Lost Treasures Found: Peach and Lee

 December 1, 2023  powerpopaholic  Highly Recommended by PowerpopaholicLost and FoundPower Pop Review

Peach and Lee “Not For Sale 1965-1975”

This is truly a lost power pop treasure. Peach & Lee’s new double album, “Not For Sale,” is the result of ten years of work by Arlis Peach and Larry Lee, who have been best friends since childhood and grew up in Iowa together. They became deeply interested in rock and roll in the 1950s and were writing and recording their music by the mid-1960s. They got signed to RCA Records in 1972, and a single was released, but things never took off. Thankfully, they saved the tapes!

This release compiles all their output, a full 27 tracks. The band follows in the footsteps of The Beatles and The Hollies, evident in their opener, “Long Way to Go,” with churning guitars and solid harmonies. The comparisons to Badfinger are stunning here, especially on “Not For Sale,” “It’s Up To You,” “No Way Baby,” and “Do It Again,” including its handclaps and its infectious lead guitar.

A more basic, echoing early Beatles sound is clear on “Never Made the Grade” and “Down.” The catchy, simple lead in “Paradise” recalls the Hollies. “Help Yourself” and “Don’t Be Looking My Way” are very much in the Emmit Rhodes mold.

The band tries rocking harder (almost glam) on “You Ain’t Got Me Running” and “The Other Night.” The dramatic ballads “Can’t Let Go” and “Love Is On Our Side” are solid standouts.

The source material limits a few songs, such as “So Badly” and “Ooh Baby,” whose production is subpar. In addition, there are plenty of beautiful misses and demos here, but by any standard, this is a tremendous success. You wonder why these guys never made it big, but we finally have them 50 years later. Highly Recommended.