The 49th Parallel — “Missouri”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — February 26, 2022

367) The 49th Parallel — “Missouri”

Super-cool ‘68 B-side from Calgary band about being stuck in California missing Missouri! says:

[B]y ‘67 they had all but outgrown the local circuit. They played the prairies relentlessly for the next year or so, making over a dozen stops in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan at The Temple Gardens alone. They signed with Don Grashley’s Gaeity Records and by the spring of ’68 had released a string of singles [including] “Blue Bonnie Blue” (co-written by Delaney Bramlett about his wife Bonnie Bramlett) b/w “Missouri.” They all did relatively well but none broke the band with a larger audience. . . . In between tours they managed to record another pair of singles [including] “Twilight Woman” . . . .” The expanding tour stops were paying off, and both of the new singles got airplay in Toronto, with “Twilight Woman” even cracking the top 10 on CHUM’s playlist and getting some airplay in the US, albeit briefly. . . . [The label] slapped together enough material for a full length album, comprised of the singles and some studio throw-aways . . . . But it was barely on the shelves for a month when [Dennis] Abbott left, who was replaced by new frontman Dorn Beattie. . . . . They continued to tour sporadically over the next six months while writing material for a follow-up album. But after the single “I Need You” came and went without a whimper on two separate occasions, the band packed it in by the spring of 1970.

Bruce Eder says that:

49th Parallel was one of an unusual breed of garage punk bands to come out of Canada in the mid-’60s. . . . In the spring of 1969, they finally had a national hit in Canada with “Twilight Woman[.”]. . . The group was never able to capitalize on the success of “Twilight Woman” . . . in part because they were unable to hold their lineup together. [The l]ead singer . . . quit . . . and in the course of changing personnel . . . their sound changed. . . . . At their best, [they] had a hard, cutting sound that could have put them in the front ranks of garage punk bands, their slashing guitars and swirling organ around [the] lead vocals making a compelling and memorable sound . . . .

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[The LP version is] TOTALLY DIFFERENT from the 45 version. I’ve never seen such a steep difference between 2 versions of the same song. I like both, but this one is the most hard-rocker I’ve ever heard!

I think the LP version is far, far superior. It is hard rocking and poppy at the same time. It would have made a great A-side:

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