The Ugly Ducklings

The Ugly Ducklings were a five piece garage rock group based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, most notable during the mid 1960’s.  They released six singles in 1966 and 1967 on the Yorktown and Yorkville labels, and one album, Somewhere Outside in 1967.  In the summer and fall of 1967, the band’s fifth single “Gaslight” became a Top 40 hit across Canada, peaking at #17 on the RPM Chart, and reaching #1 on CHUM 1050 in Toronto on October 2 that year, displacing The Rolling Stones’ 2-sided hit, “Dandelion” b/w “We Love You”.  (More from Wikipedia)
There was also a song on Ear-Piercing Punk called “She Ain’t No Use to Me” by one of the best 1960’s Canadian rock bands, the Ugly Ducklings.  I just picked up a reissue of their original 1967 album last year, Somewhere Outside, though I have thoroughly enjoyed their late 1970’s reunion album that I have had for years, Off the Wall
(April 2011)
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The Ugly are from Toronto; nobody has said so, but I have a theory that the name comes from shortening the name of the Ugly Ducklings, one of the best Canadian rock bands of the 1960’s who are also from Toronto – else, they might have just gone with “Ugly”.  After several weeks of practicing, they had their first public performance in August 1977. 
(November 2011)
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Pebbles, Volume 10 was my first introduction to the Ugly Ducklings, one of the greatest 1960’s Canadian rock bands; I have written about them before on several occasions.  The cut here is one of their best songs, Just in Case You Wonder (sometimes called “Just in Case You’re Wondering”); the liner notes mention:  “Apparently they have reformed and released a new LP in 1980 with remakes of some of their classics, though not this one.”  I managed to find that album – Off the Wall – and it now hangs on display in my office, completely battered by Hurricane Katrina and utterly unplayable. 


(July 2013)


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Side 2 of the Loons’ album Inside Out Your Mind continues the kaleidoscope with the angsty “My Desolation” and the more wistful “I Don’t Live There Anymore”. The rocking “Transparent Eyes” is another treasure, with the recurring “nothin’” call recalling one of my favorite songs by the Canadian garage-rock band the Ugly Ducklings, the kiss-off masterpiece “Nothin’”: “Baby . . . you know what I need? / Nothin’ / I need nothin’”. This is 1960’s revival music at its most fulfilling. I look forward to working my way through their other albums. 
(June 2017)
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There are some great covers on the Tell-Tale Hearts CD that run the gamut of the whole Sixties scene, among them “Just in Case You’re Wondering” (originally by the Ugly Ducklings), “Me Needing You” (the Pretty Things – the band who inspired the name of Mike Stax’s magazine, Ugly Things), “I’m Gonna Make You Mine” (the Shadows of Knight), “Satisfy You” (the Seeds), the great lead-off track, “My World Is Upside Down” (the Shames), and “Cry” (the Malibus).  The band’s original songs are steeped in the same Sixties brew; my favorites include “(You’re a) Dirty Liar”, “Crawling Back to Me”, “It’s Just a Matter of Time”, “One Girl”, and Promise.  As usual though with the UARB’s, all of their music sounds great to me. 
(September 2017)
Last edited: March 22, 2021