The Pye Anthology 1963-1967 [Reissue]

by: The Searchers

The two-disc collection Pye Anthology 1963-1967 features nearly everything recorded by one of England's favorite Liverpool outfits during the early '60s (among heavy competition). Formed a few years before the Beatles, in 1957, the Searchers were prime competitors with them for the crown of hardest-working and best band in Liverpool during the early '60s. When they began recording for Pye, in mid-1963, they revealed to the wider British public a taste of infectious energy, tight playing, and smooth harmonies that could be appreciated by every fan of the burgeoning Merseybeat sound. Their first hit, "Sweets for My Sweet" was a sugary song, but it reached number one with no problem, and the band soon began to show it had the power to compete with other "big beat" acts like the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five. Also, like many of their counterparts, they recorded solid American R&B covers ("Farmer John," "Love Potion No. 9") and their biggest hits, "Sugar and Spice" and "Needles and Pins," have to be included in any retrospective of the British Invasion. With lineup changes and diminishing interest in Merseybeat by 1966, the Searchers were finished as a chart entity, and "Have You Ever Loved Somebody" from that year was their last hit. Two discs may be a big proposition for even dedicated fans of British rock, but the Searchers recorded many great songs beyond their big hits; their version of "When You Walk in the Room" was arguably even better than Jackie DeShannon's classic. ~ John Bush

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