The Standells' key albums for the Tower label perfectly bottled a rebellious wave of sound sweeping across mid-60's teen clubs, radio playlists and record racks. Starting with the genre-defining, proto-punk smash "Dirty Water," through a series of equally memorable underdog anthems ("Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White," "Why Pick on Me") and obscenities (the banned "Try It"), the Standells left an indelible mark on their era. Their three Tower albums are a veritable feast of three chord, fuzz-drenched, Vox organ-driven "squares"-repellent.
The Standells' Dirty Water (1966) album, their first for Tower Records, was primarily recorded away from their Hollywood home base. Producer Ed Cobb picked a Seattle studio and engineer Kearney Barton (the Sonics), unwittingly unleashing the savage Pacific Northwest Sound on the rest of the country. As Standells founding member Larry Tamblyn tells it, "It really was the Standells raw." The results include crushing classics like the aforementioned "Dirty Water," "Little Sally Tease," "Medication," and "Why Did You Hurt Me."