A session from The Searchers, one of the more popular of the British Invasion acts from the first wave in 1964. With a string of hits, The Searchers were frequently in the top 10 of most singles charts.
They were the second group, after The Beatles, to secure a hit in the U.S. – but unlike The Beatles, who were constantly evolving from one album to the next, The Searchers were slow to transition and they suffered when musical tastes of the record buying and listening public changed and musical styles shifted away from the initial Beat Group to more adventuresome leanings.
The band’s hits include a remake of the Drifters’ 1961 hit, “Sweets for My Sweet”; “Sugar and Spice” (written by their producer Tony Hatch); remakes of Jackie DeShannon’s “Needles and Pins” and “When You Walk in the Room”; a cover of the Orlons’ “Don’t Throw Your Love Away”; and a cover of the Clovers’ “Love Potion No. 9”. With the Swinging Blue Jeans, the Searchers tied for being the second group from Liverpool, after the Beatles, to have a hit in the US when their “Needles and Pins” and the Swinging Blue Jeans’ “Hippy Hippy Shake” both reached the Hot 100 on 7 March 1964.
The band went though a number of personnel and label changes through the 1970s, but were never able to recapture the same level of mania they had when they first appeared.
As a reminder of what bands were up to and sounding like during the formative years of the British Invasion, here is one of three sessions The Searchers did for the Swedish Radio network Sveriges Radio in 1964. The band were huge in Sweden and they frequently toured there during the early years. This session is from December of that year and features many of their hits up to that time. If you’re familiar with that period, or just getting into it, most of these tracks will be instantly familiar – they have become a staple in the lexicon of British Beat Groups of the mid-1960s.
The Searchers were one of the pivotal bands during a time when music changed – their contribution was substantial – they were part of a movement which took Pop Music, reshaped it and relocated it. It’s never been the same since.