Classic Singles #66: The Syndicate – My Baby’s Barefoot / Love Will Take Away (1965)

Syndicate_labelThis Californian band was formed in 1964 by college students from Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State. The group was hired to record a song written by a friend of a friend in a studio on Melrose in Hollywood, and they caught the attention of recording engineer Darwin Lamm. He asked The Syndicate back to record original material and, having become their manager, arranged the release of their two singles, as well as local radio play, television appearances, and gigs at clubs on the Sunset Boulevard.

The band’s debut 45 was released in August 1965 on Doré Records, a Hollywood label that started out as a subsidiary of Era and was run as an almost one-man operation by owner Lew Bedell (the label would later be home to such gems as Basil & The Baroques’ cover of The Byrds’ ‘It’s No Use’ and Motion’s ‘The Thief’).

Syndicate_band‘My Baby’s Barefoot’ is a feral garage stomper with frantic vocals, an ultra cool bridge with very neat primitive lead guitar work, and a great wailing harmonica and guitar break.

‘Love Will Take Away’ is a moody and appealing ballad with piano adding variety both as accompaniment and taking the lead on the break.

There were two issues of the 45 on Doré with different mixes – the first with reverb and the second without.

Reissues: ‘My Baby’s Barefoot’ is on Back From The Grave Volume 3 (or Volume 7 if you prefer vinyl); the flip hasn’t been compiled. However, a retrospective is due in the not too distant future on the German Break-a-Way label which will include all the 45 sides and previously unreleased material.

‘My Baby’s Barefoot’

‘Love Will Take Away’

  • My Baby’s Barefoot / Love Will Take Away (Doré, 1965)
  • The Egyptian Thing / She Haunts You (Dot, 1965)

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