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Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers are a 1960s British rhythm and blues, soul and beat group who had two Top 10 hits with "One Way Love" (#9 UK, 1964) and "Got to Get You into My Life" (No.6 UK, 1966).
Well-known members include Bennett himself (vocals, born Clifford Bennett, 4 June 1940, Slough, Berkshire, England)Chas Hodges (keyboards, bass, born Charles Nicholas Hodges, 28 December 1943, Edmonton, North London, England), Mick Burt (drums, born Michael William Burt, 23 August 1938, Middlesex, England), Nicky Hopkins (piano, born Nicholas Christian Hopkins, 24 February 1944, Harlesden, North West London, England) and Maurice Groves ( Birmingham).
Bennett formed the band in 1957. They recorded several singles with record producer Joe Meek that were released by Parlophone. Bennett continued recording for Parlophone, issuing cover versions of "You've Really Got a Hold on Me" and "Got My Mojo Working".
Brian Epstein became their manager in September 1964. Their seventh release, "One Way Love" (written by Bert Berns and Jerry Ragovoy under their pseudonyms Bert Russell and Norman Meade) b/w "Slow Down", reached No. 9 in the British charts. Their next, "I'll Take You Home" (written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil) b/w "Do You Love Him", charted at No. 42."Three Rooms With Running Water" (written by Jimmy Radcliffe and Bob Halley) did somewhat better. In early 1966, the band was the opening act for the Beatles on their final European tour. Bennett got the opportunity to hear the Paul McCartney song "Got to Get You into My Life", which was used on the Revolver album but was never released as a single. Bennett recorded it, with his own composition "Baby Each Day" appearing on the B-side. McCartney produced the session. The record reached No. 6 on the British charts, becoming Bennett's biggest ever hit. Cliff returned to the songbook of McCartney / Lennon in 1968 when he recorded "Back in the USSR" as Cliff Bennett and his Band. Released as a single on Parlophone, it failed to make any impression on the charts.
Also in 1968, The Rebel Rousers left Cliff Bennett and Harvey Hinsley joined the band, which by then included Hodges, Burt, John Golden, Moss Groves and Roy Young. They played gigs in the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Beirut and the Bahamas. This version of the band also recorded a single, "Should I," which didn't chart. At the end of August 1969, Roy left to form his own band. Hodges, Hinsley, Burt and Dave Peacock formed Black Claw, which played club engagements until Hodges left to join Heads, Hands & Feet in early 1970. Hinsley joined Hot Chocolate in late summer 1970.
Bennett went on to be part of Toe Fat, whilst Chas Hodges (keyboards) and Mick Burt became Chas & Dave with Dave Peacock. After Toe Fat disbanded, two of their members (Ken Hensley and Lee Kerslake) joined Uriah Heep,. Bennett was asked to join them but declined. He was also considered for the lead vocalist position in Blood, Sweat & Tears when David Clayton-Thomas left in the early 1970s, but once again turned the position down.
Bennett released a solo album, Rebellion, in 1971 but he was unable to rekindle his success of the previous decade. Between 1975 and 1976 he was the vocalist for a band called Shanghai, which released two albums. Other members included Mick Green (guitar), Chuck Bedford (vocals, harmonica, 1974–75), Pete Kircher (drums, vocals), Mike Le Main (bass, keyboards, 1974–75), Brian Alterman (guitar, 1975–76) and Pat King (bass, 1975-76). In the late 1970s, Bennett retired from the music industry to go into shipping, where he made a considerable amount of money.
In 1988, English guitarist Mark Lundquistreformed The Rebel Rousers. He functioned as both band leader and manager until 1996. More recently, Lundquist has toured alongside Mike d'Abo, Chris Farlowe, Zoot Money, Maggie Bell, Screaming Lord Sutch, The Manfreds, Steve Ellis and New Amen Corner.
As Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers
As Cliff Bennett & His Band
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