Friday, 28 September 2018

Herman's Hermits - '65/66 (1966)

I've never really been a fan of Herman's Hermits, and there are two main reasons - Peter Noone's voice, which never sounded convnicing, and 'I'm Henery The Eighth, I Am' / 'Mrs Brown, You Got a Lovely Daughter'. I hated these novelty songs - and these weren't the only ones they did - and so although I grew up hearing their singles on the radio, I never got any of their albums until someone pointed me in the direction of 1967's 'Blaze' a few years ago, which did contain some good late 60's pop. As well as the novelty songs, a number of their singles were slushy ballads, which I was also not keen on, and yet despite this I kept seeing online comments saying 'this band were very under-rated and should have been much bigger', so I thought I'd investigate to see if they were right. I got their first four albums, 'Introducing', 'Both Sides', 'Silhouettes' and 'There's A Kind Of Hush', and the first thing I found was there's an awful lot of duplication on them. This could well be because the UK and US versions are dramatically different, as in America they took tracks from a couple of the UK releases to make up one of their own, and I don't think 'Silhouettes' was even issued in the UK. The second thing I discovered is that there is a massive amount of filler on the albums, and it's really only the singles that stand out. So I've picked out what I consider to be the best songs from those four albums, along with the many accompanying bonus tracks, and yet I really struggled to come up with a 38 minute album which I could listen to more than once. But I think I did it, and it's telling that nearly all of these songs date from 1966, which seems to have been their golden year, and every one was released as a single somewhere in the world. There's some nice R'n'B on here, which you don't normally associate with the group, and I've kept the singles that I did like back in the 60's, so it makes for a nice mixture of pop and rock. There is an album called 'Herman's Hermits '66' (which is only partially successful as it still includes a lot of dross), so I've adapted that cover.

Track listing

01 Can't You Hear My Heartbeat (single 1964)
02 Just A Little Bit Better (single 1965)
03 Listen People (single 1966)
04 Got A Feeling (b-side of 'Listen People')
05 Silhouettes (single 1965)
06 A Must To Avoid (single 1965)
07 You Won't Be Leaving (single 1966)
08 This Door Swings Both Ways (single 1966)
09 For Love (b-side of 'This Door Swings Both Ways')
10 No Milk Today (single 1966)
11 My Reservation's Been Confirmed (b-side of 'No Milk Today')
12 East West (single 1966)
13 What Is Wrong, What Is Right (b-side to 'East West')
14 Hold On! (single 1966)
15 Where Were You When I Needed You (single 1966)
16 Gotta Get Away (b-side of 'Where Were You When I Needed You')


1 comment:

  1. Unlike you, I loved "Mrs Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" as a teenager - but that could be because I was crazy about a girl surnamed Brown at the time! If you look at the credits on their albums, they had some good writers feeding them songs - Graham Gouldman, Ray Davies and Donovan are among those credited - but their performance was a little too teenypop and not rocky enough to appeal to older record buyers.