Archives – 2004 – November  
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THE SEARCHERS – "Sweets For My Sweet"
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There’s a weird discrepancy in this song between the verses, which Tony Jackson sings as if he’s keen to get them over with, and the chorus, which the group attack with a lot more enthusiasm. I suppose the band knew a hook when they heard[…]

ELVIS PRESLEY – "(You're The) Devil In Disguise"
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A song which hinges entirely on its formal cuteness – pert pluckings for the ‘angel’ sections, breakneck rock’n’roll for the ‘devil’ bits. Compared to the cruder thump of the Mersey sound even the speedy bits[…]

FRANK IFIELD – "I'm Confessin'"
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Frank’s last bow seems a good time to think about yodelling. It’s not as prominent here as on some of his hits, but he gets to bend the lungs a bit at the end of some verses.
I haven’t run a survey on it or anything, but I’d g[…]

GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS – "I Like It"
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More jollity from the Mitch Murray Merseybeat hit factory. Vigorous to the point of being smackable, “I Like It” is a cute song nevertheless. All the chin-tickling and tie-straightening is neatly, evocatively specific, and deserves a ligh[…]

THE BEATLES – "From Me To You"
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Merseybeat was the fad that changed the world. Or at least it changed the world this blog cares about. Of the 20 number ones after “How Do You Do It?”, fourteen were by Liverpool groups or singers, and a fifteenth was written by The Beatl[…]

GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS – "How Do You Do It?"
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The first Merseybeat number one and what’s changed? Not much – “How Do You Do It?” is a brisk slip of a song that could have been a hit for any of the beat boom stars since 1960 or so. The only real novelty is Gerry Marsden&#8[…]

THE SHADOWS – "Foot Tapper"
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Slightly anaemic end to the Shadows’ run of number ones, the title illustrative of reduced ambitions: from the exotic vistas of 1960 to a little something to get the toes going (follow-up sadly not called “A Nice Tune You Can Whistle&#822[…]

CLIFF RICHARD AND THE SHADOWS – "Summer Holiday"
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I’m writing this on one of the dampest, greyest, most uninspiring days of the year; the kind of day people imagine when they think of “British weather”. I don’t imagine February 1963 was much nicer: a canny release date choice[…]

FRANK IFIELD – "The Wayward Wind"
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The wayward wind was no longer all blowing in Frank Ifield’s direction. The harmonica splashed all over this track is surely a response to the Beatles’ liberal use of same on October’s “Love Me Do”. On both songs the ins[…]

JET HARRIS AND TONY MEEHAN – "Diamonds"
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The saturnine Harris and fresh-faced Meehan were ex-Shadows, and even though they didn’t write “Diamonds” its curious structure makes it sound like the work of people keen to cram as much as they can into a short time in the spotlig[…]

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  1. I remember being in the queue for the Cardiff Virgin Megastore midnight opening/signing for their second album, for a friend,…