Title - The CBS Tapes
Artist - The Rubinoos
The Rubinoos recorded this album!
The group walked into CBS Studios on Folsom Street in San Francisco to, as band co-founder and singer Jon Rubin recollects, have a set up and get comfortable in the studio kind of affair.
Guitarist Tommy Dunbar, who started the group more than 50 years ago with his childhood pal Rubin, recalls they were told something like, okay, the tape is going to run, just go ahead and play anything you want.
The CBS Tapes (due out on June 25th, 2021 on Yep Roc Records) chronicles that occasion, and its previously unreleased 11 tracks certainly reveal a wildly diverse set list that includes, yet reaches beyond, the power pop that the band is well known for.
1. All Excited
2. Sugar Sugar
3. Memphis Soul Stew/Pepsi Generation
4. I Want Her So Bad
5. Nooshna Kavolta
6. She Loves You
7. Walk Dont Run
8. Heartbeat, Its a Lovebeat
9. Cissy Strut
10. Government Center
Opening on their sincere sentiment about Rock and Roll, the original and highly-charged pop rock bounce of All Excited and the bubblegum classic Sugar, Sugar (which, if you did not know, was originally recorded by the cartoon band the Archies!), they back those up seamlessly with the blues rock of King Curtis Memphis Soul Stew/Pepsi Generation, the raw proto punk, yet melodic angst of another original I Want Her So Bad, their attempt at Otis Redding meets the Volga Boatmen original Nooshna Kavolta, and then a resoundingly good cover of the Beatles She Loves You.
Next up is The Ventures iconic surf instrumental Walk Dont Run which is itself backed by their smooth pop flow rendition of the DeFranco Familys Heartbeat, Its a Love Beat, another Beatles salute, this time in the form of I Want To Hold Your Hand, and then the album rounds out with Cissy Strut (an infamous 1969 funk instrumental by The Meters), and closes on their much beloved homage to The Modern Lovers (aka Jonathan Richman) on the foot-tapping rocker Government Center.
The CBS Tapes captures something unusual a look into the recording process before it begins in earnest. That said, this is not a lo-fi sloppy rehearsal tape, a stripped-down demo, or a polished finished product.
Done without second takes and overdubs, the bands loose, unencumbered live performances exude a joyful energy that embodies the bands spirit.
These recordings do benefit from Glenn Kolotkins engineering and mixing on the fly. By 1976, Kolotkin had already worked with acts like Janis Joplin, Journey, and Jimi Hendrix, and would go on to produce Santana, Joan Jett, and the Ramones.
The Rubinoos performances also are rather rude and juvenile; not really surprising since Rubin, Dunbar, and drummer Donn Spindt were still in their teens, only bassist Royse Ader had finished high school.
Listening to these tapes after so many years made Dunbar think, What a bunch of foul-mouthed little punks we were, while Rubin felt their obnoxious behavior and crude language reflect the irreverent, bratty attitude that has always been part of the Rubinoos makeup.
Official Purchase Links
The Rubinoos - I Want Her So Bad (Official Audio)
The Rubinoos @ Facebook
The Rubinhoos @ Twitter
The Rubinhoos @ Instagram
The Rubinoos @ YouTube