Paul Revere & The Raiders are an American rock band that saw considerable U.S. mainstream success in the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s with hits such as "Kicks" (1966; ranked number 400 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time), "Hungry" (1966), "Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be?" (1967) and the 1971 No. 1 single "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" ... (read more at Wikipedia)
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Paul Revere and the Raiders were one of the first American responses to the so-called "British Invasion" of the mid-1960s, and their commercial successes meant that they were included in the playlists of the stations Peel worked for in the US. An article on them appeared in the Kmentertainer at the end of 1966 and its humorous style recalls Peel's writing.
Revere and the Raiders were not a favourite act among the hippy generation, as they became known by doing comedy routines on network American TV shows and their stage presentation, complete with eighteenth century period costumes, was rather too showbusiness-oriented for an audience who found groups such as the Byrds or the Lovin' Spoonful more credible. The band's 1966 hit "Kicks" was an anti-drug song and was not welcomed by those in the U.S. who believed LSD and marijuana could solve personal and social problems.
Their records did not chart in Britain but were played on the pirate stations, especially those like Radio London whose playlists frequently included US hits newly released in the UK. "Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be?" was a Radio London "climber" in the week beginning 28 May 1967 and was in the station's chart for six weeks, peaking at number 8. That meant that it was played on the daytime shows, based around the Big L Fab Forty, but Peel also played it on the Perfumed Garden, warning his listeners not to be prejudiced against the record because of the group (who tended to be bracketed with the Monkees as "plastic" and commercial). He revisited it, and other tracks by the group, in later decades, as he began to look back to the records he had played on the radio in the U.S. and as renewed interest in 1960s garage bands led to a reappraisal of Paul Revere and the Raiders' recordings.
After Peel's death, a copy of the single 'Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be? /Legend Of Paul Revere ' (CBS, 1967) was found in John Peel's Record Box.
Festive Fifty Entries
Other Shows Played
(The list below was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add further details if known.)
- 23 May 1970: Him Or Me - Who's It Gonna Be? (single) CBS
- 10 July 1973: Him Or Me (single) Columbia (starts show)
- 10 January 1977: Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be? (7" - Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be? / Legend Of Paul Revere) CBS
- 29 August 1978: The Great Airplane Strike (album - All-Time Greatest Hits) Columbia CG 31464 (This is a birthday present from Neil and Noy. JP then goes on to play another present they brought him, an even rarer record, their first, which JP had stolen while in LA and hasn't heard since.)
- 29 August 1978: Like, Long Hair (7") Gardena G-116-1
- 31 March 1980: Kicks (7") Columbia (played as part of extended 'Kicks' sequence)
- 23 February 1984: The Great Airplane Strike (album - Kicks) Edsel
- 23 June 1986: Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be?
- 31 January 1989: Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be? (7") CBS
- 25 September 1993: Him Or Me, What's It Gonna Be? (7") Columbia 4-44094
- 01 October 1993 (BFBS): Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be? (7") Columbia
- 15 April 1994: Him Or Me, What's It Going To Be?
- 20 March 1996: Him Or Me, What's It Going To Be? (single, 1967) (JP: "In our 'ones that got away' spot that the whole country is talking about")
- 26 June 1999: Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be?
- June 1999 (FSK): Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be?
- 02 April 2003: Him or Me What's it Gonna Be (7") CBS (Peel suggests the song as one the Vaults could cover: "I was going to say the best record they [Paul Revere & The Raiders] ever made - actually, for me, the only decent record they ever made.")
- 10 April 2003 (Radio Eins): Him Or Me What's It Gonna Be? (7") CBS