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 53/118: Steppin’ Out by Paul Revere & the Raiders
Release Date: 1965
From: Boise, Idaho
Aphoristic Rating: 7/10
STEPPIN’ OUT – Paul Revere & The Raiders [2:13]
(Paul Revere/Mark Lindsay)
Personnel/MARK LINDSAY: vocals * DRAKE LEVIN: guitar, vocals * PAUL REVERE: organ, vocals * PHIL “FANG” VOLK: bass, vocals * MIKE “SMITTY” SMITH: drums Produced by TERRY MELCHER
Recorded in Los Angeles, CA
Columbia single #4-43375 (8/65); Pop #46
Paul Revere & the Raiders are just about the only act on Nuggets that I own a CD by. I liberated a copy of their 1967 Greatest Hits from the bargain bin almost twenty years ago, and have enjoyed it ever since. They enjoyed more prolonged success than most Nuggets acts, with a flurry of hits in the mid-1960s, and a number one comeback hit, 1971’s ‘Indian Reservation’.
Paul Revere & the Raiders released their first single in 1960 but 1965’s ‘Just Like Me’ marked a major uptick in their fortunes, almost cracking the US top ten. The band had a distinctive visual aesthetic, dressing like American revolutionaries, and took their name from the famous American patriot. Keyboardist Paul Revere was actually born Paul Revere Dick – he wisely dropped his surname to create his stage name.
Paul Revere & The Raiders’ other contribution to Nuggets – ‘Just Like Me‘ – is one of the strongest songs on ‘Nuggets’. In comparison, ‘Steppin’ Out’ is less polished – more like a standard garage rock song. It’s driven by Paul Revere’s Vox Continental organ and a fuzzy bassline. It’s a slightly weird choice for Nuggets – I would have selected ‘Kicks’ or ‘The Great Airplane Strike’ over this song.
The classic lineup of Paul Revere and the Raiders didn’t last long – Levin, drummer Mike Smith, and bassist Phil Volk all left the band at the height of their popularity. Mark Lindsay stayed with the band until the mid-1970s. The band is still active, despite the death of Revere in 2014; they’ve recorded 17 studio albums, although the most recent, Paul Revere Rides Again, dates back to 1983.