Wednesday, December 06, 2023

The Rising Storm: Calm Before... 1967 + Aive Again At Andover 1982


Living together in Bishop House South, the members of the Rising Storm never could have imagined

the enormous success of the band they formed at Andover. But now, over 50 years later, they have gained worldwide recognition. Their album “Calm Before” is now considered a prime example of 1960s garage rock, and an original copy can go for 7,000 dollars on the collector’s market. “One of the best albums of 1967 was a prep school souvenir known only to a few hundred people in New England at the time…

In the spring of 1967, six students from Philips Academy, a prep school in Andover, Massachusetts, pooled their money and recorded an album. The teenagers Tony Thompson (lead vocals, guitar),

Bob Cohan (lead guitar, vocals), Todd Cohen (bass guitar, vocals), Charlie Rockwell (keyboards, vocals), Rich Weinberg (guitar, harmonica, vocals), and Tom Scheft (drums)—had been playing together for two years, first as the Remnants, then the Rising Storm.
Now, in their graduating year, they wanted to put together a musical memento before they headed off to college. A thousand dollars bought them five days at Continental Recording Studios in Framingham and a 500-run pressing of the album, which they duly sold to their friends and classmates for $3.00 each.

The band named itself the Rising Storm during their Senior Fall, also finding inspiration for the new title in an Andover class. “The thing is, one of the rock bands that we idolized was called the Remains.

We started our ‘Calm Before’ album with one of their greatest songs, ‘Don’t Look Back.’ Calm Before…The Rising Storm was intended as little more than a souvenir of their school days. But it turned out to be so much more. Unfettered by any commercial constraints or musical ambitions extending beyond the duration of the remaining months of the school year, the group created, with a complete lack of self-consciousness, a perfect distillation of their collective musical vision.

The Rising Storm were no teenage fumblers, all the band members were competent—and in some cases

quite accomplished—musicians and vocalists, with all the necessary skills to execute their vision at a high level. The song choices were spot-on, too, a mixture of beyond-cool cover versions (Remains, Love, Rockin’ Ramrods, Them) and deathless original compositions; a balance of frenetic rockers and delicate atmospheric ballads. Perfection? Really.

Fans of unknown ’60s psych are always searching for a rare glimpse into an era when any rock combo

with a few fans could score enough studio time to immortalize a set of primitives sounds. They’ll get their fix with the Rising Storm’s Calm Before… . This band of six young gents from Massachusetts only pressed 500 LPs in 1967, just as they were graduating prep school.

To this day, the album remains one of the most prized garage rock artifacts of all time (a copy

sold for $6,500 in 2012).
“What makes the record so great is how seamlessly this super young band – who were still in high school when they made it– manages to so seamlessly blend raucous garage rock, raw psych, and some surprisingly delicate melodies all in the same set, rivaling far more famous standard bearers of those genres, even though Rising Storm were doing it for fun and were still seniors in high school!

“Calm Before commits such unhip-in-’67 crimes as loading up on the soul and blues covers that no

longer cut the mustard in the year of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band … This group of high school kids effortlessly transform warhorses like ‘In the Midnight Hour’ and ‘Big Boss Man’ into their own creations … The group surely makes its most halting music when handling its own compositions. Impeccable taste…tight harmonies….top-notch instrumentation…This mid 1960s album by a bunch of upper class northeastern schoolboys is better than you might think. Ace covers and surprisingly sturdy original tunes.

The Rising Storm – Calm Before...1967 + Alive Again At Andover 1982
Label: Arf! Arf! – AA-034
Format: CD, Compilation
Country:  US
Released: 1992
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock




01. Don't Look Back   2:48
Written-By – B. Vera
02. To L.N./Who Doesn't Know   3:17
Written-By – R. Cohan
03. I'm Coming Home   2:50
Written-By – C. Warren, The Rising Storm
04. A Message To Pretty   3:28
Written-By – A. Lee
05. In The Midnight Hour   4:00
Written-By – S. Cropper, W. Pickett
06. Frozen Laughter   2:13
Written-By – A. Thompson
07. She Loved Me   3:40
Written-By – R. Cohan, A. Thompson
08. Mr. Wind   3:00
Written-By – R. Campisi
09. Big Boss Man   3:00
Written-By – A. Smith, L. Dixon
10. Bright Lit Blue Skies   2:30
Written-By – R. Campisi
11. The Rain Falls Down   3:26
Written-By – R. Weinberg
12. Baby Please Don't Go    2:48
Written-By – J. Williams



13. Slow Down   3:05

Written-By – Larry Williams
14. I'm Crying   4:27
Written-By – A. Price, E. Burdon
15. Signed D.C.  3:03
Written-By – A. Lee
16. I'm Coming Home   3:08
Written-By – C. Warren, The Rising Storm
17. A Message To Pretty   3:49 
Written-By – A. Lee
18. In The Midnight Hour   3:00
Written-By – S. Cropper, W. Pickett
19. My Little Red Book   2:41
Written-By – B. Bacharach / H. David
20. Catch The Wind/The Singer Not The Song   3:36
Written By – P. Green
Written-By – Donovan
20a. Catch The Wind
Written-By – D. Leitch
20b. The Singer Not The Song
Written-By – Jagger-Richards
21. We Gotta Get Out Of This Place   3:32
Written-By – B. Mann / C. Weil
22. Time Won't Let Me/Respectable    6:40
22a. Time Won't Let Me
Written-By – C. Kelly, T. King
22b. Respectable
Written-By – Isley, Isley, Isley



Bass – Todd Cohen (tracks: 1 to 12)
Bass, Vocals – Andy Paley (tracks: 13 to 22)
Drums, Bongos, Tambourine – Tom Scheft
Guitar, Tambourine, Harmonica, Cowbell, Vocals – Rich Weinberg
Lead Guitar, Vocals – Bob Cohan
Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar – Tony Thompson
Organ, Electric Piano – Charlie Rockwell
Written-By – The Rising Storm (tracks: 3, 13, 16)


1 to 12: "Calm Before..." Album.
Recorded Spring 1967 at Continental Recording, Framingham, MA and originally released as an LP on Remnant(BBA 3571) in a pressing of 500.
13 to 22: "Alive Again At Andover" album.
Reunion live, recorded on June 12, 1982 at Kemper Auditorium, Andover MA and originally released as an LP on Arf! Arf! with 1 additional track.
2, 3, 5, 6 were taken from a vinyl source.
1: originally performed by The Instincts.
4, 15, 17, 19: originally performed by Love.
8, 10: originally perfomed by The Rockin' Ramrods.
14, 21: originally perfomed by The Animals.
22a: originally perfomed by The Outsiders.
20a/20b and 22a/22b are played as medleys. They merged as one track on CD and have no index tracks to separate.

MP3 @ 320 Size: 197 MB
Flac  Size: 419 MB


  1. I met Rising Storm in the early 80s.
    Damn late. Together with Flat Esrth Society. Both EXCELLENT Boston bands. I can't remember the reunion now. But i think you can save yourself that. How all of these reunions are completely unnecessary.

  2. The price of the two bands original lps at the time were among the most expensive, unaffordable. For a long time i only had both on cassette.

  3. Yes! Tes! Yes! Urban Aspirines go on with some '60s legends. Beautiful!