Before he became Patti Smith’s bass player, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years from 1965-1968 and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.
Track 97: Out Of Our Tree by The Wailers
Release Date: 1965
From: Tacoma, Washington
Aphoristical Rating: 8/10
Like The Sonics, The Wailers came from Tacoma, Washington. Their biggest hit, the instrumental ‘Tall Cool One’, was released back in 1959. Because of this, they can claim to be America’s first garage band.
“Before there was grunge, there was garage. Don’t ever forget that. And there are two bands that started that whole thing: The Wailers and The Ventures.”–Billy Bob Thornton
As well as ‘Tall Cool One’, The Wailers recorded ‘Louie Louie’ in 1961. They only enjoyed a regional hit with song, but The Kingsmen’s iconic version was based on their arrangement. A young Jimi Hendrix, just starting out his performing career in the early 1960s, was a fan of The Wailers.
According to Ace Records, when The Beatles played Seattle in August 1964 George Harrison asked after The Wailers. The Wailers adapted their sound for the British Invasion, and by 1965 they were playing fuzzy rockers like ‘Out Of Our Tree’. The riff resembles The Rolling Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’,
‘Out Of Our Tree’ is inventive enough to not be a simple Stones clone – there’s a rich arrangement with a busy bassline and organ providing a counterpoint to the fuzz guitar. It’s not as abrasive as The Sonics, but it’s still edgy for a 1965 track.
The Wailers went through a lot of lineup changes during their tenure – the only constant member was keyboardist Kent Morrill. The band broke up in 1969, although they periodically reformed. The group never copyrighted the name; Bob Marley later used as the name of his backing band, meaning that The Wailers had to play as The Fabulous Wailers in reunion shows.