by Patrick the Lama, 2003

The Checkmates display the dazzling Justice look, still going strong
in 1967. "Hippies? No sir, not around these parts."

v 1.1, January 2004 - VARCELS album entry and scan added; PHANTOM RAIDERS info added to chapter 3

1. Introduction

Imagine a parallel universe 1960s where the British Invasion never happened, in which the Beatles turned out to be a foreign one-hit wonder like the Tornadoes, while the Stones and the Kinks and the other first-wavers never were given the chance to play in the States, or even have their records released there. If American music had been left alone to develop without input from those talented moptops, where would it have gone? Of course, the problem with this little mindgame is that most of what was happening in '63-64 was wiped away by the transatlantic wave -- instro bands, girl groups, vocal r'n'b -- and what survived couldn't help but being influenced by it. This is particularly true for the whiter shade of the equation. You have to look long and hard to find a few pockets of resistance that demonstrate an alternate scenario; Bobby Fuller and to a certain extent the Young Rascals being perhaps the most successful examples. Beyond that, it's mostly an academic exercise.

Which brings us to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where the
JUSTICE record label accidentally preserved an evolutionary thread seemingly untouched by what was happening everywhere else. While it's true that a handful of the 20-odd Justice album releases of local rock bands from 1966-67 display a certain acknowledgment of the Invasion, the majority of them do not. And this was not all due to some peasant ignorance, mind you, but a deliberate stand. Just dig this awesome program declaration from the BONNEVILLES (Justice 146), which works as a banner for the entire Southeast scene:

"It is said that everything has to come to an end. That includes the "Liverpool" and "Tottenham" sound. Some of this 'stuff' can still be heard in the far corners of today's radios and stereos. Taking its place in record shops and on hit charts is the modern sound of soul and blues..."

Lord knows what the "Tottenham sound" was (actually, a failed Dave Clark V marketing scam), but beyond that there can be no doubt that these soul-loving beach combos were on a crusade against the strange foreign longhair music threatening their land. That some of them had band names like The Englishmen, the Invaders and Mod & the Rockers makes it all the more ironic.

As English as Sir Douglas Quintet

Before examining the unique dead-end Justice species it should be pointed out that any mention of the label among members of the "garage incrowd" or "psych mafia" will trigger the response of "uh, those LPs aren't very good". Well, maybe they aren't, most of them, if compared to "Here are the Sonics", but then "Sgt Pepper" sucks royally compared to the first Sonics LP too, and you can fill a library with what's been written about that. Sometimes music can be historically interesting, and work as a document of an era else forgotten, or be loaded with period charm like an old doo-wop hit -- all of which is true for many Justice artefacts. So fuck all the "hip" and "cool" weisenheimers and their rock magazine mindset. This ain't no MC5 concert -- this is Carolina Beach Music!

2. The Beach Music Factor

Right. But what the hell IS Carolina Beach Music? Well, it's got nothing to do with surf instros, or the Beach Boys. This is East Coast, remember? Think Myrtle Beach, not Malibu. Beach music is a loosely defined term that brings in a whole bunch of disparate records and artists, mainly obscure vocal acts from the first half of the 1960s, usually found in the middle part of the Billboard r'n'b top 100. The TAMS ("Laugh it off", "I've been hurt") are an eternal favorite along the mid-Atlantic coast, while a more famous number such as "My girl" by the Temptations also gets a thumbs up. Somehow these particular tunes ended up being favored by white teenagers in Virginia and the Carolinas as a soundtrack for their campfire beach parties, between beer-guzzling contests and midnight swims. 

This regional phenomena has a certain kinship to the fratrock scene of the Pacific Northwest, best demonstrated by the Swinging Medallions' "Double shot of my baby's love" which works as a bridge between the two genres. Generally speaking beach music is geared towards mid-tempo vocal material, rather than the rocking ambitions of the fratsters. The all-important criteria is that you can do the Shag -- the dance -- to it.

I would be lying if I pretended that a Justice album equals a beach music album, because there are several other elements in there that do not qualify as such -- the hugely influential Young Rascals, classic r'n'b like Ray Charles, classic frat like the Kingsmen, some surf, the odd easy listening ballad, and indeed even a track or two representing "the new sound from England". But in retrospect I believe the beach music angle is the most valuable for understanding this prolific Southeastern LP scene, which is unparalleled elsewhere in the US.

With this caveat in mind it's time to cut the crap and dive into the actual music. Hold on to the edges of your gowns, ladies, we are going through hell!

3. The Label & The Releases

The founding owner of the Justice record label was one Calvin Newton, originally from Tennessee but during the mid-1960s based in Winston-Salem, NC. Apart from the 22 rock'n'roll releases identified here the label released dozens of other types of artists, as well as a number of 45s. The first known album on the label (Justice 101) is Bill Artz & his Rhythm Kings' "Variety Time". I haven't heard this but a knowledgable source has described it as "more swing than beat". The release year is unknown, probably 1965. 

From the start Justice was run as a custom/vanity label to which any band with enough dollars could come and have an LP recorded and manufactured. Newton actually had a couple of "talent" scouts employed who visited local teen clubs and high school dances to find bands the label could approach with their package deal. A specific deal recalled by members of the Comets, whose Justice LP never was released, amounted to $1000 for a 12-track album and 4 hours of studio time. Promotion was part of the arrangement, although in actuality there wasn't much of it, judging by comments from several band members. The label had access to a primitive studio in Winston-Salem, but not all acts recorded there; the TEMPOS recorded their album in Nashville, as an example. Many of the albums do have a samey sound, with a muddy, reverb-laden soundscape straight out of 1962, and it's likely that these all originate from the label's own facilities. Once the records were pressed, distribution landed mainly on the bands themselves. As reported in Kicks magazine #5, pre-teen kings the PHANTOM RAIDERS sold their LP door-to-door after winning a talent contest with a Justice "contract" being the first prize.

All LPs below belong to the Justice "100" series, and I think it's fair to suggest that the catalog numbers were allocated in a regular chronological fashion. Still it is curious that one of the few contemporary 1966 sounding albums, the TEMPOS (104), is the first number in this series, while one of the last releases, by the NIGHTRIDERS (157) is '63 surf and frat galore. Nevertheless, I'm going to assume that the albums appeared in roughly the same sequence as the catalog numbers indicate. The fact that some releases were given the same catalog number provides additional confusion.

It seems that all the Justice rock'n'roll releases appeared within a rather short time frame, maybe 15-18 months. I've seen 1966 as a suggested release date for most or all of them, but it is my belief that they are in fact even later than that; from mid-1966 to late 1967. They sure don't sound like that at all, but piecing together the evidence that's where you end up.

Specifically, the early
TEMPOS LP has been verified as being recorded in March 1966 and released a few weeks later. This may have occurred prior to the label's move from Tennessee to Winston-Salem, which would also explain how an Alabama band ended up on a Carolina label. Judging by catalog numbers there was a hiatus before the label's next r'n'r release, by the VARIATIONS. Local chart evidence indicates that the album by the BARRACUDAS -- one of the more successful acts on the label -- was released in early 1967. An analysis of the songs picked by the PHANTOM RAIDERS show that it was released in February 1967 at the earliest, allowing for a couple of months between their Monkees covers to become hits, get covered and released. The title of their album ("New sound '67") confirms such a release date. With these milestones in place all the other release dates can be approximated by those who desire to. After 1967 there were no more Justice releases as the label declared bankruptcy; as an effect of this at least two known bands (the Seventh Seal and the Comets) never got to see their albums come out.

The press size for the LPs varied depending on how much dough the bands put up, and they differ noticably in terms of rarity today. Several titles are scarce on the same level as any local 60s garage album, but a number of them are extremely difficult to find. An album such as the
MARSADEES wasn't even known to exist among collectors until the late 1990s. It seems the most optimistic and/or well-heeled acts had a 1000 copies pressed, while others had 500 or even 300. The BARRACUDAS album is known to have sold more than 700 copies locally.

In geographical terms, the
TEMPOS again stand out as they came all the way from Alabama, while probably all the other bands belong on the Mid-Atlantic seaboard. Here are all the rock'n'roll releases I've found (the entire run of Collectables' CD reissue program), sorted by catalog number.


Speaking of the Tempos

(Justice 104)



Dig 'em up!

(Justice 112)



Journey with the Starliters

(Justice 124)


Marlboros/Jokers Six  

Real live girl

(Justice 126)



Walking the dog in the midnight hour

(Justice 132)


Tony Lane & the Fabulous Spades


(Justice 133)


Aces Combo  


(Justice 134)



On the run with the Fugitives

(Justice 141)



A plane view of

(Justice 143)



Bringing it home

(Justice 146)


Phantom Raiders  

New Sound '67

(Justice 146)


Varcels Hang loose (Justice 147) 1967


In our time

(Justice 148)



Meet the Checkmates

(Justice 149)




(Justice 150)


Skip and the Creation


(Justice 152)


Mod & The Rockers


(Justice 153)



Summer is here

(Justice 155)


Knights 5 + 1  

On the move

(Justice 156)



On the right track

(Justice 157)




(Justice 157)


Generations Combo  

Meet the

(Justice 158)


Note: the posthumous Seventh Seal LP from VA (first released circa 1999) falls outside the scope of this article. In the context of the Justice catalog it's clearly an above average item. The unreleased Comets album was issued on CD by Collectables but remains unheard by the author.

4. Critical Examination

Aces Combo  "Introducing" 1966 (Justice 134)
No surprises on this obscure Justice LP; Carolina beach music standards, surf instros, couple of lame top 40 covers done 2 years too late. No traces of any Brit Invasion, in fact the Aces rather unique specialty seems to be lame instro versions of the hits of '64. Musical skills are below average from the very young band; sloppy drummer and crude vocals give a certain basement edge to the proceedings, as does the muddy recording. Would you pay $350 for an LP where an instro version of "Secret agent man" is the hippest thing? Hearing a 14-year old kid trying to sound like Ray Charles is worth something though.

Barracudas  VA "A plane view of..." 1967 (Justice 143)
Opens on excellent beat/garage note with strong original followed by tough Stones cover, rest of the LP is similar with mainly Brit Invasion numbers done in an agreeable manner, even has Beatles and Byrds covers plus a fuzz rave-up take on "I'm a man" that has been comped. Only the awful closing "Shotgun" drags the LP down, rest is fine by local US mid-60s LP standards with cool teen vocals, nice undistorted rhythm guitar and occasional sax. I've seen this cut down in more than one place but it sounds pretty good to me, along with the Tempos the most "normal" (as in 1965-66) sounding of all Justice albums. Released in early 1967, the album went on to sell more than 700 copies locally. The band cut a good psych 45 in 1969.

Bonnevilles  NC "Bringing it home" 1967 (Justice 146)
Perhaps the archetypal Justice LP, even has a ballsy statement declaring the death of the "Liverpool Sound" and the "Tottenham Sound", and the coming victory of the blue-eyed frat-soul Southeastern Justice sound. The lame-ass Billboard R'n'B 100 covers and uninspired playing found on the actual record stand in stark contrast to this bravado. Usual fare for the label, the hippest things being an incorrectly interpreted "96 tears" and a closing instro. Organ upfront, sloppy drummer, harmony vocals with lyric mistakes left intact; everything you can ask for. Band are 6 shorthaired dorks, 2 with glasses.

Checkmates  "Meet the Checkmates" 1967 (Justice 149)
Sleeve actually gives the band name as "Checkmate". One of the worst Justices with 3-man horn section & dorkylooking semi-pro band running through old standards that are unhip even by the genre average. The fact that the band is fairly adept is actually a drawback in this context. Don't let anyone tell you this is garage; even calling it "rock'n'roll" is a bit of a stretch. Best track is a slightly mysterioso sounding "Gypsy woman". One group original, a weak blue-eyed soul number.

Englishmen  "Summer is here" 1966 (Justice 155)
If you believe everything you read, this is one of the "best" Justice albums. In the real world it's the same lame standards, surf, frat and beach music with weak vocals and a sleepy 1962 mood, making the band's hip name seem a mystery -- unless the Shadows is your idea of British Invasion. Title track original could be seen as a whiney New England type ballad if you're in a generous mood, but the only really appealing aspect of this LP is a superb drummer who is given plenty of space on "Penetration" and the band's "Theme". Hippest things are covers of "96 tears" and "Catch the wind", both done in an incorrect manner which suggests the band played from sheet music and had never actually heard the tunes. Stunning low-point is an instro "Girl from Ipanema".

Fugitives  VA "On the run with the Fugitives" 1966 (Justice 141)
Title track is classic garage (comped on Hipsville vol 2) with crude fuzz and untrained teen vocals. Rest is more of a club/frat affair with energetic sax-lead takes on things like "Lovelight" and "Tossing and turning", plus some echoey ballads for that special last dance. Superb take on "Bo Diddley is a gunslinger" is a high-point. Very much a 1963 Otis Day & the Knights trip with no Brit Invasion audible, but within the genre this is fun and with plenty of atmosphere. Excellent drummer, neat organ and good raw vocals, best party LP on Justice along with the Knights 5 + 1. Unusually punchy recording too -- not bad for a bunch of white teens from Richmond.

Generations Combo  "Meet the..." 1967 (Justice 158)
The last of the label's rock'n'roll releases does suggest a sort of development for the Justice/Southeast scene, but needless to say it's not in the right direction. Nope, this is a mission statement from 7 white Durham teenagers that Las Vegas lounge-soul is the way to go, with fake ID crooner vocals and seducto gymnasium sax up the wazoo. The limited funds and lack of reality checks puts a Twilight Zone spin on things, like seeing expensive stock footage inserted into an Ed Wood Jr movie; there's glitzy female harmony vocals but the drummer can't keep time! Eerie psych version of "Don't let the sun catch you crying" is a high-point, and the organist likes to do Procol Harum "acid" runs on his keyboard, even on James Brown tunes. There's also an apathetic, deadpan "Walk away Renee", and an uptempo track where the entire rhythm section falls apart. What a mess, like the Checkmates on cough syrup. Closest of all Justice releases to Incredibly Strange domains, this needs to be heard at least once. The Collectables CD reissue displays tape damage at a few spots, this may or may not derive from the original album.

Invaders  VA "On the right track" 1967 (Justice 157)
Opens with OK beat original with tough fuzz break, then immediately starts sucking with brassy soul and beach music covers. Vocals are really weak and the band isn't terribly tight either, in spite of ambitious arrangements. You need a strong stomach to sit through the off-key horn takes on various Memphis standards that make up the bulk of the album. Bizarre interpretation of "Summertime" with the melody wrong and a tortured harmonica solo is worth hearing for its oddness, but apart from the passable opener this LP's only redeeming factor is a neat Farfisa organ sound. Don't be fooled by the cool cover, this is a real stinker.

Knights 5 + 1  "On the move" 1967 (Justice 156)
Racially integrated club band unique to the label and era, and also one of the more wide-appealing titles on the Justice roster. Singer and sax man are black, rest are honkie kids, although the bass player is so good he sounds black. Vocalist is thankfully in the cool Cooke/Gaye school rather than a Pickett/Redding screamer, and the sax-man's loungy digressions sets a mellow nightclub tone to the affair, especially on a number of stylish instrumental originals. The vocal cover selections are a little too obvious but the wee hours approach makes a lot of the Memphis standards different and appealing. If I was throwing a wedding party this is the Justice band I'd book.

Tony Lane & the Fabulous Spades  "Introducing" 1966 (Justice 133)
Good opening Them cover sets the tone for a fatter and rockier club trip than most LPs on the label. Use of organ, sax and Tony's tambourine creates a contemporary mid-60s sound, and the big guy's vocals aren't bad at all, making even the token ballads acceptable, while a couple of energetic frat covers garners bonus points. "Long Tall Sally" with awesome bass runs is a highpoint, as is a fuzz-laden "See See Rider" which I'd rate as one of the best versions ever. Rated highly by Justice aficionado Jeff Jarema, this LPs main drawback is the complete lack of group originals.

Marlboros & Jokers Six  "Real live girl" 1966 (Justice 126)
Unusual LP with black vocal group and white club band joining forces to try and get a beach party going. Apparently the two bands toured together, the Jokers Six supporting the Marlboros who are an early 60s-style vocal 4-piece. The Marlboros don't sing bad and some tracks may appeal to local doo-wop collectors, although the recording is muddy and tinny. The title track is a fairly good original and there's another original on board, the rest is mostly r'n'b/soul standards. While the vocal strength of the Marlboros gives the album an edge over pretty much all other Justices I find little exceptional about it. There's an OK surf-style instro and an energetic "Good loving" on side 2 but apart from that the Jokers Six sound like any generic club band; competent but dull. Embarrassed, one of the Jokers Six guys comes right out in the liner notes and admits that the Marlboros are the "up and coming stars of this album".

Marsadees  SC "Marsadees" 1967 (Justice 150)
Probably the rarest LP on the label, this wasn't even known to exist until recently. It's not bad either, clearly among the better in the Justice catalog, with a crude surf and frat approach similar to the non-garage stuff on the Tempos LP. The only band on the label to cover a Beach Boys tune and indeed there are California dreams all over the album, with several classic surf instros covered. Should appeal to anyone interested in local pre-Brit Invasion sounds, even though it dates from 1967! Cool cover photo of the very young Lexington band. One group original, a sleepy surf instro.

Mod & The Rockers  MD "Now" 1967 (Justice 153)
With a name like that you'd expect at least some recognition of the Brit Invasion, and indeed these guys are really hip by Southeast standards, covering the Zombies and the Beau Brummels in addition to an unusual and great arrangement on "Gloria" that's based on Them rather than the Shadows Of Knight. LP opens with a '66-sounding garage fuzz winner and the band has a tight club sound with organ and a strained soul-punk vocalist. Recording is better than most Justices and this could have been a winner, except that they manage to spoil the party with several lame ballads from a bygone era. Too bad.

Nightriders  NC "Introducing" 1967 (Justice 157)
One of the last Justices is a straightforward mix of organ/guitar instrumentals way past their due date and classic frat sounds lifted from the Kingsmen catalog. The usual soul element has been reduced to a nervous cover of "Come see about me", while the band shows class in covering "Double Shot" and "Louie Louie". Only one lameass ballad makes this LP at least in theory an agreeable basement instro/frat excursion whose main fault is that it was made 3 years too late. Very basic soundscape from these 16-year olds who probably were pleased that they managed to play all songs through without mistakes on their newly purchased gear. Drummer sounds like he's only handled the sticks for a few weeks which messes up a few tracks, but they get all the elements right for a closing "Journey to the stars", the album's obvious highpoint which has also been comp'd on Relics vol 2.

Phantom Raiders  "New Sound '67" 1967 (Justice 146)
13 year-old kids deliver a crude set of hit covers of the day, although one must wonder in what parallel universe "Walk don't run" represents the "New sound '67". Cool LP above the label average that should appeal to any fan of true garage sounds, meaning healthy doses of incompetence, enthusiasm and local charm. They weren't immune to the backwoods time lag of the area which makes for 3-4 instros that cut into the excitement but basement versions of "Stepping stone", "Day Tripper" and Mitch Ryder make up for this. An amazing highpoint is reached with "Gloria" who's serenaded as being "4-foot-4" rather than standard "5-foot-4", because these small kids reduced her height to their Junior High standards - genius! The recording is unusually good for the label, and if you think the lead guitarist is hot for a low-teenager, you should realize that he's only 11 years old. One band original, an instro. 

Skip and the Creation  VA "Mobam" 1967 (Justice 152)
Organ-led combo with hip (relatively speaking) Myrtle Beach teen club vibe, band does unusual covers of Hank Williams and "Harlem Shuffle" plus one cool original. Bonus points for excellent organ sound but the muddy recording, weak vocals and abundance of soul covers places this among the less interesting on the label. The selfwritten tune, a semi-ripoff of "Time won't let me" (comp'd on "Good Roots") is worth hearing. "Mobam" supposedly means Makers Of Bad Ass Music, but the sounds on the record belie such an interpretation.

Speckulations  "Walking the dog in the midnight hour" 1966 (Justice 132)
Crude frat/garage that differs from most Justice albums in being sloppily played, the rhythm section in particular. In fact, they're all over the place. Further garage ambience is provided by Index-like teen vocals and a selection of covers that are somewhat less soul/lounge and more standard '65-66 fare than many of their local competitors. There may also be an original or two, not sure. A solid dose of vintage teen incompetence that makes for passable entertainment and is about the closest any Justice band came to the equally maligned North-East preprock sound.

Starliters  NC "Journey with the Starliters" 1966 (Justice 124)
Obscure one on the label, with four high school kids displaying their lack of "chops". They try burying the drummer's incompetence with an  echo-laden production to no avail. Pretty fun and charming LP, closer to being real "garage" than most of their Justice colleagues, with three Animals covers including a memorable "Rising Sun"; the band also had enough chutzpah to try out "Ticket to ride". Three unexciting instros and a couple of half-assed r'n'b/beach music covers break the spell, but this is in no way inferior to the prep rock and local garage LPs from the Northeast. 

Stowaways  NC "In our time" 1967 (Justice 148)
Apparently one of the rarest LPs on the label and to my ears also one of the better. Cover photo shows the band in lengthy Peter Tork hairdos and indeed they seem to be more with the times than their colleagues. While they deliver obligatories like "I've been hurt" and "Sunny" there's also some unusual Stones and Beatles numbers as well as a daring, atmospheric stab at the Byrds and a spooky original called "Just a toy" (on comp), which crowns them Justice's token folkrock act. Also has an excellent fake 12-string take on "Summertime" that rivals the Half Tribe. The r'n'b stuff that weighs down side 2 is less convincing, but passable. Band isn't terribly tight and the recording has the label's usual early 60s murkiness, but clearly an above average outing within the field. 

Tempos  AL "Speaking of the Tempos" 1966 (Justice 104)
Considered by most the best LP on the label, even rated by some as the best local garage album all over. Has a true garage edge throughout and an impressive number of great Stonesy originals such as the opening "Two timer" and "You're gonna miss me" (not the Elevators tune) along with 3-4 of the usual surf and R'n'B covers. One of the few, or the only, Justice band not to hail from the mid-Atlantic seaboard states, this also stands out due to an atypical recording with plenty of punch that reflects a Brit Invasion mindset among these Sylacuga High School punks. The Crypt job has most of the LP plus some bonus tracks and a new BFTG-style sleeve, which is a pity. Either reissue is worth getting for any 1966 garage fan.

Varcels  NC "Hang Loose With the Varcels" 1967 (Justice 147)
I managed to miss this LP in the first round, and have in fact not yet heard it. Reliable people say it's pretty good by the label standard; the line-up is mostly familiar Justice stuff with an original or two and a "Dirty Water" cover the most surprising item. Obscure one in the catalog, but it was included among the Collectables CD reissues. Will add a review once I've heard it.

Variations  NC "Dig 'em up!" 1966 (Justice 112)
Blue-eyed soul, crooner ballads and pre-soul r'n'b covers all thru on this early release on the label, not a whiff of Brit Invasion can be detected. Atmospheric and charming for those interested in local non-garage mid-60s sounds, guttural teen vocals imitating Ben E King and the Righteous Bros are fun. Organ-led "Shake a tail feather" is probably the most rocking track. Sax but no brass, energetic approach and heavy reverbed surf guitars; with a better selection of covers this would have been a keeper. Cool band pic has them in Count Five vampire gear in front of their customized band hearse, and this is also the only Justice album to feature a full color cover; an initial extravagance that soon was abandoned for the usual monochromes.

5.  The Big Picture

Looking over the total array of these 22 albums there is an obvious hierarchy among them, despite the many similarities. Here's what I came up with after many nights of Aristotelian hair-splitting:

I The Classics - easy, because there's only one, and that's the TEMPOS. This stands out on several counts, the two crucial ones being a real garage "punk" attitude present throughout and the presence of several excellent originals rather than just one or two.

II The Beerblast Backbone - most of the Justice LPs have a club/frat ambition but only three manage to get a REAL party going, and that's the FUGITIVES, the KNIGHTS 5 + 1, and TONY LANE & THE FABULOUS SPADES. These three stand up to any frat LP from the Midwest or Northwest.

III The Runners-Up - this is a group of albums that have certain flaws but also enough good elements to be worth checking out for the curious mid-60s teen music fan. I would define the runners-up as the BARRACUDAS, the MARSADEES, the PHANTOM RAIDERS, and the STOWAWAYS. Among these, the Barracudas is probably the strongest. See the individual reviews for details.

IV Toxic Waste - of the 22 albums I found three that are so lame that I had a hard time sitting through them, and then you should bear in mind that I'm all numbed out from this project. For completists and kamikaze pilots only: the CHECKMATES, the INVADERS, and the GENERATIONS COMBO. The latter may actually be worth a spin but only if you're an experienced strange music aficionado.

V The Rest - if you didn't find your favorite Justice LP in the four sections above, that means that it's one that went by me pretty unnoticed and one that I could live without ever hearing again. This category comprises almost half the label's r'n'r catalog and gives some weight to the blasé comments sometimes uttered to the effect of all the albums sounding the same, being dull soul covers, and so forth. There's usually one or two interesting aspects to each LP, but not enough so to make it a keeper, even if you paid $2.99 at a Collectables clearance sale. Do read the individual reviews, but don't blame me if one of "The Rest" puts you to sleep.

6.  Cover versions

Below is a list of the most popular tunes among the 22 Justice label rock'n'roll bands. Bear in mind that the LPs were released in late 1966-67. The list contains some surprising items that indicate the special timewarp nature of the Southeastern scene. The popularity of "Wipeout" is likely due to the rare nature of it being a hit twice, both in '64 and in the Fall '66, which was right around the time of the Justice custom operation going into full swing. It probably never had left the set lists of these bands. 

Wipeout (Surfaris)                        7 versions
In the Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett)     7
Night Train (James Brown)                 4
Summertime (several)                      4
Try Me (James Brown)                      4
My Girl (Temptations)                     3
Under the Boardwalk (Drifters)            3
Bring It On Home To Me (Sam Cooke)        3
I've Been Hurt (Tams)                     3
Turn On Your Love Light (Bobby Bland)     3
Gloria (Them)                             3
Little Latin Lupe Lu (Kingsmen)           3
Good Lovin (Young Rascals)                3
Double Shot (Swinging Medallions)         3
99 ˝ (Wilson Pickett)                     3

As pointed out above, the TEMPOS is far less heavy on cover versions than the other Justice releases. Most of them have 1-2 originals which are typically among the album's best tracks, while a few releases are cover versions all through.


Thanks to Rich Haupt and Jeff Jarema for valuable input.

The Lama Workshop