lördag 21 november 2015

HEP STARS/SONGS WE SANG 68 LPO 07 (-68) SWEDEN

The Hep Stars sixties albums are often considered important because they were breeding grounds for Benny Andersson's talents as songwriter and musician, which eventually would show in ABBA. But this also has another relation which at least I find very interesting. Philadelphia girl soul combo The Sherrys, founded 1961 and early on including Tammi Terrell as a member, may today be described as a US one hit wonder. Their 1962 single "Pop Pop Pop-Pie" reached #25 on the R&B list and #35 on Billboard, but the follow-ups didn't do well at all and the album "At The Hop With The Sherries" sank without a trace. In Europe however they went on to a more lasting success with excessive touring. When playing Sweden 1966 one of the members - Charlotte Butler - met Hep Stars vocalist Svenne Hedlund at a gig, they fell in love and she decided to leave The Sherrys and emigrate. After getting engaged and learning the language in record time she became vocalist in Hep Stars, which from then on would have two lead singers. A couple of singles followed, but this was the first LP with the new setting. It shows very clearly there were no Yoko syndrom or hard feelings among the others. On the contrary it seems most of the album is a homage to their love affair. It's divided in one live and one studio side. Among titles on the live one are "Svenne I Love You", "We Say Yeah", "Charlotte's Children Game", "Can't take My Eyes Off You" and Let It Be Me" - either sung together or from one to the other. The oddest one being "Svart-Vit Calypso" (Black-White Calypso) formed as a lovers quarrel which is best - being black or white. It has frequent use of the n-word, but as she is black PC after all. Studio side is ordinary rather mushy pop - five tracks sung in English, one in Swedish and one in German. As a whole not my favovorite Hep Stars album. It's the surrounding history that makes it worth having. Released in Sweden only. Seventies vinyl reissue on Efel (LPE 015). 1996 Dutch CD on EMI/Olga (7243 4751882 9). First had label as shown here and thin fully laminated cover. (HÄH*) (SCÄ*) (FÄV*) (CCÖ*)

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