Label: Kama Sutra
Year of Release: 1968
If I'm not careful, this blog is going to get a reputation for continual uploads of cover versions of The Zombies "She's Not There". First we heard the synth pop version a mere few entries back, and now this is the much more antique 1968 cover, slightly wigged out and updated for the groovy set.
Rather than make this an entirely straight reinterpretation, The Road here have some fun with beatless, acapella interludes, long, drawn out and atmospheric electric organ build-ups, and generally faintly ambitious tinkering. It's not a total remodel in the mould of The Panic's version, and nor is it epic and bombastic in the manner of Colin Blunstone's fantastic re-recording under the name Neil MacArthur (something I would have uploaded here long ago were it not already widely commercially available) but it's picking up a few sixties club plays now purely for its swing. It's not hard to understand why.
B-side "A Bummer", meanwhile, gives Lieutenant Pigeon's flips a run for their money in sheer bizarre minimalism.
The Road consisted of brothers Jerry and Phil Hudson, Joe and Jim Hesse, Nick Distefano, and Ralph Parker. They hailed from Buffalo and formed as The Mellow Brick Rode (a much better name, in my view) in 1967. "She's Not There" just narrowly missed a Billboard Hot 100 place, and would perhaps have performed better had the band's manager organised a widespread US tour and promo package for them - but apparently these plans fell through. Rumours have since abounded about his gangster/ mob connections, and there's an interesting article with the group on this website that tries to complete the picture.
The Road managed two LPs - the eponymous "The Road" in 1969, and "Cognition" in 1971 - before disappearing. They still occasionally reform to perform on the club circuit.