Song Of The Day 2/21/2015: The Riot Squad - "I Take It That We're Through"

None of the Puns I Came Up With For "Pye" Felt Right: We close this resolutely British week of singes from the annals of Pye Records with The Riot Squad. They’re not to be confused with the punk band Riot Squad. At the time of this release punk will still a craggily-formed, very distant nightmare for the participants and their pastors.

The Riot Squad had a virtual rotating door when it came to band membership. One exhausted biographer counted no less than fourteen different lineups between 1964 and 1969, making Fleetwood Mac look firm and established. To make research interns even more fatigued and introspective, Wikipedia’s page for The Riot Squad list three separate entities for the band: the “Larry Page era,” the “Joe Meek era” and “The cabaret act.” There were two temps in the band who went on to gigantic things: Mitch Mitchell, future drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and David Bowie, a fashion consultant from Brixton. Bowie was in the “cabaret act” version of the Riot Squad, and only agreed to be their lead singer if he could finish up his solo album, which might have been Space Oddity. It might have been that one for Deram. I don’t know. I’ve already sifted through enough discographies for one night. Bowie sang with the Riot Squad for about 20 gigs, then he had to be going ’cause he had this thing he had to do.

“I Take It That We’re Through,” produced by Joe Meek during his “era,” featured neither Mitchell nor Bowie. This would be the lineup with Nero Gladman, good ol’ Nero, on vocals. Plus Rodger Crisp on bass, Terry Clifford on guitar, the perfectly-named organ player Butch David Hammond and the even more perfectly-named drummer Del Roll. Also, Bob Evans. Bob was as close to a founding member as the Riot Squad got: He was with versions 1 through 10 of the band. He played woodwinds. Woodwinds? Who has time for woodwinds anymore?

Finally, I don't know if the Riot Squad in the photo above is the Riot Squad on this recording, but frankly, I don't care if it's a picture of the Little Rascals at this point.

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