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Main » 2008 » May » 11 » The Uniques
The Uniques
Band Members :
- 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)

Related acts :
- Mouse and the Traps (Ronnie Weiss)
- Rio Grande (Ronnie Weiss)
- Joe Stampley (solo efforts)

Bio :
Years before Joe Stampley began his ascent to country stardom, he fronted a Louisiana rock band, the Uniques, who were quite popular in the South, although national attention eluded them. The group were ironically named in light of their failure to establish a truly distinctive style. They were adept at blue-eyed soul, covering William Bell's "You Don't Miss Your Water" and Art Neville's "All These Things," landing a huge regional hit with the latter tune. They were also capable of waxing good, original, Southern-flavored pop-rock, especially on "Not Too Long Ago," another big Southern hit. And, oddly enough, they also did an all-out, raunchy, R&B-hued garage-band stomp, "You Ain't Tuff," which gives the band a somewhat misleading image among garage band collectors.

The Uniques, when it came down to it, were a band content to deliver whatever the audiences wanted. That was an asset as far as finding live work, and most likely a hindrance in carving a significant creative niche for themselves. While they couldn't be considered a significant group, they were capable of crafting some enjoyable, if diffuse, singles. Joe Stampley's vocals were also admirably versatile and expressive, if not as soulful as one of his main regional rivals, John Fred. Most rock listeners will agree that the best Uniques records outshine Stampley's solo work by the length of a football field.
~Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

The Uniques - 1966 - Uniquely Yours
Paula LPM/LPS-2190

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.

Info from :

Tracks :
A1 You Ain't Tuff (K. Henderson - L. Puckett) - 2:19
A2 From Heaven To a Heartbreak (P. Davidson - Dale Hawkins) - 2:0
A3 Midnight Hour (Steve Cropper - Wilson Pickett) - 2:09
A4 All These Things (N. Neville) - 3:58
A5 Not Too Long Ago (Joe Stampley - M. Kilgore) - 2:21
A6 Fast Way of Living (R.C. Stampley - J. Rhodes) - 2:30

B1 Treat Her Right (R. Head) - 2:48
B2 Georgia (On My Mind) (Hoagie Carmichael - S. Gorrel) - 3:04
B3 Strange (Joe Stampley - R.C. Stampley) - 2:09
B4 Never Been In Love Before (Joe Stampley) - 1:50
B5 Don't Be a Fool (J. Carr - Joe Stampley) - 1:54
B6 House of the Rising Sun (traditional - arranged by Joe Stampley - S. Lewis) - 3:07
Vinyl rip @ 320 :

The Uniques - 1967 - Happening Now

Tracks :
A1 Every Now And Then (I Cry)
A2 Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)
A3 And I Love Her
A4 Sugar Bee
A5 Oh, Pretty Woman
A6 96 Tears

B1 Run and Hide
B2 Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying
B3 Time Won't Let Me
B4 Look to Me
B5 Don't Bring Me Down
B6 You'll Never Walk Alone

Category: Psyche/Garage/Folk | Views: 4919 | Added by: afroclonk | Rating: 5.0/1 |

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