Paul Revere and the Raiders' Pop Legacy In 5 Songs

Led by Paul Revere Dick, the group Paul Revere and the Raiders first came together as an instrumental rock band named the Downbeats in Boise, Idaho in 1958. They first hit the pop top 40 in 1961 with the instrumental "Like, Long Hair," but Paul Revere's military draft and subsequent service as a conscientious objector slowed the group's success. In the mid-1960s the group recorded a series of garage pop hits including the top 5 smash "Kicks." A two year stint as house band for Dick Clark's Where the Action Is TV show from 1965 through 1967 kept Paul Revere and the Raiders in the public eye. 

In the late 1960s in the wake of personnel shakeups, the commercial success of Paul Revere and the Raiders faded.  However, the 1971 #1 pop smash "Indian Reservation" gave the group a stunning comeback. However, it was to be the band's last major pop hit. The group continued to tour and make appearances for the next 40 years. Paul Revere retired from the band in August 2014 and passed away on October 4, 2014 at age 76. 

01
of 05

"Kicks" (1966)

Paul Revere and the Raiders
Paul Revere and the Raiders. Photo by GAB Archive / Redferns

The song "Kicks" was written by the legendary pop songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. They originally offered the song to British band The Animals, but the offer was turned down. "Kicks" is considered to be one of the first anti-drug pop hits. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote it as a warning to a friend about drug addiction. Despite criticism at the time as being outdated by a number of other rock musicians, the song has gained praise over time for its tight garage rock arrangement and the production of Doris Day's son Terry Melcher.

Watch Video

02
of 05

"Hungry" (1966)

Paul Revere and the Raiders
Paul Revere and the Raiders. Photo by Authenticated News / Getty Images Archive

Paul Revere and the Raiders followed up their #4 pop chart success with "Kicks" by recording another Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil song "Hungry." It took the group back to the top 10 peaking at #6. The song's words consist of seduction of a girl with promises of hunger for the "good things." It is included on the band's album The Spirit Of '67.

03
of 05

"Good Thing" (1966)

Paul Revere and the Raiders
Paul Revere and the Raiders. Photo by GAB Archive / Redferns

"Good Thing" was co-written by producer Terry Melcher and Paul Revere and the Raiders' lead vocalist Mark Lindsay. The song includes vocal harmonies reminiscent of the Beach Boys. It was the second top 10 pop hit from the album The Spirit Of '67 and the group's third top 10 in the course of the year 1966.

Listen

 

04
of 05

"Him Or Me, What's It Gonna Be" (1967)

Paul Revere and the Raiders
Paul Revere and the Raiders. Photo by GAB Archive / Redferns

Leading off the album Revolution!, "Him Or Me (What's It Gonna Be)" shows off a stylistic change for Paul Revere and the Raiders heading more in the direction of psychedelic pop than the group's earlier garage rock. Peaking at #5, it was the second top 10 hit co-written by Terry Melcher and Mark Lindsay. Among the session players featured on the album Revolution! were Ry Cooder and Glen Campbell. 

Watch Video

 

05
of 05

"Indian Reservation (The Lament Of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" (1971)

Paul Revere and the Raiders
Paul Revere and the Raiders. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

The late 1960s were a difficult time for Paul Revere and the Raiders. The group experienced personnel upheavals and their commercial success faded.  However, the band experienced a spectacular return to the spotlight in 1971 with this #1 smash hit. "Indian Reservation" was written by John D. Loudermilk and first recorded by country star Marvin Rainwater under the title "The Pale Faced Indian" in 1959. With the title "Indian Reservation" the song found its way to #20 on the US pop chart in a 1968 version by lead vocalist of Britsh band The Sorrows Don Fardon. Three years later the song went all the way to #1 for Paul Revere and the Raiders in a powerful, slowed down interpretation of the song.