Chances are that, despite their having come from Cleveland, OH -- and,thus, having a certain home field advantage -- the Outsiders will neverbe considered for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Bands with just two big hits ("Time Won't Let Me," "Respectable") and a history mostly confined to AM radio in the '60s don't seem to rate that kind of recognition. But if any two-hit, dance-oriented band from the '60s ever deserved a crack at being voted in, the Outsiders do, simply based on the quality of their work over three years and four albums. The Outsiders started life as the Starfires , a hard-working popular local band in Cleveland founded by guitarist/singer Tom King in 1958. By 1965, the group had decided to add more vocals to its repertory, adding lead singer Sonny Geraci . Tom King and his brother-in-law, Chet Kelley , co-authored a song called "Time Won't Let Me," and King turned the new number into a rock & roll tour de force . Recording it on their own, the band (under King 's direction) melded the group's core sound -- augmented by the presence of Al Austin on lead guitar -- to brass and horn sections, in what was a fairly complex dual-layer arrangement. The group was signed by Capitol Records on the strength of the recording, but the label insisted that the band get a new name. King had been forced to abandon Pama Records, the label for which the Starfires had cut a dozen sides and was owned by his uncle, who accused his nephew of being an "outsider" to the family.
The name, the Outsiders, fit the new band and the times perfectly, and "Time Won't Let Me" was issued in January of 1966, rising to number five on the national charts soon after. The B-side "Was It Really Real" showed off the unadorned group sound, a lean two-guitar, bass, and drums arrangement with some tasteful, shimmering guitar arpeggios and a gentle, folk-rock style of harmonizing. The group's lineup was a bit fluid at this point, with King , Geraci , and longtime Starfires bassist Mert Madsen comprising the core; with Bill Bruno playing lead guitar and drummer Ronnie Harkai aboard. Harkai left to join the Air Force soon after the debut single was recorded, however, and he was succeeded by Bennie Benson and later by Ricky Baker . The Outsiders enjoyed a second hit with "Girl in Love," which reached number 21 -- a reflective ballad with a lush (yet not overwhelming) string accompaniment over some restrained electric guitars; it showed off another side of the group's sound. By the time of "Girl in Love"'s release, Capitol was ready for the group to record their debut album and Tom King called up Jimmy Fox , who had been the drummer for a slightly earlier lineup of the Starfires , to play on those sessions. Fox had left the group to attend college, but he came back to play on the album; in the wake of his brief reunion with his bandmates, decided to forego college in favor of forming a band of his own, which he named the James Gang .
Two Great Lps on ONE Cd. You Get "album #2" & " Time won't Let me" Plus bonus tracks from Liberty Bell records
1. Keep on Running - Time Won't Let Me 2. Listen People - Time Won't Let Me 3. Time Won't Let Me - Time Won't Let Me 4. My Girl - Time Won't Let Me 5. What Makes You So Bad - Time Won't Let Me 6. She Cried - Time Won't Let Me 7. Chase Away The Tears - Time Won't Let Me 8. Was it Really Real - Time Won't Let Me 9. Maybe Baby - Time Won't Let Me 10. Rockin' Robin - Time Won't Let Me 11. Girl in Love - Time Won't Let Me 12. (Just Like) Romeo and Juliet - Album #2 13. Lost in My World - Album #2 14. Since I Lost My Baby - Album #2 15. Cool Jerk - Album #2 16. Oh How it Hurts - Album #2 17. I Will Love You - Album #2 18. Respectable - Album #2 19. Hanky Panky - Album #2 20. Lonely Man - Album #2 21. Wine Wine Wine - Album #2 22. Backwards, Upside Down - Album #2 23. Gotta Leave Us Alone - Bonus 24. I Just Can't See You Anymore - Bonus 25. I'll See You in the Summertime - Bonus 26. And Now You Want My Sy...