Priceless rarities for collectors of 60s and early 70s Minnesota Rock ‘n’ Roll: “The lost basement tapes” highlight The Batch, featuring Barry Thomas Goldberg and Gary Paulak of “Candy Floss” fame, and vocalist Arne Fogel.
THE BATCH – The story of The Batch is really the story of the songwriting team of Barry Thomas Goldberg and Gary Paulak, and the 5-piece band that became the principal means through which Goldberg & Paulak’s songs were introduced, for over seven years. With antecedents in the original Goldberg-Paulak garage band “The Shambles”, and through the duo’s invaluable apprenticeship/junior partnership arrangement with Peter Steinberg and Dale Menten of Candy Floss Productions, The Batch represented something unique in the history of Twin Cities Rock of the late 60s - mid 70s era: They were one of the very few groups of their day to enjoy continuous, immediate, non-ending access to the top recording studios in town.
This is not to say that the group didn’t spend time with home recording equipment as well. Dozens of performances exist, featuring the group as they experimented with two-track and four-track performances of considerable breadth and variety, as recorded between 1968 and 1971, several of which serve as the “Prime Cuts” of “TRANSISTOR”, the “Lost Basement Tapes” of the Batch. Herein lies the continuing saga of Barry Thomas Goldberg and Gary Paulak, and their post-”Candy Floss” career.
....And these tapes highlight the evolution of THE BATCH: ...Struggling with their instruments and arrangements early on, This proto-garage outfit gradually masters them as well as their arranging and recording chops, as the chronology of the disc unfolds. Always, however, the group is performing the works of Goldberg & Paulak, the Twin Cities most gifted young songwriters of the era. This lends even the earliest tracks an air of originality, spark, and pop majesty. These recordings were never meant to be heard by the general public, and as such they are priceless rarities for collectors of this moment in Minnesota music.
The Batch accented the lead vocals of the principal songwriters, as well as those of the group’s other main vocalist, Arne Fogel, and the luxurious two-and-three-part harmonies crafted by this trio of singers. Added to this was the solid, yet melodic bass playing of Goldberg’s boyhood pal Jay Lee, and the remarkably gifted Gary “Whip” Lane on drums.
The best place (the only place!) to catch The Batch now, of course, is on disc or through the internet, where their recorded legacy sparks with freshness and fun, power and profundity, and more than a few laughs along the way.
“The Batch was a band here in Minneapolis/St. Paul and unfortunately, a rather unsung band too with all the compilations that have come out over the years…..but this is a great compilation of their own work…..Its great stuff, really an excellent album….”
-Ron of Radio Rumpus Room