The short-lived Viva Records label was one wildly eclectic outfit. Helmed by hitmaker Snuff Garrett, this Los Angeles-based imprint targeted the teen marketplace with a series of extraordinary garage / psych / pop singles. The label’s command of popular styles prevailed across these Top 40 hopefuls, ranging from the stomping beat of the Shindogs to the psych-fuzz nirvana of the Sound Sandwich. And there’s Class of ’66 garage-grunge from the Wailers and the Second Helping (yes, that’s a teenage Kenny Loggins howling at the moon on the positively snarling “Let Me In,” among other selections). With a supporting cast led by Leon Russell and J.J. Cale and bolstered with choice Snuff Garrett Productions like Gypsy Trips and Sunday Servants, Ain’t It Hard! stands as an essential anthology of Sunset Strip sixties sounds!