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Into Something Good: The Mickie Most Years 1964-72
     

Into Something Good: The Mickie Most Years 1964-72

by Herman's Hermits
 
While Herman's Hermits will undoubtedly never get the critical respect afforded other British Invasion groups like the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, or the Kinks, as a group they weren't as silly as most people remember them. OK, maybe they were --

Overview

While Herman's Hermits will undoubtedly never get the critical respect afforded other British Invasion groups like the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, or the Kinks, as a group they weren't as silly as most people remember them. OK, maybe they were -- certainly when on camera -- but they and their producer Mickie Most had the good sense to pick solid songs to cover (the Goffin & King nugget "I'm into Something Good," "Silhouettes," originally done by the Rays, and Sam Cooke's great "Wonderful World"), which allowed them to sustain a hit-making career long past the end of chart action for such rival pop-oriented British Invasion acts as Gerry & the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer. This four-disc set covers the Hermits' years with Most (1964 to 1972) about as well as one could in terms of content, representing everything the group did with him, including a brace of rarities, unreleased tracks, and sides that singer Peter Noone recorded with Most as a solo artist on the producer's RAK label. For most Hermits fans, it will seem like too much of a good thing, as all of the group's hits have reappeared numerous times in compilations too ubiquitous to list -- but they would be making a terrible mistake to pass up this set. Indeed, if anything, this quadruple-disc set is too much of a great thing, if such a thing is possible (though with one important flaw). And that makes it well worth saving up for. One has to say at the outset that anyone who seriously loves the familiar hits will find a huge amount to enjoy and then some in the surrounding LP and EP tracks that comprise most of this set. As one quickly discovers, the Hermits work was an embarrassment of pop
ock riches second only to the Beatles in consistency, if not ambition. One of the secrets behind the Hermits' extraordinary sales success under Most's musical direction was that they never challenged their listenership too much, even on most of their albums; they understood their audience and never outran its expectations. In that regard, anyone who loves the group's hits can feel confident that they'll end up playing this set to death, and get to know a lot more than those hits; and they'll even find revelations such as the Blaze album. Indeed, from the middle of disc two onward, those who only know the group's 1964-1966 AM radio hits may be delighted with the more advanced sounds that start issuing forth, in the form of more ambitious songs, lyrics, and arrangements, all of it still eminently accessible but just a little more demanding of both the group and the listener -- but still fun listening, if that's all the latter desired. Disc four contains most of the rarities and the last of the group's work, plus the Noone solo releases, and it's as enjoyable as the first disc, just more suited to the late '60s and early '70s -- the suite-like "Lady Barbara," for example, shows how this group might well have competed in the era of psychedelic and progressive pop
ock, if only they could have lured that audience. And the sound is fine as well, although some people have criticized the lack of stereo versions of various songs. Mickie Most was a firm believer in mono as the definitive format for a pop single; stereo mixes may have existed on many of the songs, but they were done for expediency's sake -- the mono masters were the ones that counted. Much more of a problem is the threadbare annotation, which makes this set a study in unnecessary frustration. Just because the music is unassuming pop
ock doesn't mean that a lot of work didn't go into making it, or that this isn't worth discussing or analyzing -- and one wonders how any release as thorough as this one is musically could also be treated so superficially? Yes, one recognizes that Peter Noone was, for recording purposes, the entire show, so far as their producer Mickie Most was concerned; the other group members barely (if at all) played on their singles, and likely not on the album tracks either; and, in fairness, annotator Spencer Leigh does mention Keith Hopwood, Derek Leckenby, Karl Green, and Barry Whitwam (i.e., the "Hermits") once in his essay. He never directly addresses the matter of the session musicians who played on their records (which, itself, would be an entertaining subject today) -- Noone brings up the matter of Jimmy Page making a revelatory contribution to "Silhouettes," and that's as far as it goes. Otherwise, there is no real account of the craftsmanship that went into the records, or the efforts at advancing their sound that took place within the group, on the Blaze album and various related matters; or even of Noone's thoughts on the movies in which they appeared, the soundtracks of which are represented here. Additionally, Hopwood and Leckenby (and, to a lesser degree, Green) were composers in their own right, and all had songs recorded by the group; and at one point Barry Whitwam was the sole active member of the group as a performing unit. All of the survivors might well have thoughts and memories to share, especially given that -- as those who saw them in concert can attest -- these guys could and did play and sing really well live, and threw everything into it. This set is a keeper, and it is a wonder, in terms of the listening, but it could have been a lot more, like the ultimate resource on the group's work. That would have been a sign of respect for the music, and perhaps also have begun a process of getting this group the respect it deserves. ~ Steve Leggett & Bruce Eder

Product Details

Release Date:
08/12/2008
Label:
Emd Int'l
UPC:
5099922841728
catalogNumber:
228417

Tracks

Disc 1

  1. Heartbeat
  2. Travelin' Light
  3. I'll Never Dance Again
  4. Walkin' with My Angel
  5. Dream On
  6. I Wonder
  7. For Your Love
  8. Don't Try to Hurt Me
  9. Tell Me Baby
  10. I'm Henry VIII, I Am
  11. The End of the World
  12. Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter
  13. I'm into Something Good
  14. Your Hand in Mine
  15. Show Me Girl
  16. I Know Why
  17. Silhouettes
  18. Can't You Hear My Heartbeat
  19. Wonderful World
  20. Just a Little Bit Better
  21. Take Love Give Love
  22. A Must to Avoid
  23. The Man with the Cigar
  24. Sea Cruise
  25. Mother-In-Law
  26. I Understand (Just How You Feel)
  27. Thinkin' of You
  28. Little Boy Sad
  29. Story of My Life
  30. My Reservations Been Confirmed
  31. Bus Stop
  32. For Love

Disc 2

  1. Where Were You When I Needed You
  2. All the Things I Do for You Baby
  3. Leaning on the Lamp Post
  4. Dial My Number
  5. Oo-Ee-Baby
  6. Je Suis Anglais (L'Autre Jour)
  7. Listen People
  8. You Won't Be Leaving
  9. This Door Swings Both Ways
  10. Hold On
  11. George and the Dragon
  12. Wild Love
  13. What Is Wrong What Is Right
  14. Bidin' My Time
  15. Got a Feeling
  16. Kansas City Loving
  17. Gotta Get Away
  18. Make Me Happy
  19. There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World
  20. Saturday's Child
  21. If You're Thinking What I'm Thinking
  22. You Won't Be Leaving
  23. Dandy
  24. Jezebel
  25. No Milk Today
  26. Little Miss Sorrow, Child of Tomorrow
  27. Gaslite Street
  28. Rattler
  29. East West
  30. The Future Mrs. 'Awkins
  31. Oh Mr. Potter
  32. Two Lovely Black Eyes
  33. My Old Dutch

Disc 3

  1. I Can Take or Leave Your Loving
  2. Marcel's
  3. It's Nice to Be out in the Morning
  4. Holiday Inn
  5. Ooh She's Done It Again
  6. Lemon and Lime
  7. The Most Beautiful Thing in My Life
  8. Daisy Chain, Pt. 1
  9. Daisy Chain, Pt. 2
  10. The World Is for the Young
  11. London Look
  12. Museum
  13. Upstairs, Downstairs
  14. Busy Line
  15. Moonshine Man
  16. Green Street Green
  17. Don't Go out in the Rain (You're Gonna Melt)
  18. I Call out Her Name
  19. One Little Pack of Cigarettes
  20. Last Bus Home
  21. Ace, King, Queen, Jack
  22. Sleepy Joe
  23. Just One Girl
  24. Sunshine Girl
  25. Nobody Needs to Know
  26. Somethings Is Happening
  27. My Sentimental Friend
  28. My Lady
  29. Here Comes the Star
  30. It's Alright Now
  31. Years May Come, Years May Go

Disc 4

  1. Smile Please
  2. Bet Yer Life I Do
  3. Searching for the Southern Sun
  4. Lady Barbara
  5. Don't Just Stand There
  6. Mum & Dad
  7. Moonshine Man
  8. My Old Dutch/Show Me the Way to Go Home
  9. Wings of Love
  10. Big Man
  11. Wait for Me, Here I Come
  12. Regardez Moi (Here Comes the Star)
  13. A Year Ago Today
  14. The Colder It Gets
  15. Big Ship
  16. Oh You Pretty Things
  17. Together Forever
  18. Right on Mother
  19. Walnut Whirl
  20. Shoo Be Doo Ah
  21. Because You're There
  22. Should I (Have Loved You)
  23. Each and Every Minute
  24. Green Green Rocky Road
  25. I Do Believe (In Music)

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Herman's Hermits   Primary Artist
Shelley Fabares   Vocals

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Arlo Guthrie   Arranger
Herb Alpert   Composer
David Bowie   Composer
Sam Cooke   Composer
Cliff Richard   Composer
Burt Bacharach   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Graham Gouldman   Composer
Tony Hazzard   Composer
Hank Marvin   Composer
Charles Aznavour   Composer
Bob Crewe   Composer
Norman Petty   Composer
Ray Davies   Composer
Lou Adler   Composer
Steve Barri   Composer
Bruce Belland   Composer
Roy Bennett   Composer
Peter Cowap   Composer
Hal David   Composer
Jack Fishman   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Karl Green   Composer
Keith Hopwood   Composer
Derek Leckenby   Composer
John MacLeod   Composer
John Rostill   Composer
Wayne Shanklin   Composer
Frank Slay   Composer
Phil Sloan   Composer
Geoff Stephens   Composer
Richard Tate   Composer
Sid Tepper   Composer
Don Thomas   Composer
Allen Toussaint   Composer
Wayne Walker   Composer
Ben Weisman   Composer
Bruce Woodley   Composer
Angelo Finaldi   Composer
Spencer Leigh   Liner Notes,Sleeve Notes
Huey "Piano" Smith & the Clowns   Composer
Bobby Montgomery   Composer
Pat Best   Composer
Reed   Composer
Harvey Lisberg   Composer
Sylvia Dee   Composer
Arthur Kent   Composer
Sid Wayne   Composer
Estelle Levitt   Composer
Johnny Worth   Composer
Bigazzi del Turco   Composer
Dotty Wayne   Composer
A. King   Composer
Traditional   Composer
R.P. Weston   Composer
Mitch Murray   Composer
Scott Minshall   Artwork
Glen A. Larson   Composer
David Most   Composer
Trevor Peacock   Composer
Irving King   Composer
Chris Maj   Marketing
Fred Murray   Composer

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