TITLE: Cameo-Parkway: The Best of ? and the Mysterians
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: 96 Tears (#1 US, #37 UK), I Need Somebody (#22 US), Can’t Get Enough of You Baby (#56 US), Girl (You Capitvate Me) (#98 US), Do Something to Me (#110 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover Shout.
LINEUP: Rudy Martinez (“?”). Frankie Rodriguez, Bobby Balderrama, Eddie Serrato, Frank Lugo. Fernando Aguilar played bass on their first single.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Sons of migrant workers hit #1 with their organ drenched track “96 Tears” and become legends.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After gigging around Saginaw and vicinity for a couple of years, ? and the Mysterians went into the studio and recorded a single for a small local label. A station in Windsor, Ontario, started to play both sides, Cameo-Parkway licensed it, and “96 Tears (backed with “Midnight Hour” – an original) rocketed to #1.
They then had to make an album, and because they had been gigging for a while, definitely had the songs ready for it. Then a follow up was needed, and they duly cranked out another pretty good album. It was a better album, but didn’t have THAT hit, so it flopped. Overall, they covered just four songs out of 23 on their albums, which for a garage band was definitely unusual, and refreshing.
This compilation combines their two Cameo-Parkway albums, and their follow up single before the label went bust (allegedly taking their royalties with it). While 96 Tears (#66) had the hit, Action was a more cohesive, tighter, and tougher album. It showed more of the garage side of the band. Had “Girl (You Captivate Me)” received its proper attention, they may have been able to make farfisa hits for a while.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: “Can’t Get Enough of You” is the song that Smashmouth had a big hit with in the 90’s. It originally was a Four Seasons track.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: B+ – This captivates me.