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The Merseybeats

The Merseybeats

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Album Review

The Merseybeats' only original album, recorded in mid-1964 with John Gustafson in their lineup in place of co-founder Billy Kinsley on bass, is a strange hybrid of originals that move between solid harmony-based Liverpool pop/rock ("Milkman," "Really Mystified") and Bo Diddley-influenced rockers ("Funny Face"), juxtaposed with an odd selection of covers, ranging from "Bring It On Home to Me" and "He Will Break Your Heart" (which do work) to an odd selection of show tunes. The better of the latter is a reasonably successful rendition of "Hello Young Lovers" done with rockabilly guitar and some way too busy percussion; much less successful is a soft a cappella rendition of "The Girl That I Marry." The ballad "Lavender Blue" offers a Gustafson arrangement that isn't terribly interesting, and Gustafson's "Jumpin' Jonah" is even more of a ripoff of "Long Tall Sally" (especially as done by the Beatles) than the Beatles' "I'm Down" was. The resulting album, with the Beatlesque single side included, was neither fish nor fowl, and insufficiently strong in any direction other than what their singles already pointed toward to gain the band a wider audience.

Biography

Formed: 1962 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The Merseybeats were one of the better quartets to come out of the British Invasion without ever making a dent on the charts in the United States — along with the Roulettes, the Chants, and the Undertakers, they represent an undeservedly lost chapter in early-'60s British rock & roll. Although they enjoyed a little less than a year of serious chart success, the Merseybeats were unable to pull together the various facets of their sound into a cohesive, coherent whole in the manner of the...
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The Merseybeats, The Merseybeats
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