Our Top 10 Flamin’ Groovies Songs introduces us to a band known for mixing rock and roll oldies covers with their own unique material. Formed in 1965, the band entered the music industry at the height of the psychedelic epoch but established itself as a fearless relic taking fans to the old fine rock and roll. Flamin’ Groovies was originally co-led by Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney with other original lineup members, including George Alexander and drummer Ron Greco. In some way, the band is believed to be out of step during the height of the extended jam owing to their melding of powerful guitar riffs with Brit-pop to make their majorly three-minute songs. We can all agree that this was disruptive marketing at its best and probably the only reason the band gained quite a following in an age where music was quite competitive.
Flamin’ Groovies at this time had established themselves as cult favourites influencing punk and rock music despite failing to gain their deserved share of following. The band had to wait till 1976 to get quite some reputable fame while still releasing music, thanks to their 1976 album’s title track “Shake Some Action.” “Shake Some Action” became quite a reputable power-pop anthem establishing Flamin’ Groovies as one of the influential bands in the advancement of power pop. Some music reviewers have also noted the band as one of the forerunners of the punk rock music genre. Sadly, the band would break up in 1991 with limited success even after the tons of reunions and changes in the lineup. Here is our pick for the top 10 Flamin’ Groovies songs from their string of albums.
#10 – Don’t Put Me On
Ushering us to the top 10 Flamin’ Groovies songs is the ballad “Don’t Put Me On.” Featured on their 1978 album, Flamin’ Groovies Now!, the song is more of an advice to a person not to tell lies since its puts off the other party. When lying, one thinks they are smart, but in the real sense, they are quite contradictory. After all, trying to keep the lie consistent for long is impossible for many, and the moment you get discovered, you might lose friends if not trust alone.
#9 – Yes It’s True
Written by Cyril Jordan and Chris Wilson, the hit “Yes It’s True” is one of the greatest releases from the band’s 1976 album, Shake Some Action. The song has such a Beatles vibe to it. The song’s lyrics showcase the fear a man has not to get heartbroken by a woman again. From the way he speaks, it seems the singer knows what a woman who will break your heart looks like or acts like—once bitten, twice shy! So, better safeguard your soul rather than fall for the same kind of tricks and get hurt once more.
#8 – Love Have Mercy
Love is a double-edged sword, and Flamin’ Groovies understood this better than many will ever do. The song is a plea for love to have mercy since the singer, or rather the persona, really loves his lady much. Probably, it is the uncertainty and vulnerability that comes with loving someone that makes the persona quite afraid, hoping that love has mercy on him. “Love Have Mercy” is one of the best compositions from the band’s 1969 album, Supersnazz.
#7 – Louie Louie
Earlier, we mentioned that Flamin’ Groovies established their career by rebranding oldies for covers. One of the best Flamin’ Groovies songs is the ballad “Louie Louie,” originally written by R&B singer Richard Berry. “Louie Louie” is a ballad about a sailor who took three days crossing the ocean headed to Jamaica to meet his lady. Flamin’ Groovies tried to match up to the original song released by Richard Berry’s band The Pharaohs making quite a mark with their version.
#6 – Yesterday’s Numbers
Number six in our top 10 Flamin’ Groovies songs is “Yesterday’s Numbers,” a great ballad from the band’s album, Teenage Head. By now, you can tell that most of the best Flamin’ Groovies songs resonate with relationships and emotions. “Yesterday’s Numbers” is no different, with the song is more of an emotion-driven song where the singer wants to know much about a certain lady and her love.
#5 – Teenage Head
“Teenage Head” is an album titled song from Flamin’ Groovies that takes us back to the good and messy old days of teenage life. The song showcases how teenage life is characterized by some silly but fun-based mentality. It is quite a wonder what men behave and perceive life in their teenage life. But we don’t have to question this since it’s all part of growth! The album was released in 1971. Listen to the guitar riff on this song, Sound familiar? I think Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart were big fans of this band. Oh Barracuda!
#4 – Headin’ for Texas Border
Different cities come with different energy and different kind of vibe. And for Flamin’ Groovies, crossing to the Texas border at their times meant freedom to some carefree life. Here, they felt that there was no one to judge them in whatever they would do. It was the place to have their fantasies get into reality but tagged along with problems they would not wish to share. “Headin’ for Texas Border” was one of the best Flamin’ Groovies songs from their album, Flamingo.
#3 – Slow Death
When health is lost, all is lost! It takes being on a bed unable to propel a normal life to realize this. What brings you closer to realizing that you’re slowly dying is a lack of prescription, with the doctors saying there is nothing that can be done to keep you alive. Flamin’ Groovies made “Slow Death” to capture these sad moments that eat the mind away, taking you slowly to the grave. The song is one of the best releases from the band’s album One Night Stand.
#2 – Whiskey Woman
Featured on the band’s album, Teenage Head, “Whiskey Woman” brings the band’s sublime skills to the instruments. The song features one of their best instrumentals thanks to the powerful guitar riffs and drum beats that are quite unique compared to other songs they have released. While all of you in the 70s were criticizing women who take booze, Flamin’ Groovies saw the whiskey woman as the lady who fulfills men’s fantasies, leaving them wanting more.
#1 – Shake Some Action
Number one of our top 10 Flamin’ Groovies songs is the album titled song “Shake Some Action.” The song occupied space between disco and punk, labeled as one of the greatest power pop songs of the 70s. Flamin’ Groovies delivered the song thanks to influencing from The Who and The Beatles, triggering a new rock and roll revolution. “Shake Some Action” became the band’s highlight, with the song leading the band to critical acclaim.
Top 10 Flamin’ Groovies songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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