The Standells‘ key albums for the Tower label (Dirty Water, Why Pick On Me, and Try It) perfectly bottled a rebellious wave of sound sweeping across Mid-1960?s teen clubs, radio playlists and record racks. Starting with the genre-defining, proto-punk smash “Dirty Water,” through a series of equally memorable underdog anthems (“Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White,” “Why Pick on Me”) and obscenities (the banned “Try It”), the Standells left an indelible mark on their era. Those three Tower albums are a veritable feast of three chord, fuzz-drenched, Vox Organ-driven “squares”-repellant.
For their second Tower album, Why Pick On Me, the Standells received a significant sonic boost with the move to American Recording Company. Legendary engineer Richie Podolor cut the best sounding records of the era; from the Standells, Chocolate Watchband, and Electric Prunes to Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night. The drum tracks on this album are simply not to be believed, the bass drum sound possibly registering on the Richter scale. Here the Standells build on their strengths with tough originals from producer Ed Cobb, equally-hard driving outside material (“Black Hearted Woman,” “Mainline”), and notably, the emergence of Larry Tamblyn as a songwriter (his “Mr. Nobody” arguably the album’s highlight).