Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Best Of Tommy Quickly & Johnny - Sandon, Gregory Phillips & The Remo Four

A rather peculiar single-disc, 30-track compilation that's worthwhile for Merseybeat fanatics, picking up some odds and ends that have rarely or never been reissued. It's divided between efforts by Tommy Quickly, Johnny Sandon, Gregory Phillips, and the Remo Four, none of them exactly household names, even in Liverpool; the link between them is that the Remo Four recorded with all of these singers (although they don't appear on every single cut). Tommy Quickly has the first 12 selections (comprising his entire recorded output), coming off like an even more pop-oriented version of Gerry & the Pacemakers, with less distinguished material. He's most remembered for recording an obscure Lennon-McCartney tune, "Tip of My Tongue," that the Beatles never released; that oddity is here, the other highlight being the catchy-as-hell Merseybeat bouncer "Kiss Me Now." Johnny Sandon (with eight tracks) had fronted the Searchers in their early days, although he and they went their separate ways before the Searchers recorded. He doesn't have much of a vocal personality, but "Lies" is a good, prototypical Merseybeat raver; its B-side, a cover of Ben E. King's "On the Horizon," is interesting for its early (1963) use of a volume pedal on the guitar, well in advance of the Beatles' use of the same device for "Yes It Is." The Remo Four offer competent, not especially striking British rock circa 1964, highlighted by their fairly gutsy cover of "Peter Gunn." Gregory Phillips' six cuts are the British Invasion at its most saccharine, though the tunes offer an embarrassingly bouncy guilty pleasure. The most notable of these songs, by far, is his not-bad cover of the Beatles' "Don't Bother Me," with its creepy organ, backup horns, and unexpected key change near the end; collectors will want this, because it was the first-ever cover of a George Harrison composition.
01. Kiss Me Now - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
02. Tip Of My Tongue - Tommy Quickly
03. Prove It - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
04. You Might As Well Forget Him - Tommy Quickly
05. The Wild Side Of Life - Tommy Quickly
06. Heaven Only Knows - Tommy Quickly
07. No Other Love - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
08. Haven't You Noticed - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
09. It's Simple As That - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
10. Forget The Other Day - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
11. Humpty Dumpty - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
12. I Go Crazy - Tommy Quickly & The Remo Four
13. Lies - Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four
14. Yes - Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four
15. (I'd Be) A Legend In My Time - Johnny Sandon
16. Sixteen Tons - Johnny Sandon
17. Donna Means Heartbreak - Johnny Sandon
18. On The Horizon - Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four
19. Magic Potion - Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four
20. Some Kinda Wonderful - Johnny Sandon
21. Everybody Knows - Gregory Phillips & The Remo Four
22. Angie - Gregory Phillips
23. Don't Bother Me - Gregory Phillips
24. Closer To Me - Gregory Phillips & The Remo Four
25. Please Believe Me - Gregory Phillips
26. Make Sure That You're Mine - Gregory Phillips
27. I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate - The Remo Four
28. Sally Go Round The Roses - The Remo Four
29. I Know A Girl - The Remo Four
30. Peter Gunn - The Remo Four

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