'Louie Louie' was initially recorded by Richard Berry & The Pharoahs, a doo-wop tinged R&B dancer which notched up some respectable regional success.
Seized upon by new rock 'n' roll groups, though, 'Louie Louie' was become one of the most important tracks of the 60s. Virtually every garage band worth their salt had a version up their sleeves, with The Kingsmen taking their version all the way to the top of the charts.
From the opening guitar line to the piano chords, the caveman drums and the simple production, The Kingsmen's version of 'Louie Louie' remains absolute garage rock heaven.
Perhaps the finest element of the recording, though, is Jack Ely's deliriously snotty, almost incomprehensible vocal. Famously, the FBI decided that The Kingsmen decided that The Kingsmen were a threat to American life and decided to spend many months deciphering the lyrics.
Their conclusion? No one had any idea what Ely was on about.
Falling out with the rest of the group shortly after the single's release, Jack Ely later trained horses in Redmond, Oregen. The singer's son, Sean Ely, told press last night (April 28th) that the singer died at home after a long battle with illness.
One more time...