Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Searchers - The Very Best of...

I've been a fan of the Searchers' brand of British Invasion pop since they first blasted out of our summertime AM radio in the 60's. This comp gathers 18 of their top numbers in one melodic package.

Their first single, "Sweets for my Sweet", originally by the Drifters, charted in England but not in the States, although I clearly remember the extremely catchy follow-up, "Sugar and Spice" and have always dug that one. Buddy Holly was a huge influence (and in a round-about way was responsible for their name) and they do a fine take on "Listen To Me", before smashing the charts with a Sonny Bono tune that Jackie DeShannon had previously done, the great "Needles and Pins" (punk rockers will certainly know the Ramones version, if nothing else). "Ain't That Just Like Me" is a beat rocker based on nursery rhymes and "Don't Throw Your Love Away" is a mid-tempo Merseybeat number. They do a nice pop take on the R'n'B number "Someday We're Gonna Love Again", and an excellent folk-rocker in the fantastic "When You Walk In the Room". Of course, they way the did the Clovers' "Love Potion Number Nine" was their biggest claim to fame - rightfully so - and their biggest Stateside hit. The anti-nuclear "What Have They Done to the Rain" folk song becomes a harmony-driven pop ballad but "Bumble Bee", while alright is obviously a novelty throw-away.

"Goodbye My Love" works much better as a minor-key pop ballad with cool production techniques and "Each Time" has a similar sound, but with an almost Spanish influence, at least to my ears. Another fab Mersey number in "He's Got No Love", nice guitar work in the folk rocker "Take Me For What I'm Worth", ok pop in "When I Get Home", they do a fine reading of the Jagger/Richards' "Take It Or Leave It" and the set concludes with a take on the Hollies' "Have You Ever Loved Somebody".

Truly superior Mersey/folk/pop, with an emphasis on 60's pop - great harmonies, ringing guitars, swingin' beats and the occasional fuzz guitar. Great!