Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Hullaballoos - The Hullaballoos &On Hullaballoo (1965)

Biography by Richie Unterberger

So named because they hailed from Hull, England, the Hullaballoos were arguably the most exploitative act of the first wave of the British Invasion. With their wig-like helmets of bleach-blond hair that vied with the Pretty Things and the Stones in length, they had an immediately striking visual presence. Musically it was another matter, for the Hullaballoos were actually not even stars in their homeland, but packaged for U.S. consumption by Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, notorious vice presidents and A&R directors of Roulette Records. Most of their music was written by hack Brill Building songwriters, who were apparently intent on making the band sound as much like Buddy Holly as possible. Indeed, one of their small U.S. hits was a cover of Holly's "I'm Gonna Love You Too" (the other, "Did You Ever," was Holly-esque down to the hiccuping vocal). New York hacks may have devised their Buddy Holly-cum-Merseybeat sound -- dominated by driving simple guitar chords and drums -- in a superficial manner, but it's catchy and considerably forceful. The Hullaballoos faded almost immediately after a tiny splash in 1965, but that was probably built into the plan from the beginning.
On Hullabaloo
Review by Richie Unterberger
The Hullaballoos' second LP stuck to much the same format as their first. A few Buddy Holly covers were stuck amidst new songs, supplied to the band, that aimed to combine Buddy Holly with the Merseybeat sound, in a simple and exploitative way. Like the debut, it's not bad in spite of all that, though the material is a little weaker this time around. "I Won't Turn Away Now" is about the best of the batch, with something of a melodramatic New York pop influence in the songwriting; it wouldn't be too hard to imagine the Shangri-Las doing it with a totally different arrangement, for instance. This album and the Hullaballoos' first LP, England's Newest Singing Sensations, have been combined onto one CD by Collectables.
The Hullaballoos
Review by Richie Unterberger
The group play like a cross between the Searchers and Gerry & the Pacemakers on amphetamines on most of their self-titled album, which includes both "I'm Gonna Love You Too" and "Did You Ever." Enjoyable despite itself, and "I'll Show You How to Love" is actually a pretty and tuneful beat ballad worthy of a more skilled group.

1 Beware  
  2 I Couldn't Get Along Without You  
  3 Did You Ever  
  4 If You Don't Know by Now  
  5 Can't You Tell  
  6 Party Dol  
  7 I'll Show You How to Love  
  8 Every Night  
  9 Why Do Fools Fall in Love  
  10 Wouldn't You Like to Know  
  11 Who Do You Think You're Fooling  
  12 I'm Gonna Love You Too  
  13 I Won't Turn Away Now  
  14 Rave On  
  15 I Got This Feeling  
  16 Better Change Your Ways  
  17 You Were There  
  18 Never Ever Will  
  19 Learning the Game 
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