The Raiders

Collage - Columbia 1970

Tracks: 1. Save The Country / 2. Think Twice / 3. Interlude (To Be Forgotten) / 4. Dr. Fine / 5. Just Seventeen / 6. The Boys In The Band / 7. Tighter / 8. Gone Movin' On / 9. Wednesday's Child / 10. Sorceress With Blue Eyes / 11. We Gotta All Get Together


Towards the end of 1960 Paul Revere & the Raiders were suffering from an image problem. It was no longer enough to be good entertainers, which the group really was throughout. Now the music should be taken seriously, and the lyrics have something to say. In general artists were expected to continuously deliver something new and original. In1970 Paul Revere & the Raiders, with Mark Lindsay in the lead, had released a string of stunning albums, marked by both original songwriting and great musicianship. Alongside the group had also had a number of single hits, some of which may slightly have tended bubble-gum style. Therefore many critical listeners tended to dismiss the group as a lightweight without give the music a fair chance.

Mark Lindsay, hoping to signal something new, decided to rename the group to just ”The Raiders”. This first album as the Raiders, "Collage", also shows the group at its very best side. Musically, the group was absolutely in tune with contemporary trends, and the songwriting and playing as always top notch.

Compared with previous great albums like "Revolution," "Spirit of 67" and "Something Happening", "Collage" is more pure rock, with country-rock elements of several songs.

Emphasis is great with a strong cover of Laura Nyro's "Save the Country" which gets a solid soul / rock treatment. Bassist Keith Allison is appearing on the album as a fine songwriter partner for Mark Lindsay, and all their four songs are really strong. Especially "Think Twice" is a solid and catchy rocker, with strong vocals and forceful guitar playing. Completely different is the subdued acoustic "Interlude" which shows a completely different side of the group - but no less interesting. The same can be said about the melodic "Wednesday's Child". "Sorceress with Blue Eyes" is almost heavy, and yet another good example of how well playing this incarnation of The Raiders actually was.

Two other catchy and powerful songs on the "Collage" are actually remakes of songs from the time when Terry Melchior was the group's producer. Both "Tighter" and "Gone, Movin 'on" were written by Lindsay / Melchior, and both new versions are sufficiently different from the originals, to be both interesting and relevant – and they are just really god songs.

Lindsay is responsible for two more tracks in the heavy end of the scale. "Dr Fine" and "Just Seventeen"; the latter was also released on single.

The most commercial track on the album, "We Gotta All Get Together" was written by the group's guitarist Freddy Weller and could perhaps be a bit like a beacon towards the group's subsequent album "Indian Reservation"

Rolling Stone critic Lenny Kaye gave a praising of the album's production and noted that "Mark Lindsay never fails to give the impression that he knows what he's doing. Almost single-handedly, he's brought the Raiders to a stronger position than they've occupied in years". Unfortunately “Collage” proved to be a commercial failure.

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