Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Remo Four - Smile (1967)



An obscure Merseybeat band that went through several stylistic changes over the course of their nearly decade-long life, the Remo Four were very popular for a time in Liverpool around the time the Beatles were still playing in the Cavern, and were even signed by Brian Epstein, but never had anything approaching a hit single. In the early 1960s they were known both for Shadows-type instruments and harmony vocals with a country & western flavor. Their versatility made them suitable to act as a backing group for other singers, and they recorded in this capacity with obscure solo vocalists Tommy Quickly, Johnny Sandon, and Gregory Phillips; they turned down an opportunity to become Billy J. Kramer's backing group, and may have worked with Cilla Black had not her boyfriend, Bobby Willis, ... Read More...


01 Peter Gunn02 The Skate03 No Money Down04 The Skate05 The 7th Son06 Rock Candy07 The 7th Son08 Road Runner09 Nothin's Too Good For My Baby10 Jive Samba11 Nothin's Too Good For My Baby12 Live Like A Lady13 Sing Hallelujah

The Remo Four's lone album is an above-average slab of mid-'60s British mod-soul, with a tinge of jazz. Tony Ashton's organ playing could hold its own with that of better-known players in the same style, such as Graham Bond, Alan Price, and Georgie Fame; Colin Manley's vocals were first-rate blue-eyed soul; and Phil Rogers' bass was very assertive and well-recorded by the standards of the era. Although Smile! consisted wholly of covers, these were imaginatively and energetically executed, especially when they stretched out into some jazz-soul grooves on "Brother Where Are You" and "Jive Samba"; on "No Money Down," they sound quite a bit like the early Animals....

Remo Four (1963-1964) The Pye Singles & Other Singles
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