Nuggets: Steppin’ Out by Paul Revere & the Raiders

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.

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  1. Yeah, Paul Revere and the Raiders were fairly popular. I didn’t know this one. Just a straight three-chord blues. “Kicks” was arguably their biggest hit until “Indian Reservation,” a song I thought was somewhat corny. “Kicks” is a Mann/Weill song and is actually on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 list. Never liked this band enough to buy anything they did but “Kicks” is a good tune.

  2. So neat to see Michael Landon introducing them. I had a crush on Mark Lindsay. iirc they used to have their own TV show also. Not sure I remember this tune but definitely remember some of their other songs. Very cool you have a Greatest Hits album of theirs.

  3. You’re right. This isn’t nearly as good as Just Like Me. And it isn’t nearly as good as their other “Steppin” song Steppin’ Stone, which is much better than the Monkees’ version by the way. And it most certainly isn’t as good as Kicks or Hungry. I might even rate it lower than you did. Probably like a 6/10

    • Yeah, I thought about mentioning Steppin’ Stone as well – I like their version better than The Monkees too.

      • Yeah it’s crazy that it wasn’t a single. It would have been a huge hit especially considering the Monkees version became a hit even though it was just a B-side originally. And the Paul Revere one would have beat them by about a year. And it was a Boyce & Hart song too, and all their other Brill Building songs were big huge hits. I guess they weren’t technically Brill building writers, but for all practical purposes they were. They still worked for Don Kirshner but for a different publishing company or something.

  4. Michael Landon! It’s odd not seeing him in a cowboy outfit or on a prairie somewhere. Anyway…I’ve heard many of their hits but I’ve never known much about Paul Revere & the Raiders. I like most of their pop hits I’ve heard though

      • It did feel different I agree. I need to listen to them again. It’s been years since I heard them a lot on an oldies channel I listened to.

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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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