(Original review 31/05/08)
I was doing a bit of internet surfing the other day and learnt that Dee Robb from The Robbs died in February 2008. It's always sad for me when I read that 60s songwriters/musicians die. Fortunately their music will survive a lot longer.
Dee Robb was the lead singer and chief songwriter of Milwaukee band The Robbs. It turned out that The Robbs may have been one of the unluckiest bands of the mid to late 60s. Although their 45s charted locally they never succeeded in achieving national acclaim because almost every one of their releases only reached the 'bubbling' under section of The Billboard chart.
'Bittersweet' was The Robbs third Mercury 45. On this disc the services of hot production team P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri were given control to perhaps push the band to the next level. After all, their songs had been big hits for The Grass Roots, The Turtles and The Searchers. Maybe none bigger than 'Eve Of Destruction' made popular by Barry McGuire.
'Bittersweet' is a magical folk-rock tune notable for it's catchy chorus and pleasant Robbs harmonies. Surprisingly this song has only really ever been digitally compiled on my series of comps. Check it out on Cavestones #20..
A recent search on the Searchin' For Shakes database reveals that The Robbs have no comp action apart from a cassette only release put out by Strange Things magazine back in 1990...On this they introduced 'Bittersweet'...I doubt if this cassette is around anymore.
The flip of this 45 is a Dee Robb original titled 'End Of The Week'....this time around they go for a surf pop approach, similar in style to The Beach Boys' more obscure surf moments. This song is non LP so well worth you getting a copy.
David Donaldson (aka Dee Robb) guitar/vocals
Robert Donaldson (aka Bruce Robb) organ
George Donaldson (aka Joe Robb) guitar
Craig Krampf (aka Craig Robb) drums
bass duties was usually done by session players from Hollywood notably Larry Knetchel or Joe Osborn
THE ROBBS - End Of The Week
|The Robbs 'Bittersweet' up to #3 on the Milwaukee WRIT Radio Chart 29/01/67|