Friday, March 5, 2010

The Merseys - A & B Sides, Rarities & More 1964-1968

The Merseys had a big pop-rock hit in the UK in 1966 with "Sorrow," later covered by David Bowie (on Pinups), but never followed up on the promise of this successful debut. They were a spinoff group from the Merseybeats, who were one of the more popular Liverpool bands of the British Invasion, although they never managed to land a hit in the United States. The Merseybeats split up in 1966, with lead guitarist Tony Crane and bassist Billy Kinsley forming the Merseys. Unlike the Merseybeats, a self-contained quartet, the Merseys were a duo, backed onstage by the Fruit Eating Bears, who had two drummers and featured Joey Molland... Read More...

This seemingly legit CD from Italy contains not only the complete recorded history of the Merseys but also that of those other Merseybeats offshoots Johnny Gus, the Johnny Gus Set, the Kirbys, and the Quotations. The music is all fine and sometimes even better than that (the Gustafson material has some genuine excitement), and is very diverse, even allowing for the fact that four different corners of the Merseybeats' membership are represented. Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley handle the harmony singing and John Gustafson and John Banks the harder sounds, and the result isn't all that different in range from what a compilation of early solo sides by the ex-Beatles would have sounded like around 1970-1971, even with a fair number of originals interspersed with work by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, Richard Gottehrer, Bob Feldman and Jerry Goldstein, et al. The sound is excellent and the annotation is reasonably thorough, considering the extremely complex history of the group and its members.
1. The Merseys - Sorrow (2:15)
2. The Merseys - Some Other Day (2:18)
3. The Merseys - So Sad About Us (3:33)
4. The Merseys - Love Will Continue (3:06)
5. The Merseys - Rhythm Of Love (2:07)
6. The Merseys - Is It Love? (2:01)
7. The Merseys - The Cat (2:56)
8. The Merseys - Change Of Heart (2:32)
9. The Merseys - Penny In My Pocket (2:29)
10. The Merseys - I Hope You're Happy (2:25)
11. The Merseys - Lovely Loretta (3:08)
12. The Merseys - Dreaming (2:00)
13. Crackers - Honey Do (2:32)
14. Crackers - It Happens All The Time (2:24)
15. The Kirkbys - It's A Crime (2:19)
16. The Kirkbys - I've Never Been So Much In Love (2:13)
17. The Johnny Gus Set - Just To Be With You (2:33)
18. The Johnny Gus Set - Sweet Day (2:23)
19. Johnny Gustafason - Take Me For Little While (2:18)
20. Johnny Gustafason - Make Me Your Number One (2:45)
21. Johnny & John - Bumper To Bumper (2:14)
22. Johnny & John - Scrape My Boot (3:15)
23. The Quotations - Alright Baby (2:10)
24. The Quotations - Love You All Over Again (2:13)
25. The Quotations - Cool It (2:59)
26. The Quotations - Mark Of Her Head (2:48)
27. The Quotations - Hello Memories (2:14)
28. The Quotations - Pretend (2:17)
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