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The Lee Kings: Bingo!! For the Lee Kings *

Album Notes

The Lee Kings one and only album, 1966's Bingo!! For The Lee Kings, is a fine example of just how well the Swedish combo had absorbed the sounds coming out of England and made them their own. Though the Beatles of course loomed large in their lives, their main touchstone was the fab Four's northern counterpart the Hollies. The Lee Kings' sound is very similar to that of the latter band, with pristine high harmonies, jangling folk-rock guitars, and very strong lead vocals. The Swedes even cover the Hollies' deep cut "I've Got a Way of My Own" and do it very well. Their originals songs don't pale in comparison to those of their heroes, either. So many beat groups were able to pull off a passable imitation of the sounds of the day, but stumbled hard when it came to the songs themselves. The members of the Lee Kings were no slouches at crafting snappy, sweet, and poppy tunes that have a graceful, autumnal quality ("Tears Fell," "Smile for Me"), or rock hard enough to fill discotheque floors ("Gonna Keep Searchin'," "Why Why Why"), or sound like lost classics of the beat era ("It's Not Right"). Their cover of the obscure beat tune "Lost My Girl" by Rick & Sandy shows they had an ear for picking great songs to put their stamp on. The album isn't perfect and is weighed down by a jokey country song about beer ("Give Me Just Another Beer"), as well as a Vegas-y take on Sam Cooke's "Shake." Even with these missteps, though, the album is a very solid, often excellent, effort by a very solid mid-'60s beat group. ~ Tim Sendra



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