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Sounds Like Searchers

The Searchers

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Album Review

The Searchers' last British beat-style LP was also their first to feature new member Frank Allen on bass and vocals, and drummer Chris Curtis handling most of the composition of original songs, including the excellent "If I Could Find Someone." Their covers of American R&B vary from the spirited ("Let the Good Times Roll") to the lugubrious ("Something You Got Baby"), but the group was starting to wear thin in that department, even as they cut an excellent contemporary single in the guise of "Bumble Bee." Their pop instincts, however, were as good as ever, embodied in fine recordings such as the sprightly, angst-ish "Magic Potion" (which might've been a single but for the fact that the Koobas had already spoken for the song as a single on the same label). The expanded edition of the album, released in 2001, has a more solid sound than any prior version — 24-bit digital with the bass pumping away. The mono and stereo mixes are both present, and the latter are a treat, with a hard edge but vivid separation on the instruments, which allows one to appreciate the intricacy of the group's sound. What's more, the original 12 songs have been enhanced with the accompanying single sides "When You Walk in the Room" (and a German version, with a different vocal arrangement), "What Have They Done to the Rain," "Goodbye My Love," "The System," and "Till I Met You," all of which are as good as anything on the album. The new annotation also details the difficult situation with bassist Tony Jackson and his exit from the group ahead of this album.


Formed: 1957 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Founded in 1957 by John McNally (guitar/vocals), the Searchers were originally one of thousands of skiffle groups formed in the wake of Lonnie Donegan's success with "Rock Island Line." The Searchers' immediate competitors included bands such as the Wreckers and the Confederates, both led by Michael Pender (guitar, vocals), and the Martinis, led by Tony Jackson (guitar/vocals). By 1959, McNally and Pender were working together as a duet; later in the year, Jackson joined as the lead vocalist. After...
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