Classic Singles #45: The Mourning Reign – Our Fate / Satisfaction Guaranteed (1966)

CK_sleeveAs a callow young garage enthusiast many moons ago, I scoured my local record shop for possible additions to my then not very substantial collection. In the event this yielded three albums: a Chocolate Watchband compilation on Eva (dreadful sound quality), a Standells best of on Rhino (excellent and still in my possession), and a copy of Here Are The Chesterfield Kings.

Looking at the band decked out in their 60s finery on the cover you could easily have mistaken this record for an authentic artifact, though of course The Chesterfield Kings were a revival band. The choice of material (all covers) was superb and played with such verve and style that this is an album to which I return to this very day. Indeed, I think it would still serve as a great introduction to the wonders of 60s garage for the uninitiated. And once hooked, they’d then have the fun of tracking down all the original versions.

MourningR_sleeveOne of the many highlights was a rip-roaring reading of The Mourning Reign’s ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’. This was the b-side of this San Jose band’s debut single released on the Link label in June 1966.

A-side ‘Our Fate’ starts with jangling rhythm guitar, then the fuzz lead joins in and dominates proceedings for the rest of the number in vibrant fashion. This one has a nagging melody, delivered with great unison vocals, that will embed itself in your consciousness with repeated listens.

‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ itself is driven along by an awesome main riff and neat guitar-work on the chorus, and we are even treated to a twin-guitar break (unusual for a garage band!). Interesting lyrics too, delivered with swaggering style by singer Beau Maggi.

‘Our Fate’

‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’

The band’s follow-up 45 consisted of covers of ‘Evil Hearted You’ by The Yardbirds and ‘Get Out of My Life Woman’ by Allen Toussaint (made famous by Lee Dorsey). It is still well worth tracking down though.

And how’s this for a concert that took place at Santa Clara’s Continental Ballroom in 1967? Four heavyweight San Jose garage bands on the same bill: The Syndicate of Sound, The Count Five, The Chocolate Watchband, and The Mourning Reign. A stellar line-up indeed!

Reissues: both sides are on Big Beat’s Good Things Are Happening. ‘Satisfaction Guaranteed’ is also on Garage Beat ’66 Volume 3 and ‘Our Fate’ on Garage Beat ’66 Volume 6. There is also an album on Sundazed gathering together the single sides and unreleased material.

  • Our Fate / Satisfaction Guaranteed (Link, 1966)
  • Evil Hearted You / Get Out of My Life Woman (Contour, 1967)

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