Varied Personnel - And They Stood Out From The Rest
joeindover | 07/31/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In the opening paragraph of the four pages of liner notes Parke Puterbaugh says "Of the groups in the British Invasion vanguard, the Searchers were always just a little bit different. It wasn't flamboyance - long hair, loud music - but the lack of it that made them stand out among their rock 'n roll brethern."
That is so true. And something else that set them apart from most of the British groups was the constant change-over in personnel. After serving as the back-up band for British singer Johnny Sandon until 1962, and playing gigs at Hamburg's Star Club, the original group of Mike Pender, John McNally [vocals and guitars], Tony Jackson [vocals and bass], and drummer Chris Curtis scored their first hit in the U.K. in June 1963 with a cover of The Drifter's hit Sweets For My Sweet [track 1], followed in August by an album [# 2 in the UK], Meet The Searchers, for the Pye label.
In October they had their second UK hit, Sugar And Spice, reach # 2, but a North American release by Liberty failed to chart. Again, that was followed by an album, Sugar And Spice [# 5 in the UK] in November. By the start of the following year the Kapp label had taken over distribution in the U.S. just in time for Needles And Pins, written by Sonny Bono and Jack Nitzsche, which was a # 1 in the UK and a # 13 Billboard Hot 100 in April 1964 in North America. Their third album, Meet The Searchers - Needles And Pins, combined tracks from their first two and went to # 22 in North America [not released in the UK].
From there to the end of 1964 they chalked up six more hit singles: Ain't That Just Like Me [# 61 Hot 100]; a Liberty re-release of Sugar And Spice [# 44 Hot 100]; Don't Throw Your Love Away [# 16 Hot 100]; Some Day We're Gonna Love Again [# 34 Hot 100]; When You Walk In The Room [# 35 Hot 100 and written by Jackie DeShannon]; and their only # 1 Hot 100 over her, a cover of The Clovers' 1959 hit Love Potion Number Nine.
In 1965 Jackson was replaced by Frank Allen, and that year they had four more hits: What Have They Done To The Rain [# 29 Hot 100]; a cover of the 1960 LaVern Baker hit Bumble Bee [# 21 Hot 100]; Goodbye My Lover, Goodbye [# 52 Hot 100 and erroneously listed at track 10]; and He's Got No Love [# 79 Hot 100].
After John Blunt replaced Curtis in 1966 they had two hits: Take Me For What I'm Worth [# 76 Hot 100]; and Have You Ever Loved Somebody [# 94 Hot 100]. When nothing else worked for them, either here or in the UK, Blunt was replaced in 1969 by Billy Adamson, and in 1971, with a new U.S. contract with RCA Victor, they had their final hit with Desdemona, a # 94 Hot 100 in September. They carried on, however, until 1985 when Pender left to form a new Searchers, replaced in the old group by Spencer James.
So, a British Invasion group with a slightly different approach, and whose recordings [note that tracks 15, 16, and 18 were initially released on LPs] are offered up on a fair number of CDs, including a couple of multi-disc sets. However, this AAD release by Rhino is by far your best bet if your memory of the group was related solely to their North American releases."
A selection---we need a complete set of all they did.
George H. Wells | Hauppauge, New York United States | 03/13/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The Searchers are still touring and I saw them last year in Bay Shore, new York state. This album here is fine, BUT the group's work is much more worth getting INTO. We need the biggest most complete set possible. It is hard to get new listeners to hear some of their best songs: The World is Waiting for Tomorrow, Lovers Will, All a Dream, Till I Met You, and so many more. Buy this if it's the best in your price range and then join the groups on the web where you can expand your Searchers appreciation! And don't forget to read Frank Allen's memoir of the group's history. It's fun!"