Dirty Water (album)

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Dirty Water
Studio album by The Standells
Released May 1966 (1966-05)
Recorded March 5, 1965 - April 4–5, 1966
Genre Garage rock[1]
Length 27:18
Label Tower
Producer Ed Cobb
The Standells chronology
The Standells in Person at P.J.'s
(1964)The Standells in Person at P.J.'s1964
Dirty Water
Why Pick on Me Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
(1966)Why Pick on Me Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White1966

Dirty Water is the second studio album by the American rock band the Standells, released in May 1966.


The majority of the album was recorded in the midst of touring in a two-day session in April 1966 at Audio Recording in Seattle, Washington, the same studio where The Sonics recorded their debut album. "Dirty Water" and its B-side "Rari" were recorded more than a year earlier at Western Recorders in Hollywood, California.[2]

The album title is taken from the song of the same name. The song "Dirty Water" was written by the album's producer, Ed Cobb. Its Boston and Charles River references are reportedly based on an experience that Cobb and his girlfriend had with a mugger in Boston in the mid-1960s.[3] As for the Standells band members, they were from Southern California and had never been to Boston before recording the song.[4]

Prior to this album, The Standells had only released three singles and a live album: The Standells in Person at P.J.'s (1964). Dirty Water would become the band's best-selling LP, peaking at #52 on the Billboard charts, and #39 in the Cashbox listings. The "Dirty Water" single fared much better, peaking at #11 in Billboard and #8 in Cashbox.

Track listing[edit]

Original Vinyl LP[5]

Side one

  1. "Medication" (Minette Alton, Ben DiTosti) – 2:27
  2. "Little Sally Tease" (Jim Valley) – 2:35
  3. "There's a Storm Coming" (Ed Cobb) – 2:43
  4. "19th Nervous Breakdown" (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards) – 3:55
  5. "Dirty Water" (Ed Cobb) – 2:48

Side two

  1. "Pride and Devotion" (Larry Tamblyn) – 2:15
  2. "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" (Ed Cobb) – 2:37
  3. "Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?" (Chester Powers)* – 2:10
  4. "Why Did You Hurt Me?" (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) – 2:30
  5. "Rari" (Ed Cobb) – 3:18

CD Version

A CD version of the album, released in 1994, deletes "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" (as it was also included on the band's follow-up album), and adds six more songs:[6]

10. "Batman" (Neil Hefti) – 3:04
11. "It's All in Your Mind" (Ed Cobb) – 2:38
12. "Love Me" (Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino) – 2:45
13. "Medication" [Instrumental] (Minette Alton, Ben DiTosti) – 2:43
14. "Poor Man's Prison" (Keith Colley, Knox Henderson) – 2:23
15. "Take a Ride" – 2:08

The CD version also features the full-length recording of "Rari", running 5:32. It was edited for the original vinyl LP.[7]

*The CD correctly credits the song "Hey Joe" to songwriter Billy Roberts. It was attributed to Chester Powers on the original LP.




Year Chart Position Chart Position
1966 Billboard Pop Albums 52 Cashbox Pop Albums 39


Year Single Chart Position Chart Position
1966 "Dirty Water" Billboard Pop Singles 11 Cashbox Pop Singles 8
1966 "Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White" Billboard Pop Singles 43 Cashbox Pop Singles N/A


  1. ^ Fleming, Colin (June 3, 2016). "10 Wild LPs From Garage Rock's Greatest Year". Rolling Stone. Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  2. ^ Irwin, Bob (1994). "Dirty Water". Dirty Water [CD Booklet]. Coxsackie: Sundazed Records.
  3. ^ O'Nan, Stewart, and Stephen King. Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season. (Note that this book incorrectly refers to The Standells as a Boston proto-punk group, rather than a California garage band.)
  4. ^ "Red Sox Fans Love Their Dirty Water". Retrieved 2011-08-15. 
  5. ^ Dirty Water vinyl LP discogs.com, retrieved August 13, 2013.
  6. ^ Dirty Water Dirty Water CD track listing at amazon.com, retrieved August 13, 2013.
  7. ^ Standells, The - Dirty Water Dirty Water CD track listing at discogs.com, retrieved August 13, 2013.