Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers


From Wikipedia:

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” (No. 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, Mick Burt (drums), Nicky Hopkins (piano) and Moss Groves (tenor saxophone).

Rhythm and blues boom

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 UK Singles Chart. 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 not chart. 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 UK chart, becoming Bennett’s biggest ever hit. Bennett 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 chart.

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 did not chart. At the end of August 1969, Young 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.

In 1988, English guitarist Mark Lundquist reformed 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. […]

The Beatles’ “Revolver” was released in the UK on August 5, 1966. On the same day, Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers released a cover of “Got To Get You Into My Life“, produced by Paul McCartney (uncredited).

Paul McCartney actually produced the disc for me. I’ve never had such encouragement during a session — he showed incredible interest in the disc.

Ciff Bennett – From New Musical Express – August 26, 1966

Cliff Bennett was someone we knew. We’d met him a few years before in Hamburg. We admired him; he admired us. He was one of the first people to notice a song, called ‘If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody’, that Freddie and the Dreamers covered, and he said, ‘Wow, that’s the first rock and roll song I’ve ever heard in 3/4 time.’ He was very astute to notice something like that. He was a good singer, and he became a friend, and he wanted to do a cover of ‘Got to Get You Into My Life’, so I produced it for him.

Paul McCartney – From “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present“, 2021

PAUL McCARTNEY produced hit disc for happy CLIFF BENNETT

CLIFF BENNETT, that well-known Cockney about Uxbridge, has made a welcome return to the NME Chart, courtesy of Lennon and McCartney’s “Got To Get You Into My Life,” after an absence lasting ten months and five singles.

Paul McCartney actually produced the disc for me,” Cliff revealed to me. “I’ve never had such encouragement during a session — he showed incredible interest in the disc.

I found Cliff down at RSG last Friday, seated at a table in the canteen with such personages as Andrew Loog Oldham, resplendent in bright orange, zippered shirt which vied with his sunburnt face, but worn with nonchalance which suited him more than the violent pink blouse worn by Who-star Pete Townshend opposite.

Manfred Mann’s road manager Billy held forth with lurid tales of the Carrousel Club in Copenhagen, where personal manager, Bernard Lee, they had just played, and Cliff’s listened tolerantly by his side.

Cliff proceeded with his story of how he came to obtain a much-coveted Beatles composition. Some weeks ago he had been playing with the Beatles on their German tour and during the Essen concert, he wandered into the group’s dressing room and banteringly asked about the number John and Paul had promised to write for him three years ago. “Now it just so happens…” smiled Paul and played him an acoustic guitar version of one of the tracks for their new LP without another word. At the end, Paul said: “Like it?

Love it!” replied Cliff. So a demo disc was immediately dispatched from EMI, London, to Germany for him to get the full benefits of “Got To Get You Into My Life.” When Cliff came to do the disc at EMI’s St. Johns Wood studios about four weeks ago he was knocked out to find Paul there to assist.

He just spun about the studios mixing rhythm tracks, adding brass and doing things with limiters that neither you or I would understand,” raid Cliff enthusiastically.

Unfortunately, Paul had to leave the studio before Cliff put the vocal on and next morning there was a phone call from “McBeatle,” who had just heard the finished product.

You can do better than that,” Paul declared firmly. “Be at the studios at ten o’clock.

Obediently, Cliff trotted down to the studios to find McCartney waiting for him in his bedroom slippers.

He played the number for me on the piano and showed me how to bend the notes,” explained Cliff. “Then I did the vocal with Paul in the control box conducting me by waving his arms about like mad. I was absolutely knocked out. He must have been the most expensive arranger-MD In the business.” […]

From New Musical Express – August 26, 1966
From New Musical Express – August 26, 1966

Last updated on October 11, 2023

Albums, EPs & singles by Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers

Albums, EPs & singles which Cliff Bennett And The Rebel Rousers contributed to

Exit mobile version