The Second Disc

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Needles and Pins: Searchers Box Set Finally Back on Schedule

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Back on July 26, 2010, we reported on Sweets, Spice, Sugar, Pins and Needles, a 4-CD, 120-track boxed retrospective dedicated to The Searchers, the second-most famous band to emerge from Liverpool during the British Invasion!  We wrote:

One of the best and most successful bands to come out of Liverpool, The Searchers may have toiled in the shadow of that other band from Liverpool, but hits like “Sugar and Spice,” “Pins and Needles” and “When You Walk in the Room” remain some of the strongest recordings to come out of the mid-1960s. Now, Universal U.K.’s Sanctuary arm is bestowing the band with the lavish box set treatment. Entitled Sweets, Spice, Sugar, Pins and Needles, the box turns the spotlight on 120 tracks over four discs. Those tracks include rough demos, BBC recordings, solo turns by group members and material from the late-1970s power pop discs released here in the USA on the Sire label, not to mention all of those classic hit singles.

This box comes hot on the heels of a recent single-disc anthology which saw the band back in a Top 10 position on the British pop charts, but it should satisfy fans both abroad and stateside. The Searchers may have suffered for a lack of original songwriting, but the cover versions they chose were almost uniformly top-notch, whether emanating from the East or West Coasts of America. Sun-kissed songs like Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono’s “Needles and Pins” and Jackie DeShannon’s “When You Walk in the Room” both were reworked a la Merseyside, while the Brill Building catalogs of Pomus and Shuman (“Sweets for My Sweet”) and Leiber and Stoller (“Love Potion No. 9”) were likewise beneficiaries of the Searchers’ hitmaking prowess. Release date information and the track listing for Sweets, Spice, Sugar, Pins and Needles hasn’t been revealed to the public yet (although favorable reviews have shown up at both Record Collector and Mojo), but watch this space for such news when it arrives.

Well, it’s taken almost two years, but The Searchers’ box set has finally been confirmed with a release date of June 25 as well as a new title: Hearts in Their Eyes.  Hit the jump for the full specs including a track listing with discography!

The subtitle of Hearts in Their Eyes is Celebrating 50 Years of Harmony and Jangle.  Commemorative packages have become the norm for The Searchers, with a 3-CD 30th Anniversary Collection (1992) having arrived from Sequel in the U.K./Collectables in the U.S. and a 2-CD 40th Anniversary Collection (2003) released by Sanctuary.  An interim set, Sequel’s 2000 The Pye Anthology 1963-1967, focused on the group’s major hitmaking period over 2 CDs.  The new box set should handily trump these fine releases as an in-depth career overview.  Hearts in Their Eyes offers 120 tracks plus a stitched-in 64-page booklet with new liner notes from Bob Stanley and Jon Savage plus written recollections from surviving band members.  Among the 120 tracks are early demos, recent live recordings, interviews, rare singles and wholly unreleased songs.

The new box kicks off with live tracks from Liverpool’s Iron Door Club and Hamburg’s Star Club, both recorded in 1963, and ends with recent live tracks from the still-active band.  In between, it naturally includes many of the hits originally cut for Pye Records between 1963-and 1967 including every A- and B-side save “Lovers,” the flip of “Popcorn Double Feature.”   In addition to the core Pye hits, the box features rare songs recorded at Liberty, RCA, Sire, Pye successor PRT (including the previously-unreleased “In The Heat Of The Night”), and the German Coconut label (the self-penned ‘This Boy’s In Love’, from their 1988 LP Hungry Hearts).  The booklet includes photographs, memorabilia and picture sleeve reproductions in addition to the copious liner notes.

The Searchers’ lineup has been somewhat fluid over the years, with 1963’s Meet the Searchers – their Pye debut produced by Tony Hatch – featuring Tony Jackson (lead vocals/bass), John McNally (rhythm guitar/vocals), Mike Pender (lead guitar/vocals) and Chris Curtis (drums/vocals).  The group still tours today with McNally and Frank Allen, who joined the group in mid-1964 as a replacement for Tony Jackson.  A number of Jackson’s singles with his later group, The Vibrations, have also been included on the new box to paint a full picture of the group and its members.  The core trio of McNally, Allen and Pender played with the group between 1964 and 1985, at which point Pender struck out on his own.  He still infrequently performs today as Mike Pender’s Searchers.

The long-delayed Hearts in Their Eyes arrives in the U.K. from Sanctuary and Universal on June 25 and approximately one week later stateside.  You’ll find pre-order links below!

The Searchers, Hearts In Their Eyes (Sanctuary/Universal, 2012 – U.K./U.S.)

CD 1

  1. Sweets For My Sweet (Recorded Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
  2. Rosalie (Recorded Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
  3. Sho’ Know A Lot About Love (Recorded Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
  4. Let’s Stomp (Recorded Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
  5. Sweet Nothin’s (Recorded Live at the Star Club, 1963)
  6. Learning The Game (Recorded Live at the Star Club, 1963)
  7. Hey Joe (Recorded Live at the Star Club, 1963)
  8. Sweet Little Sixteen (Recorded Live at the Star Club, 1963)
  9. Sweets For My Sweet (Pye single 7N 15533)
  10. It’s All Been A Dream (Pye single 7N 15533)
  11. Alright (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  12. Love Potion No.9 (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  13. Farmer John (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  14. Money (That’s What I Want) (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  15. Ain’t Gonna Kiss Ya (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  16. Since You Broke My Heart (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  17. Tricky Dicky (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  18. Where Have All The Flowers Gone (from Meet the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18086, 1963)
  19. Sugar and Spice (Pye single 7N 15566)
  20. Saints and Searchers (Pye single 7N 15566)
  21. Don’t Cha Know (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  22. Some Other Guy (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  23. Listen To Me (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  24. Unhappy Girls (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  25. (Ain’t That) Just Like Me (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  26. Cherry Stones (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  27. All My Sorrows (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  28. Hungry For Love (from Sugar and Spice, Pye LP NPL 18089, 1963)
  29. Once Upon A Time (first issued on 30th Anniversary Collection, Collectables COL-8815, 1994)
  30. Needles and Pins (Pye single 7N 15594)
  31. Saturday Night Out  (Pye single 7N 15594)
  32. Don’t Throw Your Love Away (Pye single 7N 15630)
  33. I Pretend I’m With You (Pye single 7N 15630)

CD 2

  1. This Empty Place (from It’s the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18092, 1964)
  2. Where Have You Been? (from It’s the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18092, 1964)
  3. It’s In Her Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song) (from It’s the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18092, 1964)
  4. Sea Of Heartbreak (from It’s the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18092, 1964)
  5. I Count The Tears (from It’s the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18092, 1964)
  6. Hi-Heel Sneakers (from It’s the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18092, 1964)
  7. Can’t Help Forgiving You (from It’s the Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18092, 1964)
  8. I (Who Have Nothing) (first issued on 30th Anniversary Collection, Collectables COL-8815, 1994)
  9. Someday We’re Gonna Love Again (Pye single 7N 15670)
  10. No One Else Could Love Me (Pye single 7N 15670)
  11. Someday We’re Gonna Love Again (Alternate Take)
  12. Bye Bye Baby – Tony Jackson & The Vibrations (Pye single 7N 15685)
  13. Watch Your Step – Tony Jackson & The Vibrations (Pye single 7N 15685)
  14. When You Walk in the Room (Pye single 7N 15694)
  15. (I’ll Be) Missing You (Pye single 7N 15694)
  16. What Have They Done to the Rain (Pye single 7N 15739)
  17. This Feeling Inside (Pye single 7N 15739)
  18. You Beat Me To The Punch – Tony Jackson & The Vibrations (Pye single 7N 15745, 1964)
  19. The System (from The Searchers Play the System, Pye EP NEP 24201)
  20. Love Potion No.9 – Tony Jackson & The Vibrations (Pye single 7N 15766, 1965)
  21. Fortune Teller – Tony Jackson & The Vibrations (Pye single 7N 15766, 1965)
  22. Chris Curtis Interview (BBC Radio Broadcast, Part I)
  23. Goodbye My Love (Pye single 7N 15794)
  24.  Till I Met You (Pye single 7N 15794)
  25. Everybody Come Clap Your Hands (from Sounds Like Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18111, 1964)
  26. If I Could Find Someone (from Sounds Like Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18111, 1964)
  27. Magic Potion (from Sounds Like Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18111, 1964)
  28. Bumble Bee (from Sounds Like Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18111, 1964)
  29. Till You Say You’ll Be Mine (from Sounds Like Searchers, Pye LP NPL 18111, 1964)
  30. I Don’t Want To Go On Without You (Version 1) (first issued on 30th Anniversary Collection, Collectables COL-8815, 1994)
  31. I’ll Be Doggone (Alternate Take) (previously issued on 30th Anniversary Collection, Collectables COL-8815, 1994)
  32. Stage Door – Tony Jackson & The Vibrations (Red Bird single 10-038, 1965)

CD 3

  1. He’s Got No Love (Pye single 7N 15878)
  2. So Far Away (Pye single 7N 15878)
  3. Chris Curtis Interview (BBC Radio Broadcast, Part II)
  4. When I Get Home (Pye single 7N 15950)
  5. I’m Never Coming Back (Pye single 7N 15950)
  6. Take Me For What I’m Worth (Pye single 7N 15992)
  7. Too Many Miles (Pye single 7N 15992)
  8. Does She Really Care For Me (from Take Me For What I’m Worth, Pye LP NPL 24263, 1965)
  9. It’s Time (from Take Me For What I’m Worth, Pye LP NPL 24263, 1965)
  10. You Can’t Lie To A Liar (from Take Me For What I’m Worth, Pye LP NPL 24263, 1965)
  11. Don’t You Know Why (from Take Me For What I’m Worth, Pye LP NPL 24263, 1965)
  12. Each Time (from Take Me For What I’m Worth, Pye LP NPL 24263, 1965)
  13. Four Strong Winds (from Take Me For What I’m Worth, Pye LP NPL 24263, 1965)
  14. Mike Pender Interview (BBC Radio Broadcast)
  15. Take It Or Leave It (Pye single 7N 17094)
  16. Don’t Hide It Away (Pye single 7N 17094)
  17. Aggravation – Chris Curtis (Pye single 7N 17132, 1966)
  18. Have I Done Something Wrong? – Chris Curtis (Pye single 7N 17132, 1966)
  19. Have You Ever Loved Somebody (Pye single 7N 17170)
  20. It’s Just The Way (Love Will Come And Go) (Pye single 7N 17170)
  21. Frank Allen Interview (BBC Radio Broadcast)
  22. Popcorn Double Feature (Pye single 7N 17225)
  23. I’ll Be Loving You (BBC Radio Broadcast Live Version)
  24. Western Union (Pye single 7N 17308)
  25. I’ll Cry Tomorrow (Pye single 7N 17308)
  26. Second Hand Dealer (Pye single 7N 17424)
  27. Crazy Dreams (Pye single 7N 17424)
  28. Umbrella Man (Liberty U.K. single LBF 15159, 1968)
  29. Over The Weekend (Liberty U.K. single LBF 15159, 1968)
  30. Pussy Willow Dream – Pasha (Liberty Germany single 15-159, 1968)
  31. Shoot ‘Em Up Baby (Liberty Germany single 15-202, 1969)
  32. Suzanna (Liberty Germany single 15-202, 1969)

CD 4

  1. Desdemona (RCA U.K. single 2057,1971)
  2. Love Is Everywhere (RCA U.K. single 2139, 1971)
  3. Sing Singer Sing  (RCA U.K. single 2231, 1971)
  4. Vahevela (RCA U.K. single 2288, 1972)
  5. Solitaire (RCA U.K. single 2330, 1973)
  6. Spicks And Specks (RCA U.K. single 2330, 1973)
  7. Don’t Shut Me Out (first issued on The Second Take, Taragon CD 1055, 1999)
  8. Hearts In Her Eyes (from The Searchers, Sire LP SRK 6082, 1979)
  9. Switchboard Susan (from The Searchers, Sire LP SRK 6082, 1979)
  10. It’s Too Late (from The Searchers, Sire LP SRK 6082, 1979)
  11. Love’s Gonna Be Strong (from The Searchers, Sire LP SRK 6082, 1979)
  12. Love’s Melody (from Sire single SRE 49665, 1980)
  13. Changing (from Sire single SRE 49665, 1980)
  14. Silver (from Love’s Melodies, Sire LP SRK 3523, 1981)
  15. Everything But A Heartbeat (from Love’s Melodies, Sire LP SRK 3523, 1981)
  16. Radio Romance (from Love’s Melodies, Sire LP SRK 3523, 1981)
  17. Another Night (from Love’s Melodies, Sire LP SRK 3523, 1981)
  18. I Don’t Want To Be The One (PRT single 7P 250)
  19. In The Heat Of The Night (previously unissued from 1981/1982 sessions)
  20. Somebody Told Me You Were Crying (previously issued on 40th Anniversary Collection, Castle CMEDD 726, 2003)
  21. This Boy’s In Love (from Hungry Hearts, Coconut LP, 1988)
  22. Every River (Live Version)
  23. Seven Nights To Rock (Live Version)

Written by Joe Marchese

May 15, 2012 at 10:05

3 Responses

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  1. In my mind, Gerry and the Pacemakers was the “second most famous Liverpool group…Maybe you wern’t thinking of them as a group. At any rate, Gerry Marsden had a great voice and singing style.

    The Searchers were very good too, but they didn’t have Gerry Marsden..

    Kevin

    May 16, 2012 at 07:50

    • Glad to see some love for Gerry, Kevin! I’d give The Searchers the edge simply for longevity and the number of charting singles in the U.K. and U.S., but I couldn’t agree more about the Pacemakers’ impressive legacy.

      Joe Marchese

      May 16, 2012 at 10:10

  2. If only those groups mixed it up a little more – like jazz artists often did by playing in each others groups. I would love to have heard Gerry Marsden singing within The Beatles during 1964 or 1965, or maybe Mike Smith of the Dave Clark 5 doing a Little Richard tune with Paul McCartney. We also could have a larger vocal group by mixing the Searchers with Peter and Gordon.

    Kevin

    May 16, 2012 at 13:44


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