The Outsiders — “Happyville”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 21, 2022


615) The Outsiders — “ Happyville”

The Outsiders give us a randy and “masterful acid punker[]” (Jason, off of CQ, their last album (’68) — as only a band from the Netherlands could. And only a Dutch band could write English lyrics like “I don’t mind your enthusiasm. I don’t mind your wild orgasm. I don’t mind we are not alone. I don’t mind we’re not at home. But I don’t understand why you’re selling tickets to those nasty guys who don’t wear ties.” Who are those nasty guys???

CQ is, as Richard Groothuizen says, the product of “a passionate band at the height of their creative powers.” (liner notes to CD reissue of CQ). Jason writes that:

C.Q. was to be the Outsiders last album (their 3rd LP), an attempt to reach the group’s original core audience amidst a troubling commerical downfall. Not only is this one of the best “international” psych albums but it’s as good as anything by the early Pink Floyd, psychedelic era Pretty Things or Love. Its closest reference point is probably the Pretty Things superb S.F. Sorrow – there are no soft, wimpy moments on either of these records, just pure intensity and garage punk muscle. . . . C.Q.’s strength is in it’s consistency and diversity. No two songs sound alike yet every experiment is well thought out and successful. The group’s hallmark start-stop punk rhythms are firmly in place on many of C.Q.‘s tracks but by 1968 the Outsiders had grown considerably, incorporating more folk-rock and psych sounds into their repertoire. . . . C.Q. is one of the immortal 60s albums.

As to the Outsiders, Mark Deming tells us:

The Amsterdam-based combo were one of the most popular homegrown bands in the Netherlands from 1965 to 1967, and have since become a favorite among historians of the beat music era; Richie Unterberger wrote that the Outsiders “could issue a serious claim for consideration as the finest rock band of the ’60s to hail from a non-English-speaking nation,” and Richard Mason penned an essay on the group calling them “the most underrated band ever.” The Outsiders were formed in 1964 by Wally Tax (vocals and rhythm guitar), Ronald Splinter (lead guitar), Appie Rammers (bass), and Lendert “Buzz” Busch (drums); the band embraced an eclectic style that made room for R&B, folk-rock, pop, and beat influences, as well as psychedelic accents as the decade wore on. After earning a reputation as a powerful live act (and adding additional guitarist Tom Krabbendam), the Outsiders made their recoding debut in 1965 . . . . [T]he Outsiders were unusual among beat groups of the era in that they never recorded cover tunes. As the band’s reputation as a striking live act grew (their show was frantic enough to get them banned from several major venues), the Outsiders found themselves opening for many leading U.K. beat groups touring the Netherlands, including the Oretty Things and The Rolling Stones.

Named for an amateur radio term meaning “Is anyone listening?,” CQ was an ambitious set that combined the band’s beat music influences with outré psychedelia and avant-garde sounds that were far ahead of the curve for the era. However, Polydor failed to promote the album properly — the initial pressing was reportedly a mere 500 copies — and the Outsiders disbanded in 1969.

Here they are live (at 13:10):

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