fredag 3 juli 2015


Continuing the summer theme. Always liked Herman's Hermits. In the sixties that was one of my guilty pleasures. With friends, as we constantly searched for new exciting music from US and UK like Zappa or Pink Floyd, they were a definite no-no. It's first later years I've come out of the closet and made it public. Back then I thought the music reflected their background and personalities as well bred happy-go-lucky guys, but obviously they were a project by producer Mickie Most who picked up a an ordinary Manchester r/b band, gave them clean-cut personas and very "English" repertoire - mixing innocent uptempo with romantic ballads and pop versions of old British vaudeville and comedy numbers. All aiming to take part in the flourishing UK music export to America at the time. And success it was. From this debute album two of the songs were released as singles in US - "Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter" (remake of a song from a 1963 British TV-play) and "I'm Henery The Eighth I Am" (pop version of a Harry Champion Music Hall number from 1910) - both topping Billboard, where they also had ten more top 10 and seven more top 50. Non of the tracks from this UK debute were released as singles in England due to the EMI "no singles on album" policy. The album itself reached #16 on the UK list and remained their best selling LP there up to the 1971 "The Most Of Herman's Hermits" at #14. To me this is perfect summer pop. Happy, positive, funny and so self-evident it's impossible to get tired of. A little bit of Beatles, some Gary & The Pacemakers, but also reminding of old British 78 rpm heroes like George Formby or Flanagan and Allen. Love it all, maybe with some reservation against "For Your Love" since I can't help comparing it to Yardbirds version. Mickie Most production and audio top notch - so clear it's almost like a visit. First US "Introducing Herman's Hermits" (MGM E/SE 4282) included the UK "Hermania" EP and only had three cuts in common - "Mrs. Brown...", "Walking With My Angel" and "I Wonder". Premiere UK, issued in mono only, had label as shown here and laminated flip/back cover. (HÄHX*)

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