The Cryan' Shames' debut album was typical of the more thrown-together rock LPs of the era: both sides of their first two singles and a bunch of cover versions. The singles, actually, were pretty good, including their most well-known song, "Sugar & Spice," a cover of a Searchers hit that actually was more memorable and imaginative than the original. Its B-side, "Ben Franklin's Almanac," was a respectable original with shades of the Byrds, the Yardbirds, and California harmonies; the second single, "I Wanna Meet You," was a decent meld of Beatles-Byrds jangle with Beach Boys harmonies; and its flip, "We Could Be Happy," was an OK soft rock number
Originally known as The Travelers, this Chicago-based act were clearly influenced by the British music invasion. Indeed it was their cover version of Sugar And Spice, which had given The Searchers a big U.K. hit back in 1963, which attracted the attention of Columbia, leading them to take over the distribution of their 45. A latter cover of Lennon-McCanney's You're Gonna Loose That Girl, which was probably intended as the follow-up, got lost somewhere in their switch from Destination to Columbia and only got an airing much later when Happy Tiger included it on their Early Chicago compilation.
After signing to Columbia they concentrated on putting out their first album which had a considerable Byrds influence and some good original compositions, notably Jim Fair's Ben Franklin's Almanac. It also contained some well done cover versions of classics like, Hey Joe, If I Needed Someone, We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, We'll Meet Again and She Don't Care About Time. It peaked at No. 192 in the U.S. Album Charts.Buy Me:
The Cryan' Shames - 1966 - Sugar & Spice