The Vogues

REVIEW: The Vogues “At Co & Ce”


The Vogues – At Co & Ce – The Complete Singles & More

Though this group of 4 young men wasn’t really a rock band per se back in the 60s they were a “hard rock” answer to The Lettermen. Pennsylvania’s The Vogues with their distinctive vocals & assertive vocalizing style on commercial pop radio had an inspired delivery.

The Vogues

I was 14 years old in 1965 & though I was still impressed with Elvis, the Beatles, Rolling Stones & Dave Clark 5 that introduction to the Petula Clark-Tony Hatch composition “You’re The One,” was pulsating. Wonderful. I couldn’t believe the mainstream singer of “Downtown,” & “My Love,” was involved with this song. It had everything a pop song should possess. And I was wrong about Petula — she came out with “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love,” which was…a surprise.

The melody to “You’re The One,” is infectious with simple lyrics that sparkled as sung & the late Bill Burkette’s baritone lead vocal just resonated. The arrangements both vocally & musically were a spray of melody delivered to make you turn up the volume on your radio. One hit wonder? Nah.

What followed was a prison-like chant in the laborer’s “protest” tune about punching the clock & working hours on end in “Five O’Clock World.” Woven with a solid pop foundation & it was a serious subject for the Top 10. I always thought Cat Stevens’ great but obscure similar-themed “Matthew & Son,” was influenced by The Vogues’ tune. They certainly segue into each other nicely.

But was it over? No…The Vogues continued with 3 more Top 50 hits & then fell silent. In 1968 they hit the Top 10 again on a major label – Warner/Reprise. “Turn Around, Look & See,” was a major hit & “My Special Angel,” went to #1 & “Till” also charted. It didn’t stop there; other charting songs gave them longevity on the adult contemporary charts. But these later songs are not on this compilation.

This CD reissue At Co & Ce – The Complete Singles & More – (Drops Feb 24-Omnivore/Jeff Hubbard Prod.) offers all the early Co & Ce Records (Cohen & Cenci) hits, some unreleased & more. 23 songs all produced by Lee Lodyga & Cary E. Mansfield. There’s also an 8-page insert with an essay about The Vogues.

The group was comprised of Burkette with first tenor (Hugh Geyer), second tenor (Chuck Blasko) & baritone Don Miller – all friends since childhood. Things didn’t happen overnight, but they were too good to be ignored. They provided some of the most memorable pop hits of the 60s. Like most of the catchy songs that came from that era – their contribution was timeless & today refreshingly nostalgic.

Highlights – “You’re The One,” “Five O’Clock World,” “Magic Town,” “The Land of Milk & Honey.”

B&W photo courtesy of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. CD @


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