Midnight Ride – Paul Revere and the Raiders

Paul Revere and the Raiders - Midnight Ride
Paul Revere and the Raiders – Midnight Ride

68th album on the list of 1001 albums you must hear before you die and a new discovery for me even though some of the sounds, like “Kicks” the track that opens the album “Midnight Ride”, are not totally unknown to me. In the mid-60s, Paul Revere and the Raiders conquered the airwaves and the music scene with their infectious energy and unique style. was both an integral part of American music history and an unstoppable force in the pop culture of their time.

Paul Revere and the Raiders were formed in 1958 in Boise, Idaho, by , an avid organist, and , a young singer. The band initially adopted a rock'n'roll style typical of the era, drawing inspiration from artists like and . In the early 1960s they began to build a reputation as an outstanding live band with energetic and captivating performances.

Success really began for Paul Revere and the Raiders when producer discovered them in 1965. Under Melcher's direction, the band adopted a garage rock sound blending influences from British rock, such as and . This formula proved successful, and the band recorded several hits, including “Kicks”, “Hungry” and “Good Thing”.

Paul Revere and The Raiders
Paul Revere and The Raiders

The band was also known for its distinctive and theatrical style of dress. Inspired by American history, the band wore revolutionary costumes, with red jackets and white trousers, giving them a bold and patriotic look. This look quickly became one of their trademarks.

One of the most memorable moments in the career of Paul Revere and the Raiders was their appearance on the ABC television show “Where the Action Is”. Airing from 1965 to 1967, the show gave them national exposure and helped solidify their popularity with the American public.

The group was also groundbreaking for introducing comedic elements into their performances. They used their sense of humour to interact with the audience, which reinforced their image as an entertaining and accessible band.

Paul Revere and the Raiders enjoyed sustained success throughout the 1960s and 1970s, with numerous hit singles and albums. Despite formation changes and challenges, they remained active until Paul Revere's death in 2014. Their music and style influenced many bands that followed, and they remain a benchmark for fans of 60s music.

The Midnight Ride album

“Midnight Ride is an album that features an eclectic mix of styles. It offers a mix of garage rock, pop and psychedelic music, creating a sound that is both contemporary and distinctive for the time. Notable songs include “Kicks”, an energetic and catchy rock tune that was one of the band's biggest hits, as well as “Louie, Go Home”, a fast-paced and catchy song.

Other tracks, such as “Take a Look at Yourself” and “Little Girl in the 4th Row”, show the band's versatility, moving from sweet pop to more introspective pieces. The album ends on an experimental note with “Melody for an Unknown Girl”, an instrumental song that reflects the influence of emerging psychedelic music.

Terry Melcher
Terry Melcher

Producer Terry Melcher, son of actress , was a key element in the success of “Midnight Ride”. He worked closely with the band to refine their sound and create a cohesive and dynamic album. Melcher's relationship with the band was strong, and their collaboration helped give “Midnight Ride” its distinctive character.

“Midnight Ride is often considered a high point in the career of Paul Revere and the Raiders. The album was well received by critics and fans alike, and is considered to be one of the band's finest achievements. The songs on “Midnight Ride” influenced other rock bands of the 1960s, and the album is considered a classic example of garage rock and psychedelic music.

The song Kicks

“Kicks” was written by the songwriting duo and Cynthia Weil, who collaborated with many artists of the time. The song deals with the subject of drug addiction and the search for the ephemeral euphoria it provides. At a time when drug use was commonplace in pop culture, “Kicks” stood out with a powerful and relevant anti-drug message.

Upon its release, “Kicks” was a smash hit, reaching #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. The song was widely praised for its responsible message and catchy beat. The combination of a strong message and a catchy rock sound ensured “Kicks” a place in the hearts of listeners and in the music history of the 1960s.

Over the years, “Kicks” has remained an iconic song and an important reminder of the struggle against drug addiction. As the challenges of drug use continue to evolve, the message of “Kicks” remains relevant and universal. The song is a striking example of how music can address important issues and reach listeners in a meaningful way.

Where to listen to Midnight Ride?

Useful links for Paul Revere and the Raiders