The Outsiders – Strange Things Are Happening: The Complete Singles 1965-1969 (RPM Records)


Like many groups from the second-half of the 1960s, The Outsiders (the Dutch ones, not the American group called The Outsiders of “Time Won’t Let Me” fame) started out playing a hopped-up version of American blues, then evolved into something else during the psychedelic era. The earlier songs on this chronologically-ordered singles collection show the savage side of the band, running neck-and-neck with The Pretty Things or The Rolling Stones in terms of raw aggression. They knew how to play with volume and speed, but the best songs from this period were actually the ballads “Sun’s Going Down” and “Lying All The Time”, the latter featuring singer Wally Tax’s best Jagger drawl. Like other bands from the same era, the songs became more complex with each passing release, with the menacing “Ballad Of John B” from 1966 marking the exact point at which you can hear a sea change starting to take place. As 1967 rolled in, the group got all “far out” with complex time-signatures and baroque overtones on the drug-inspired “Monkey On Your Back” (oddly enough, the band’s biggest hit in Holland) and the folky “Summer Is Here”, which features balalaika and autoharp. Despite being in sync with the times, the hits started drying up and The Outsiders were running out of steam creatively. Sure enough, after releasing the well-regarded CQ album and few poorly-chosen follow-up singles, they called it a day in 1969. They weren’t the best band out there, but they’re worth checking for a few hot numbers and for proof that good garage, beat and psychedelic music was coming from places other than the US and UK.

Tracklisting:

01 – You Mistreat Me
02 – Sun’s Going Down
03 – Felt Like I Wanted To Cry
04 – I Love Her Still, I Always Will
05 – Lying All The Time
06 – Thinking About Today
07 – Keep On Trying
08 – That’s Your Problem
09 – Touch
10 – Ballad Of John B
11 – Monkey On Your Back
12 – What’s Wrong With You
13 – Summer Is Here
14 – Teach Me To Forget
15 – I’ve Been Loving You So Long
16 – I’m Only Trying To Prove To Myself That I’m Not Like Everybody Else
17 – Don’t You Worry About Me
18 – Bird In A Cage
19 – Cup Of Hot Coffee
20 – Strange Things Are Happening
21 – I Don’t Care
22 – You Remind Me
23 – Do You Feel Allright
24 – Daddy Died On A Saturday