The Krystals

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1966-70)

- Maurice (Moe) Caines -- vocals, guitar 

- Stanislaus "Stan"  Erbrink -- vocals, bass, guitar

- Tommy Hynes -- 

- Cecil Lucas -- 


  line up 2 (1970-71)

- Stan Erbrink -- vocals, bass, guitar

NEW - Roland Gaudet -- drums, percussion, keyboards

NEW - Ray March -- keyboards

NEW - Lloyd Thornhill - vocals, guitar, bass





- The Black Knight (Stan Erbrink)

- Stan Erbrink (solo efforts)

- The Keatniks (Maurice Caines)





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The Krystals

Company: Fourmost

Catalog: MS-8943

Year: 1971

Country/State: Labrador City, Canada / Haarem Holland

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: minor ring and edge wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 6121

Price: $120.00



First off, good luck finding a copy of this Canadian obscurity.  In forty years of collecting I've only seen one copy of "The Krystals".  Similarly, good luck finding any kind of information on the band ...


What little I can tell you about the band comes from the limited liner notes on their self-titled 1971 album.  Formed in the rock and roll hotbed of Labrador City, Newfoundland, the band came together in 1966.  The original line-up featured ex-Keatnicks singer/guitarist Maurice (Moe) Caines , bass player Stanislaus "Stan"  Erbrink, Tommy Hynes and Cecil Lucas.  Born and raised in Holland, Erbrink had been a member of The Black Knights.  After graduating from a Dutch college with an engineering degree, he moved to Canada in search of work.  Basically a bar cover band, The Krystals spent the next four years working through Newfoundland and Eastern Canada.  By the time the band released their debut album, Erbrink was the only original member left.  The revamped line-up consisted of drummer Roland Gaudet, keyboard player Ray March and guitarist Lloyd Thornhill.  Recorded in RCA's Montreal Studios, Erbrink was also credited with producing, designing the cover and taking most of the album photos.  


So what's this rarity sound like?  Self-financed, 1971's "The Krystals" lacked writing credits, but given it was mostly a collection of then-popular covers, it wasn't to hard to identify most of the originals. That said, there were four songs I'd never heard.  I'd love to know who did the originals ('You Love 'cos You Like It', 'Mr. In-Between', 'Mamas and Papas' and 'Can't Have').  Musically the set found the group bouncing around between '60s pop, beat and mild-psych genres.  They certainly weren't the most technically proficient band you've ever heard, but at least to my ears their occasional clumsiness was part of the charm.  While most of the covers were at least passable (wonder why they felt the need to turn in two Chicago covers?),'You Love 'cos You Like It', 'Mr. In Between' and 'You Are Such a  Good Looking Woman' were the real charmers.  You also have to admire the group's willingness to record in French ('Je' N'aurai Pas Le Temps') and Spanish ('Maria Isabel').  There was one original - Thornhill's closing instrumental 'Creeping Fuzz'.  The album certainly won't change anyone's life, but I've heard far worse releases from major acts.  Probably the best description came from Erbrink himself: "The recording was done in a tiring continuous session of 18 hours; it was an arduous job and this possibly explains the slight lack of quality. The reason for making the record was that I wanted to leave a palpable reminder of 'The Krystals' to the people of Labrador City after five years of playing music there. In the beginning of October, 1971 I went to work in South Africa, and that was also the end of the band."


For those of you influenced by such things, this one's listed in one of Hans Pokora's "Record Collectors Dreams" book as a three star rarity.


"The Krystals" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You Love 'cos You Like It (writer - unknown) rating: **** stars

Admittedly I don't know who recorded the original version of 'You Love 'cos You Like It'.  Not that it mattered since there was something endearing in their lo-fi performance.  With a very mid-'60s Buddy Holly/Bobby Fuller Four flavor, the chorus was catchy and the Ray March Vox organ fills were sweet.  One of the album highlights. Anyone know what the original version was?

2.) Mr. In Between (writer - unknown) rating: *** stars

Another tune that was unknown to me.  It's not the Howard Harland tune recorded by Burl Ives. Musically this mid-tempo pop ballad again sounded very mid-'60s, showcasing Erbrink's slight accent.  I have to admit the chorus was gorgeous.

3.) You Are Such a  Good Looking Woman (Albert Hammond - Lee Hazelwood)  rating: *** stars

Australian Joe Dolan covered the this one and had a hit with his Tom Jones-styled pop rendition. I'm not a big Tom Jones fan to start with and I have to admit there cover version gave the song a weird "Schlager" feel.  Couple of cold beers and I bet this one became a much more attractive sing-along candidate.  

4.) He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (Bob Russell - Bobby Scott)  rating: ** stars

Did the world need another cover of this one?  Short answer was no.  Their cover was surprisingly close to The Hollies version.

5.) El Condor Pasa (instrumental)   (Paul Simon)  rating: ** stars

Classic lounge act performance.  While the rest of the band stepped away for a cigarette break, March got to take the spotlight for a passable cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic.

6.) Make Me Smile (James Pankow)   rating: ** stars

The first to two Chicago covers, their cover of 'Make Me Smile' instantly made me flashback to all the wasted time I'd spent in corner bars.  Nice karaoke version of the song.

(side 2)
1.) Over & Over (Ron Dante - Jeff Barry)  rating: ** stars

Hum who would have expected an Archies cover?  Like most of the album, their version was a pretty rote arrangement of the original.  Recognizable, but certainly not an improvement on the original..

2.) Maria Isabel (John Krispijn - Jose Moreno - Luis Moreno - Pierre Kartner) rating: *** stars

I'm guessing Erbrink was familiar with the Los Vastos version of this track.  It had enjoyed some popular success as Dutch single. Sung in Spanish and a perfect example of '70s European pop with an emphasis on cute, this one always makes me smile.

3.) Je'N'aurai Pas Le Temps (Michel Fugain - Pierre Delanoe)   rating: ** stars

The only performance sung in French (guess they must have played some dates in Quebec), Canadian singer Michel Delanoe co-wrote the song and released it as a single.  A "big" emotional ballad powered by March's keyboards, someday I'll have to find the time to explore the world of French-Canadian chanson.  Now isn't the time.

4.) Colour My World (James Pankow)   rating: ** stars

Another track that gave keyboardist March a lot of spotlight time.  Erbrink didn't sound particularly comfortable on this one.  The other Chicago cover was better.

5.) Mamas and Papas (writer - unknown) rating: *** stars

To my ears 'Mamas and Papas' was another unknown song ...  Catchy country-tinged pop tune. Shame Thornhill's guitar solo sounded like it was recorded a block away.

6.) Can't Have (writer - unknown) rating: **** stars

Another Holly/Fuller-styled rocker, 'Can't Have' was another song that caught my ear.

7.) Creepin' Fuzz (instrumental) (Lloyd Thornhill) rating: **** stars

The lone original composition, the title gave this one away - essentially the instrumental 'Creepin' Fuzz' served as a showcase for Thornhill to showoff his fuzz guitar moves.  It sounded like a track off some psych-ploitation album, but was easily the album's standout performance.


So The Krystals LP was one I liked, but wasn't crazy about (reinforced by a recent spin).  Since posting the comments in 2007 I received one question about it ... that is until this interesting email crossed my in-box.


Hi there at Badcat Records,
It was a great surprise to me to find the name of "The Krystals" on your list after 44 years.  My name is Stan Erbrink (Dutch nationality) and I was part of that band during 5 years.  And yes: I'm the same Stan Erbrink of "The Black Knights".  I hope you don't mind that I send you some comments.

First something about "The Black Knights": The band existed from 1961 to 1966 and actuated in the area of Haarlem/Heemstede (Holland). The music style was mainly Beatles, Shadows, popular rock etc. The band members were: Co Erbrink, (my brother) drums, Louis Kloes rhythm guitar, Peter Obdam bass guitar and myself lead guitar. In 1963 we got an offer from the dance-studio "Griffioen" in Haarlem to cut a record. It was our bass player Peter Obdam who wrote "Blue Dream" (a Shadow-like instrumental) and a beatsong "Little Girl".  It was a sort of a publicity-act and the records were used as give-aways for new sign-ups to the dance-school.  I can´t remember how many records were pressed, but it should be around 500 or 1000 copies at the most. In 1992 a Danish band "The Blue Stars" rerecorded the title Blue Dream on Rarity Records (catalog number C192463).

In 1966 after finishing my engineering studies I went to Labrador City, Canada and that was also the end of the band.
Something about "The Krystals":
The band was formed in November 1966 by Maurice (Moe) Caines a former singer/guitarist of "The Keatniks" (also from Labrador City). I joined Moe Caines together with Tommy Hynes and Cecil Lucas from the start.  As happens with many bands there were a lot of changes and in the last two years the members of The Krystals were as is mentioned on the record. The record was recorded at R.C.A. studios in Montreal in November. 1970 in one tiring continuous session of 18 hours. It was an arduous job and this explains possibly the slight lack of quality, apart for not being professionals. The whole operation was self-financed.  In January 1971 only 2000 copies were released. The reason for making the record was mainly that I wanted to leave a palpable reminder of the band in Labrador City where we played music for five years.  In October 1971 I went to South Africa and the band broke up.
With respect to the credentials I can tell you that only one title on the record is 100% ours, the name is "Creepin´ Fuzz" which was made by Lloyd Thornhill. The rest of the titles on the record are all from other composers. We should have written the credentials on the record, thinking back that was not an elegant thing to do. If I could do it over again certain errors like this (and others) would be eliminated.
I read your comments and critics on our record and sort of agree with you, what you think of us is more or less correct.
In case you want some photographic material, let me know, but that may take some time as I have to dig them out of the old luggage-trunk.
It was nice to find your website.
With kind regards.
Stanislaus (Stan) J. Th. Erbrink.