The Choir 2

Barely Appreciated

THE CHOIR – Reissues
In the early days, everything was in a 7-inch format; but it wasn’t all two-song singles, and it wasn’t all new music.  Apparently right after the first 45 by the Poppees was released, on Bomp 104-EPBomp! Records put together the first reissue of music by the Choir, a 1960’s Cleveland band that included several members of the Raspberries, which formed in 1970 and released several smart albums along with a million-selling hit single, “Go All the Way”. 
The five songs by the Choir on the EP called The Choir, however, did not include their September 1966 release “It’s Cold Outside”, which was picked up by Roulette Records in May 1967, hitting #1 on all three Top 40 radio stations in Cleveland and peaking at #68 on the Billboard charts.  It’s Cold Outside is one of my very favorite 1960’s garage rock songs, and this song has fans across the country and around the world.  It’s Cold Outside gained more attention when it was included on Pebbles, Volume 2 and later in the first Nuggets Box Set
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The Cleveland music scene has long fascinated me; rock bands from the future home of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also included the Outsidersthe James Gang, and the punk rock band the Dead Boys.  I had picked up a more comprehensive album of songs by the Choir, called Choir Practice, and also an album of material by the Starfires, the predecessor band to the Outsiders who still had that name when they were trying to line up the release of their major hit song “Time Won’t Let Me”.  More recently, many years after locating their other three albums, I finally found a copy of Album #2, considered by most rock critics to be the best album by the Outsiders.
I wrote up several Wikipedia articles on this music, including the Choir and the Starfires; and I greatly expanded the article on the Outsiders and came up with articles on their albums as well.  Another Wikipedia article (much of whose content has been deleted, I was distressed to find out just now) was on the compilation album of music made by Dead Boys frontman Stiv Bators for Bomp! Records, called L.A. L.A., which includes a cover version of the song by the Choir, “It’s Cold Outside
However, I had not gotten around to writing up a Wikipedia article on a Cleveland band called Cyrus Erie, a rival of the Choir whose lead singer was Eric Carmen.  Carmen was the future lead singer of the Raspberries and also had a successful solo career afterward as both a singer and a songwriter with hits that include “All by Myself”, “Never Gonna Fall in Love Again”, and “Hungry Eyes”.  As only my third Under Appreciated Rock Band post, my entry on Cyrus Erie also talked extensively about the 1960’s Cleveland music scene. 
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While we were visiting Atlanta in mid-February 2018, I stopped by two of their record stores and happened to spot a CD called Artifact: The Unreleased Album by the Choir almost as soon as I walked in the door of my old favorite in the Little Five Points neighborhood, Criminal Records.  It was the first record (and only CD) that I bought that day.  Not until I got home did I find out that it was a brand new release of music that had originally been recorded 50 years earlier in 1968.  How brand new?  I bought the album on February 16, 2018, the exact same date it was first released.  This is surely the first time that has ever happened to me! 
(December 2017)
Last edited: March 22, 2021