The impact of this proto-punk garage band reverberates through the decades. They blasted out of Saginaw, Michigan in the 1966 with "96 Tears," the song that propelled by their enigmatic lead singer's snarling vocals and the treacley sound of the Vox Continental organ. Their later hit "Can't Get Enough of You Baby" was covered by Smash Mouth in recent times. The original version is included here as well as the frantic "I Need Somebody." In all, there are 27 nuggets of rocking, soul-driven ravers on this collection.
Uncut - p.1184 stars out of 5
- "[The songs] exude hipster cool far transcending their one-hit-wonder reputation."
? & the Mysterians: Question Mark (vocals); Bobby Balderrama (guitar); Frank Rodriguez (organ); Frank Lugo, Fernando Aguilar (bass guitar); Eddie Serrato.
Personnel: Robert Balderrama (guitar); Frank Rodriguez (organ); Eddie Serrato (drums).
Additional personnel: Tony Orlando (background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Jeff Tamarkin.
Recording information: Allegro Sound Studios; Dick Charles Recording Service, New York, NY; Michigan; New York, NY; Regent Sound STudios, New York, NY; Shields Recording Studio, Bay City, MI; Talent Masters.
Arranger: Jimmy Wisner.
Though most people remember ? & the Mysterians solely for their one enduring hit, "96 Tears," the frat-band staple that mixed garage rock with Tex-Mex via a monomaniacal organ riff, they actually laid down plenty of other memorable tracks in their initial lifespan. Most, including the original version of their hit, were, incredibly, unavailable on CD for decades making this 2005 reissue of the band's Cameo-Parkway sides something of a monumental occasion for garage rock collectors. The Mysterians are in their prime here ably mixing blues, soul, and teeth-baring rockers with rough-and-ready aplomb, and the inclusion of a few never-before-heard tracks (including an alternate version of "96 Tears") makes this sharply assembled anthology an absolute must for fans of the genre.