Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, Lenny Kaye compiled Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years 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 90: Too Many People by The Leaves
Release Date: 1966
From: San Fernando Valley, California
‘Too Many People’ is the second song from The Leaves on Nuggets. They’re best known for their cover of ‘Hey Joe’, recording their version before Jimi Hendrix or The Byrds. ‘Too Many People’ was their debut single, and it’s a worthy addition to the set.
The Leaves formed in 1964, inspired by The Beatles. They played their first gig at a school gym in 1965, on the same bill as Captain Beefheart. They replaced The Byrds for a residency at Ciro’s on Sunset Strip, where they were discovered by Pat Boone and offered a recording contract. The band only stuck around for two albums, and are mostly known for the two songs contained on Nuggets.
‘Too Many People’ is a solid song with a nice bassline, and vocalist Jim Poms is a cut above most Nuggets singers. Poms is the band’s most notable member – he went on to play with The Turtles and Frank Zappa, before embarking on a long career as a football video director.