't a single over-the-top performance to knock you over.  At the same time the album had more than it's share of charm and appeal, leaving you with the impression these guys were probably loads of fun to have seen in a club setting.  Paula also tapped the album for a pair of singles:


- 1966's 'Strange' b/w 'You Ain't Tough' (Paula catalog number 231)

- 1966's 'All These Things' b/w 'Tell Me What To Do' (Paula catalog number 238)


In case anyone cared, Lloyd Thaxton contributed some of the dullest liner notes you'll ever read.


"Uniquely Yours" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You Ain't Tuff   (K. Henderson - L. Puckett) - 2:19

2.) From Heaven To a Heartbreak   (P. Davidson - Dale Hawkins) - 2:02

3.) Midnight Hour   (Steve Cropper - Wilson Pickett) - 2:09

4.) All These Things   (N. Neville) - 3:58

5.) Not Too Long Ago   (Joe Stampley - M. Kilgore) - 2:21

6.) Fast Way of Living   (R.C. Stampley - J. Rhodes) - 2:30


(side 2)
1.) Treat Her Right   (R. Head) - 2:48

2.) Georgia (On My Mind)   (Hoagie Carmichael - S. Gorrel) - 3:04

3.) Strange   (Joe Stampley - R.C. Stampley) - 2:09

4.) Never Been In Love Before   (Joe Stampley) - 1:50

5.) Don't Be a Fool   (J. Carr - Joe Stampley) - 1:54

6.) House of the Rising Sun   (traditional - arranged by Joe Stampley - S. Lewis) - 3:07




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