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March 21, 2010


The Sidekicks – Featuring “Fifi The Flea” (1966)

Artist: The Sidekicks
Title: Featuring “Fifi The Flea”
Year: 1966
Format: LP
Label: RCA Victor

The Sidekicks were a New Jersey group that consisted of Jim Spirt (drums), Mike Burke (guitar), Zack Bocelle (guitar-vocals) and Randy Bocelle (bass-vocals).

The group was originally known as the Redcoats who were a Beatles “sound-a–like” group who recorded tracks in 1966 when they came to the attention of RCA A&R man Bob Cullen who had heard an early version of “Suspicions” and wanted to sign the group as long as they dropped the Beatles imitation (though the habit was hard to break, listen to songs like “Ask Your Friend” or “You’re A Girl”), they were then introduced to arranger Jimmy Wisner who polished their sound and recorded this album in the fall of 1966. The title song was originally done by the Hollies on their “Would You Believe” album in June of 1966. (Max Collodie)

Track Listing

  1. Suspicions
  2. Up On The Roof
  3. You’re A Girl
  4. More (Theme From “Mondo Cane”)
  5. Not Now
  6. Ask Your Friend
  7. Fifi The Flea
  8. Sight And Sound
  9. Out Of The Dark
  10. He’s My Friend
  11. The Best Things
  12. Ollie Wong (The Same)
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1 Comment Post a comment
  1. Peter Mork
    Mar 7 2011

    This reminds me of a Lou Christie album, their version of “Up On the Roof” even starts with a “Lightning Strikes” chord sequence though the singer can’t quite achieve Lou’s absurd squealing pathos. Still, a well-managed studio effort; whatever actual Sidekicks were present got bound and gagged so a crew of hotshot professionals could take charge. I like them best when they edge towards a fake Mersey sound as on “Ask Your Friend”, and “He’s My Friend” is a sort of music-hall strut with extreme violence implied, like John Lennon telling his girl to run for her life if she can.

    The title song (plot copped from a Tex Avery cartoon) covers a ridiculous tear-jerking Hollies song and tries to wring a hit out of its itchy, flaky tragedy. Didn’t work (in my market anyway) but surely left a wake of tear-stained pillows in the provinces. Finally, there’s “Ollie Wong”, which sounds like a Coasters song that somehow ended up on the wrong album, but does include a wickedly good drum roll near the end.

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