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Elite Boys - Nonstop Hits

Elite Boys - Nonstop Hits

Price: $100.00 currently not available     
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Genre: pop
Rating: 2 stars **
Title:  Nonstop Hits
Company: Synchro
Catalog: SPS 1295
Year: 1968 ?
Country/State: Austria
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: --
Available: 2
Catalog ID: 5741
Price: $100.00

This sounds incredibly sexist, but this album gets an extra star just for the stunning woman posing with the cool, tricked-out Mustang on the cover art. Unfortunately it gets docked a star for the dweeb band photo on the back cover ... The reviewer gives and takes away.

back cover photo

This one's value and collector appeal seems to stem from it's rarity as opposed to it's musical quality. There are no performances on the album, but as you can see from the titles, these guys were apparently a marginally talented cover band with a penchant and appreciation for then-popular American and UK soul and pop hits. Imagine a low end wedding band (complete with tacky suits), or perhaps an Austrian version of a Justice label garage band and you'd be in the right aural neighborhood. To be perfectly honest, their lack of refinement and finesse added a certain tacky charm to "Nonstop Hits".  Tracks like 'Baby Come Back', 'Young Girl', and 'Delilah' were kicked along by heavily accented vocals which gave the performances kind of a Saturday Night Live-does-Arnold Schwarzenneger feel. 'Spicks and Specks' warranted special notice given it came off sounding like a racial slur with 'specks' sounding like 'spics'. This stuff won't appeal to everyone out there, but there's certainly a cult following for this kind of stuff. Whoever these guys were (the back panel cover photo showed six members), they played with quite a bit of enthusiasm, though it frequently exceed their technical prowess. Check out their instrumental stab at covering Redding's 'The Dock of the Bay". Their intentions were certainly good, but they managed to turn it what may be the lamest Otis Redding cover ever made. That said, they were smart enough to not even try to sing many of these soul classics, turning in instrumental versions of 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' and 'Knock On Wood'. Giving credit where due, the sax player was actually quite good. The rhythm section, not quite as impressive. Not quite sure what the writing credit for the closing tune 'Mohair Sam' was about. The inner label showed it as being written by 'Wrazler', while I thought it was a Dallas Frazier effort.  

- Maybe its just my sense of humor, but there was something quite endearing in their heavily accented attempts to handle the blue-eyed soul 'Baby Come Back'. These guys were so earnest, you just had to smile whenever they hit the chorus. Would love to have seen their stage moves. (Great bass pattern.)   rating: **** stars
- Their instrumental cover of the classic soul tune 'I've Been Loving You Too Long' was actually far better than you would have anticipated. Nice sax solo throughout and the Steve Cropper-styled guitar was quite nice.  rating: *** stars
- Showcasing and extended sax solo, 'Knock On Wood' didn't stray far from the original melody, but quickly became dull and forgettable. rating: ** stars
- So it you ever wondered what Tom Jones would have sounded like if he'd been born in Germany, rather than Wales, here's your chance to check it out. Yeah, 'Young Girl' lost a bit of its power and energy on this cover. Course, the anonymous lead singer probably sounded better than Tom Jones trying to sing in German. Funny, but this version of the song made me realize how creepy the song lyrics were. rating: ** stars
- I guess these guys had a thing for Stax since they subjected Otis Redding's 'The Dock of the Bay' to the same sax-solo cover arrangement. Unfortunately, this time around the sax wasn't nearly as good. rating: ** stars
- 'Spicks and Specks' was an early Bee Gees tune. The title has always been a puzzle to me and hearing this cover tune makes it even stranger. Bouncy enough to have some entertainment value. ating: ** stars
- Wow, you couldn't get much more Herb Alpert than their trumpet powered instrumental 'It was a Very Good Year'. Only those with an MOR fetish need apply. rating: ** stars
- Hum, two Tom Jones covers on one album ... Well this one at least had a high humor factor with the poor singer holding on for dear life as he tried to phoenitcally fight his way through the song. rating: *** stars
- Geez, just when you wondered if it could get any stranger, along came 'You Came a Long Way From St. Louis' which was apparently meant to be the group's stab at a Frank Sinatra-styled slice of big band jazz. Completely forgettable. rating: ** stars
- Why anyone would even think of remaking a horrible song like 'Honey' is beyond comprehension. Why you'd elect to turn it into a sax-propelled slice of adult contemporary jazz-op, is even more incomprehensible. Maybe the worst song on an album full of them rating: * star
- Not as good as The Foundation's hit, but at least their attempts at blue-eyed soul and pop were modestly funny. 'Back On My Feet Again' was a perfect example demonstrating the band could play ... hearing the singer hit that high note was a cheap thrill. rating: *** stars
- Admittedly their cover of Wilson Pickett's classic 'Don't Fight It' can't come close to the original, but give them credit for turning in a credible stab at the song. rating: *** stars
- Geez, the instrumental 'Greensleeves' sounds like the theme for a '60s cigarette commercial.    rating: * star
- Even though it was mis-credited, their cover of 'Mohair Sam' was probably that album's standout performance. Catchy and actually quite commercial; I might actually pick this version over the earlier Charlie Rich hit. rating: **** stars

This one got some attention when it was featured in one of the Hans Pokora Record Collector Dreams books. Other folks have speculated they were French, rather than Austrian. I have no idea.

"Nonstop Hits" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Baby Come Back (Grand) 
2.) I've Been Loving You Too Long (instrumental) (Otis Redding - Jerry Butler) 
3.) Knock On Wood (instrumental) (Eddie Floyd - Steve Cropper) 
4.) Young Girl (F. Fuller)
5.) The Dock of the Bay (instrumental) (Otis Redding - Steve Cropper)
6.) Spicks and Specks (Gibb)
7.) It was a Very Good Year (instrumental) (Brake)

(side 2)
1.) Delilah (Reed - Mason) 
2.) You Came a Long Way From St. Louis (Brooks - Russell) 
3.) Honey (Bobby Russel)
4.) Back On My Feet Again (MacCauley - Mcleod)
5.) Don't Fight It (Wilson Picket - Steve Cropper)
6.) Greensleeves (instrumental) (traditional)
7.) Mohair Sam (Wrazler)
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