Classic Singles #2: The Satans – Makin’ Deals / Lines and Squares (1966)

Satans_labelBack in the days before the Internet, many moons ago, it wasn’t always that easy to find out about garage and psychedelic bands. UK music paper Sounds (long defunct) ran a column on reissues and compilations for a while during the height of the Paisley Underground revival but it was really a case of scouring mail order catalogues from the likes of Funhouse Records (also long gone) and trying to decide whether something was your cup of tea based on their short descriptions. Things are a lot easier now!

But one series of albums you couldn’t fail to stumble upon were the Pebbles compilations. Of dubious legality and often not very stellar sound quality, they nevertheless always seem to have been in print in some form or another over the years and I have no doubt that they have had a formative effect on the mind of many an aspiring young garage punk.

How well I remember Volume 2, which reintroduced to an unsuspecting world the a-side of our second classic single! Not much is known about The Satans unfortunately. They are thought to have hailed from Fullerton, CA and this was their sole vinyl offering.

‘Makin’ Deals’ is an insistent garage punker and simply a great rock ‘n roll tune about selling your soul to the Devil (from the point of view of the Devil), all done and dusted in less than 2 minutes.

‘Makin’ Deals’

‘Lines and Squares’ is one of a very small number of songs that effectively set the lyrics of a poem by English author A.A. Milne (of Winnie-the-Pooh fame) to music. In fact, the only other example I can think of is ‘The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil’ by Jefferson Airplane, the opening salvo on their blistering After Bathing at Baxters album.

‘Lines and Squares’

Great as this single is I’m sure you probably don’t want to shell out the $400+ needed for an original copy. Pebbles Volume 2 is on CD now though. ‘Lines and Squares’ resurfaced on Highs in the Mid Sixties Volume 2, but seems to be most easily obtained on the Eva label’s Louisiana Punk from the 60s CD from 2008, which also includes ‘Makin’ Deals’ (though The Satans weren’t from Louisiana of course!).


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