The Last Words [USA]

lastwords-300x300From: New York, NY, USA

Not to be confused with the similarly named English, Canadian or Ohio-based bands, New York’s The Last Word (aka “The Last Words” on their 1968 album) featured the talents of guitarist Mike Byrnes, drummer Roger Cook, singer Johnny Lombardo and keyboardist Steve Sechak.

Formed in 1966, the quartet relocated to Miami, Florida where they were quickly signed by the small Boom label. Propelled by Lombardo’s suitably gruff voice, they debuted with the single ‘Hot Summer Days’ b/w ‘Bidin’ My Time (Boom catalog number 60014). A competent slice of garage rock, it failed to sell but attracted the attention of Atlantic’s ATCO subsidiary which signed them to a contract the following year.

Released in 1967, the band enjoyed an unexpected top-100 hit with their blue-eyed soul single ‘Can’t Stop Lovin’ You’ b/w ‘Don’t Fight It’ (ATCO catalog number 6498). More than happy to capitalize on their hit ATCO rushed the band into the studio to record a supporting album. The cleverly-titled “The Last Words” teamed the band with producers Brad Shapiro and Steve Alaimo. Musically the set wasn’t particularly impressive.

As was standard marketing procedure, the set offered up a mix of popular covers (a dirge tempo cover of The Beatles’ ‘No Reply’ being the highlight) and marginal originals. While Lombardo had a decent voice and Byrnes was a competent guitarist (with a nice touch for fuzz effects), the band’s penchant for ballads and nauseating soft rock arrangements (‘One More Time’, a dreadful cover of ‘Be My Baby’ and ‘A Basket of Flowers’) left a great deal to be desired.

The band was far more interesting on atypical rockers such as their cover of The Raiders’ ‘Mor’een’, Lomboardo’s ‘It’s Not Over’ and their spastic cover of The Who’s ‘The Kids Are Alright’. (RDTEN1 RYM)

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1967 single “Can’t Stop Loving You”
lastcant

  • Cant’ Stop Loving You
  • Don’t Fight It

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  • Live at  The Par-Tee Lounge, Miami, FL