Listen/Download – Terry and the Chain Reaction – Keep Your Cool
Today’s selection is the rare and succulent fruit of the neglected, forgotten b-side.
I featured the other, radically different (very Beatley) side of this 45 in Iron Leg Digital trip #16, Almost Fab, just about 5 years ago.
It was only recently, during another one of those periodic empty-pockets internal re-digging sessions, in which I dive back into my own stash to see what I might find 9and I almost always find something groovy), that I flipped over the first 45 by Terry and the Chain Reaction and had my mind blown.
While the other side ‘Stop Stopping Me’ is jangly, melodic faux-Mersey, ‘Keep Your Cool’ is a wildly different sound in which the boys whip out their (combo) organ, turn up the tremolo on the guitar and get just the tiniest bit bad-ass.
‘Keep Your Cool’ (released in 1967, the band had one other 45 on UA which came out in 1968) was recorded at the storied Fame studios, produced by Rick Hall. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that some or all of the Fame house band are playing on the 45.
Apparently the band was from Alabama and “Terry” was a cat named Terry Woodford who had recorded a couple of 45s before this under his own name (for Fame) and at least one later on for Cotillion. Woodford went on to a career as a successful songwriter and producer, and eventually became Chairman of the Board of the Alabama Music Hall of Fame.
The tune has an almost ‘Green Onions’-esque organ riff, choppy guitar and a sly, mostly-spoken vocal dispensing advice on how one might regulate their social temperature properly (even namechecking Frosty the Snowman toward the end).
Interestingly enough, ‘Keep Your Cool’ , which charted briefly in a number of wildly disparate markets (Vancouver, Muscle Shoals and Connecticut?!?) late in 1967 was covered by psyche revivalists Plan 9 in 1985 on their ‘Keep Your Cool and Read the Rules’ LP. They even made a video for it!
I hope you dig the tune and that you take my advice and flip over those 45s!
See you next week.