Monday, April 19, 2010

The Merseybeats - Selftitled (1964)

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.


01. MILKMAN

02. HELLO,YOUNG LOVERS

03. HE WILL BREAK YOUR HEART

04. FUNNY FACE

05. REALLY MYSTIFIED

06. GIRL THAT I MARRY,THE

07. FOOLS LIKE ME

08. MY HEART AND I

09. BRING IT ON HOME TO ME

10. LAVENDER BLUE

11. JUMPING JONAH

12. DON'T TURN AROUND
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