Nuggets: One Track Mind by The Knickerbockers

Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, 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 96: One Track Mind by The Knickerbockers
Release Date: 1966
From: Bergenfield, New Jersey
Aphoristical Rating: 7/10

The Beatles were formative for a lot of bands on Nuggets, but it’s more explicit for The Knickerbockers than most. Beau and John Charles were brothers, originally with the last name Cecchino, who formed a band in 1962. Buddy Randell joined in 1964 – he’d previously played with the Royal Teens, famous for 1958’s ‘Short Shorts’. Randell’s uncanny vocal similarity to John Lennon meant that 1965’s ‘Lies’ was often used to fool people into believing it was a long-lost Beatles track.

‘One Track Mind’ is another Beatles soundalike track. It didn’t match the success of ‘Lies’, only charting at #46 rather than #20. It’s not quite as sharp as its predecessor, but it’s another worthy slice of Beatles imitation.

The Knickerbockers’ career faded as their chart placements fell, perhaps not interested in adapting to psychedelia. They made two albums in the 1960s but they barely boast any originals, padded out with covers from The Zombies and The Kinks. The Charles brothers later started a country-rock band named Lodi (wonder where they got that name from?), but split in 1972 after one album.

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  1. This one isn’t near as good as Lies, which really could be The Beatles almost. I think it’s the closest Beatles sound-alike record other than the Dave Clark Five’s Because and Glad All Over. Those two songs almost surpass The Beatles earliest stuff.. Especially as far as the sound goes. I need to try to make a list of the best Beatles sound-alike records. I know there’s a bunch but it’s hard to think of them. The Beau Brummels’ Laugh Laugh is probably the best one I can think of. But there’s a shitload more of good ones.

    • Do you like Todd Rundgren’s Beatles imitation record Deface The Music? Early Hollies are close sometimes.

      • I heard Deface the Music once or twice but I don’t remember it that well. But when he did Strawberry Fields Forever and Rain on a different album it sounded like the Beatles. It was like note for note copies of the originals. And he even tried to imitate the singing. But the best one on the album was the Beach Boys one.

        • I haven’t listened to those remakes but I guess I should sometime. The originals on that record are pretty good.

  2. I love the guitar hooks in the background…they are relentless. It does have that Beatle sound and the lead vocals are great.
    I do agree with Kingclover….The Beau Brummels were close also.

    • I guess it’s a pretty short jump from 1965 Beatles to power-pop. I just listened to that Pinkees track now – I’d never heard of them before, but reminds me of The Records (which I guess is a very obvious comparison).

      The like button is the one issue I know of that I need to fix – I think the caching plugin is messing with it.

    • That voice sounds very similar to Lennon. The like button is the last thing I need to fix I think – just the caching plugin messing with it.

    • With this Nuggets series, I guess the scene was still pretty small. There’s the occasional oddball band, but most things are pretty easy to connect to an influential mid-1960s band like The Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Byrds, or Animals.

    • Yup, Lennon had a pretty distinctive voice so it’s interesting that they could reproduce that.

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Aphoristic Album Reviews is almost entirely written by one person. It features album reviews and blog posts across a growing spectrum of popular music.

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Graham Fyfe has been writing this website since his late teens. Now in his forties, he's been obsessively listening to albums for years. He works as a web editor and plays the piano.

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