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The Kingsmen

In 1964, the Kingsmen almost singlehandedly created both the garage rock and frat rock genres by uttering just two very short, very simple, and very wonderful words: “Louie, Louie.” After the band’s low-budget recording of the tune Richard Berry tune hit the Top 40 that year, the rest, as is often said, is history. A history of liberating, primitive, dead-simple, gloriously stupid, and just plain fun music that stretches from the fabled Portland, Oregon, outfit to neighboring successors like the Sonics and onward to include the Trashmen, the the Stooges, the Ramones, the Cramps, Black Flag, and Nirvana, and keeps right on rolling up to inspire such recent kindred souls as the Hives and the White Stripes.

Thanks to their recordings of “Louie, Louie,” “Long Green,” “Jolly Green Giant,” and other primo drunken blasts, the Kingsmen are the very cornerstone of any garage collection.