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 1965 to 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 58/118: Shape of Things to Come by Max Frost & The Troopers
From: Nowhere, because they’re fictional…
Aphoristic Rating: 8/10
SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME (From the Motion Picture Wild In The Streets) – Max Frost & The Troopers [1:57]
(Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil)
Personnel/PAUL WYBIER: vocals [+ unknown studio musicians]
Produced by MIKE CURB for SIDEWALK PRODUCTIONS, INC.
Recorded in Studio City, CA
Tower single #419 (8/68); Pop #22
For those keeping track at home, this is the final track on the second disc of the Nuggets box set, marking the approximate halfway point in this project.
‘Shape of Things to Come’ comes from the songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. They’re known for a diverse range of 1960s hits like The Animals’ ‘We Gotta Get Outta This Place’, Paul Revere & the Raiders’ ‘Kicks’, and The Drifters’ ‘On Broadway’. The Righteous Brothers’ ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin”, written with Phil Spector, is the most-played song of the 20th century. Impressively, given their career in showbiz, Mann and Weil have maintained a 60-year marriage.
‘Shape of Things to Come’ is less attention-grabbing than their big hits – it’s a well-crafted garage rock song. The song was written for the film Wild in the Streets. The film is about a fictional band, Max Frost & The Troopers. Max Frost is played by Christopher Jones, but Paul Wybier takes lead vocals on the studio version. The song takes its title from an H.G. Wells short story – Ornette Coleman’s album The Shape of Jazz to Come presumably grabbed its name from the same source.