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the return of max frost and the troopers (is this part 6 of the pseudo-psychedelic chad & jeremy essay?)

THIS ARTICLE IS AN ADDITION to the five part essay on the pseudo-psychedelic record­ings of Chad & Je­remy from 1967-68. Please read those first and then this will make more sense. A note of in­terest to the real diehard Chad & Je­remy col­lec­tors: the ver­sion of Paxton Quigley’s Had The Course that ac­tu­ally ap­pears on the sound­track album THREE IN THE ATTIC was recorded by ses­sion mu­si­cians and cred­ited to Max Frost and The Troopers.

“Max Frost” was the name of the char­acter that Christo­pher Jones played in the 1968 movie Wild In The Streets. Frost was the lead singer of a rock group who turns politi­cian and is elected Pres­i­dent. The name of his group is never men­tioned in the film and the record­ings done for the movie were cred­ited on the sound­track album Wild In The Streets (Tower, 1968) to The 13th Power, an­other fic­ti­tious group of ses­sion mu­si­cians!

The ac­tual record­ings were done by an ad hoc group of studio mu­si­cians, which may in­clude all or some of Davie Allan and his Ar­rows. The standout track was Shape Of Things To Come, written by Barry Mann and Cyn­thia Weil. And while it cer­tainly sounded like it owed more than a nod and a wink to the Yardbirds—with some Grass Roots thrown into the mix—it was not the same as that group’s ear­lier hit, Shapes Of Things (1966).

In the film, Jones per­forms the song by lip-syncing in a se­ries of close-ups done in a movie studio. That is, it is not per­formed and filmed as a video of a rock group doing the number, just Jones.


Max Frost And The Troopers The Shape Of Things To Come

Shape Of Things To Come was the al­bum’s standout track was pulled from the LP and re­leased as a single, but this time cred­ited to Max Frost & The Troopers. It was a de­served hit, peaking at #17 on Cash Box but only reaching #22 on Bill­board. It was a much bigger hit else­where, get­ting as high as #2 in Canada!

This was fol­lowed by an album, also ti­tled SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME, also cred­ited to max Frost & The Troopers, also re­leased on Side­walk in 1968. The LP fea­tured the 45 plus nine new record­ings by un­cred­ited studio mu­si­cians, It was par­tially pro­duced by Mike “Mr. Ubik” Curb.

The debut of Max Frost and the Troopers

To con­fuse mat­ters, this was not the first time that Curb and Com­pany had used the name of Max Frost & The Troopers. Two tracks on the sound­track album to an ear­lier biker flick The Glory Stom­pers—star­ring the soon-not-to-be-unknown Dennis Hopper—were at­trib­uted to that fic­ti­tious band.

Both the movie and its ac­com­pa­nying sound­track alum (THE GLORY STOMPERS, Side­walk, 1968) had been re­leased a few months ear­lier. Not co­in­ci­den­tally, Davie Alan & The Ar­rows were also in­volved in the recording of that sound­track.

The second coming of Max Frost and the Troopers

The Tower/Sidewalk af­fair rarely let a good thing die a nat­ural death and so it was that the fic­ti­tious Max Frost & The Troopers were given yet an­other stab ant a soundtrack-based single. This time, it was the theme song from Three In The Attic. The working title during filming of the movie was Paxton Quigley’s Had The Course—which is why Chad Stuart wrote a song with such a silly, non-commercial song title.

The song was a Chad & Je­remy number, recorded for and used in the movie. But, due to that duo’s con­tract with Co­lumbia, it could not be re­leased by Tower as a single. Hence, Curb & Com­pany res­ur­rected The Troopers. Again, the ac­tual recording was done by ses­sion mu­si­cians; whether or not the same people as the pre­vious record­ings is both un­known and doubtful.

Paxton Quigley’s had the course

Un­like the punkish Shapes Of Things To Come, this single owes more to Davy Jones and the Mon­kees and the Yard­birds or the Grass Roots. Paxton Quigley’s Had The Course was is­sued in early 1969 (prob­ably April or May), cou­pled with Sittin’ In Cir­cles (Tower 478). The latter was also in­cluded in the movie but per­formed by Davie Allan & The Ar­rows. 

Tower 478 was is­sued as a white label promo record with a black and white title sleeve, fol­lowed by a small press run of stock copies on Tow­er’s boring, flat red label.

A single copy is listed on Pop­sike: it is the promo single (NM) with the pic­ture sleeve (VG+) and it fetched $30 in 2011. So we will go with a sug­gested NM value of $10-15 for the 45 and $20-30 for the PS. And stock copies of the 45 may not exist.

 

 

 

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