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Definitive singles collection
am 16. Januar 2014
In the early nineties, two separate 22-track single CD's were released, each focusing on a particular period of Herman's Hermits career. They have long been out of print, since when fans have had to choose between various single CD's, all of which had to exclude something important. Now, at last, a double-CD (with 28 tracks on each) is available to satisfy those fans who want all their important British and American hits (which were often different) in one package. In their early years (1964 to 1966), the group were more successful in America than in Britain but their American popularity faded quickly. From 1967 onwards, they were more popular in Britain. Indeed, their popularity grew in Britain as it faded in America.
Herman's Hermits began with I'm into something good (a cover of a song by Earl Jean of the Cookies), their only British number one hit, which also made the American top twenty. After that, single releases in Britain and America differed considerably. Six top ten American hits including two number ones were never released as UK singles, these being Can't you hear my heartbeat (a UK hit for Goldie and the gingerbreads), Mrs Brown you've got a lovely daughter, I'm Henry the eighth I am (an old music hall song), Listen people, Leaning on the lamp post (a cover of a George Formby song) and Dandy. Two UK singles - Show me girl, You won't be leaving - made the top twenty but were not released as singles in America.
Some singles were released in both countries, these being Silhouettes (a cover of a fifties song by The Rays), Wonderful world (a song that has also charted for both Sam Cooke and Louis Armstrong at different times), Just a little bit better and A must to avoid, This door swings both ways, No milk today and East west. They starred in a film, Hold on, and the title track is included here.
There's a kind of hush was a top ten hit in both charts although it was a bigger hit in America. Don't go out in the rain was never released as a UK single but made the American top twenty. Museum was a top forty American hit that didn't make the UK chart although it was released as a single. I can take or leave your loving just missed the UK top ten and just missed the American top twenty. After that, Herman's Hermits never again made the American top forty but continued to chart in Britain.
Their remaining major UK hits were Sleepy Joe, Something is happening, My sentimental friend, Years may come years may go, Lady Barbara and Oh you pretty thing, the last track being a Peter Noone solo written by David Bowie and featuring Bowie on piano. Here comes the star (an Australian song) and Bet your life I do (written by members of Hot Chocolate before they became famous for their own music) became lesser UK hits.
All the above hits are included along with many of their B-sides and a few bonus tracks, making this the most comprehensive collection of Herman's Hermits music yet released. The order is lightly strange, arranged with all the British singles (A and B sides, except that one of the British B sides is omitted) in chronological order, with the American-only singles (A sides only) sandwiched between the final British single and the bonus tracks on the second CD.
To those for whom a single CD of Herman's Hermits is not enough, this is a dream come true. If you only like them a little, you should choose one of the many single CD's instead - make your choice according to whether you are looking for their British or American hits.