by Herman's HermitsHerman's Hermits


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Herman's Hermits are widely seen as a lightweight, novelty cousin to the Beatles, fronted by a lovably dorky moppet and musically negligible. Sure, they are lightweight at times, Peter Noone is a lovable moppet, and their popularity would never have been possible without the Beatles, but one listen to Retrospective proves that they were not lacking in the musical department. Setting aside "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am" (which proves everything the critics say about the band), the group, and producer Mickie Most, had a surefooted straight-ahead approach that let the songs' hooks sink in deeply. Noone's pleasant voice and the band's sympathetic but never boring backing always goes down easy, and when they get excited -- like on "Hold On" or "A Must to Avoid" -- they almost rock. Thanks to the generous outlay of tracks and the improved sound, Retrospective takes over as the definitive collection of the Hermits' work. It leaves off their final two singles recorded for RAK in 1970, but otherwise the 26 songs here include 23 that made the Top 40 in the U.K. or the U.S. Many of the tracks are among the best the British Invasion had to offer, including "A Must to Avoid," "I'm into Something Good," "There's a Kind of Hush," and "Listen People." It also shows the band's range with the lovely Baroque pop of "East West," the laid-back R&B of "(What A) Wonderful World," the folk-rock with strings of "Don't Go Out in the Rain," the British psychedelia of "Museum," and the Bee Gees-styled orchestrated pop of "Here Comes the Star." The band was really much more versatile then given credit for and not as lightweight, either, as melancholy tracks like "No Milk Today" and "My Sentimental Friend" prove. Another thing Retrospective makes clear is that, much like another underrated '60s group, they were able to maintain a high-quality output even as the hits were smaller and farther between; 1968's "Sunshine Girl," 1967's "I Can Take or Leave Your Loving," and 1968's "Something's Happening" are just as hooky and memorable as their early work, and may even be better songs as they are the work of a more mature and assured group. They just weren't able to make as big an impact due to the times they were released. If you have even a passing interest in the band you should pick this disc up; it will win you over and soon you will join the proud ranks of Hermit boosters. [Retrospective is playable as a regular CD and as a SACD.]

Product Details

Release Date: 07/20/2004
Label: Abkco
UPC: 0018771922827
catalogNumber: 719228
Rank: 7526

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Herman's Hermits   Primary Artist
Peter Noone   Vocals,Group Member
Karl Green   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Keith Hopwood   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Derek Leckenby   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Barry Whitwam   Drums,Group Member

Technical Credits

P.F. Sloan   Composer
Herb Alpert   Composer
Sam Cooke   Composer
Donovan   Composer
Carole King   Composer
Gerry Goffin   Composer
Graham Gouldman   Composer
Kenny Young   Composer
Bob Crewe   Composer
Ray Davies   Composer
John Paul Jones   Arranger
Noel Gay   Composer
Lou Adler   Composer
Steve Barri   Composer
Jim Bessman   Liner Notes,Essay
Martin Birch   Engineer
Jack Fishman   Composer
Iris Keitel   Art Direction
Mickie Most   Producer,Audio Production
Steve Rosenthal   Archives Coordinator
Dave Siddle   Engineer
Frank Slay   Composer
Geoff Stephens   Composer
Gus Skinas   Engineer
Tony Macaulay   Composer
Alisa Ritz   Art Direction
Leslie Reed   Composer
Lenne Allik   Concept
Sylvia Dee   Composer
Arthur Kent   Composer
Giancarlo Bigazzi   Composer
John Carter   Composer
Russell Alquist   Composer
Riccardo del Turco   Composer
Dick Bogart   Engineer
Maria Papazahariou   Session Research
Teri Landi   Producer
Ken Lewis   Composer
Trevor Peacock   Composer
John MacLeod   Composer
R.P. Weston   Composer
Fred Murray   Composer
Jody H. Klein   Producer

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