The Remains: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — February 3, 2022

341) The Remains — “Why Do I Cry” (May 26, 1966 live in the studio version)

“Why Do I Cry,” the band’s second A-side (’65) (see also #125), was a hit in the Remains’s home town of Boston. Mark Deming in All Music Guide calls the song “swaggering” while Nuggets says it “demonstrates how the Remains were producing material easily on par with the best British groups of the period.” I think they’re crying about that ball that went through Bill Buckner’s legs, but wait, that was ‘86.

Now that I have brought up a sore subject, I’m gonna double down and post a picture of me getting a champagne shower as I celebrate the Mets winning the ’86 World Series! —

Deming goes on to write that “[a]mong garage rock obsessives, the Remains have long been the stuff of legend,” that “[i]n New England, few bands of the ’60s are remembered with greater awe,” and that “[they] were tougher, smarter, and tighter than the vast majority of their competition . . . . mid-’60s American rock & roll at it’s best,” but that they “had trouble making an impression outside of New England.” The band broke up in ’66 following its inability break through nationally.

As Mike Stax explains in the liner notes to volume 2 of the Garage Beat ’66 comp:

The band was . . . dissatisfied with the sound they were getting in the studio, feeling it captured little of the fire of their legendary live shows. So . . . [s]till geared up from a gig . . . the previous night, the band assembled at the studio on the morning of May 26[, 1966], gulped down some coffee, then proceeded to rip through a full-throttle live set . . . . The highlight of the session was [singer and songwriter Barry] Tashian’s own “Why Do I Cry,” a raucous, high-energy performance that creams the more disciplined rendition they’d done for Epic the previous year. [T]he tape was shelved and more or less forgotten until it was exhumed for release decades later.

I include both versions — you be the judge.

“I would lose all my blues if you promise that your love was true now. And I don’t know why I keep lovin’ you the way I do now. ‘Cause you leave me alone to cry on my own. I swear you got a heart that’s made of stone, made of stone. And I don’t know why I keep lovin’ you the way I do, but I do now. I cry, you know why. I would die if you left me again. The tears and the years would have all surely been in vain, baby now. But you keep on leavin’ me alone to cry on my own. . . . You say you’ll tell no lies, yeah. Then why, why do I cry . . . . Why do I cry, little girl? . . .”

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Here is the ’66 version:

Here is the official ’65 release:

From a March ’69 one-off reunion show at the Boston Tea Party, the city’s leading psychedelic ballroom:

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