Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Three More Hits from The British Invasion

A lot of great  songs that came out of the 1960's 'British Invasion" were done from bands which might not be household names among baby-boomers and music fans of all ages today, but they deserve a rehearing  in my view. 

   There's no way three songs could even begin to do justice to the popular songs of that era, but here are three favorites I selected from the soundtrack of the 1998 film "Rushmore", a film that proves the "invaders" have never left us. 

 This song hit Number Seven on the US Pop Charts in the Summer of 1964, and was the biggest US hit for this pair, whose success in the States surpassed their musical clout in their home country. 

(from Wikipedia) The duo starred in the West End production of Pump Boys And Dinettes from 1984–1985, before returning to the US in 1986 for a nostalgia tour with other British Invasionartists. In 1987 they performed in short residencies at both Harrah's Casino in Lake Tahoe, and the Reno Hilton before again breaking up.

In 2003, PBS reunited Chad & Jeremy in the 60s Pop-Rock Reunion special, which also prompted a tour the next year. They have been touring ever since. In 2008, the group released Ark-eology, an album featuring re-recordings of their 1960s hits and selected cuts from their original albums. In September 2010, Chad & Jeremy marked 50 years of performing together with a limited-edition CD entitled Fifty Years On.



1965 brought another transAtlantic hit for a group from Hertfordshire, a song given a boost by Pirate Radio Stations off shore near Britain: 

"Concrete and Clay" was a worldwide hit, and the group suddenly found themselves on radio playlists across the globe.[2] In America, a competing cover version by Eddie Rambeau (produced by Bob Crewe) split sales, with Rambeau reaching #35 on the Billboard charts and Unit 4 + 2 placing at #28. Cash Box charted the two versions together, and they reached a combined #12.

Decca released a hastily put together album, also entitled Concrete and Clay, to capitalise on the success, but it was not as notable in style or content as the single.[2] Nevertheless, the next single release "You've Never Been in Love Like This Before" reached the Top 20 in the UK,[2] and #95 on the Billboard chart in the US "Concrete and Clay" returned to the Top 20 of the UK Singles Chart in 1976, courtesy of Randy Edelman's cover version.[3] More recently, the original song appeared in the soundtrack to the filmRushmore (1998).


This final entry is also on the "Rushmore" soundtrack, but was done by the composer, the great Cat Stevens.  I decided to go with a version that had a little more "beat" to it from 1967. (from Wikipedia)  On New Years Day, 1962, Decca, looking for a "Beat" group, auditioned two promising young bands: Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and a somewhat similar combo (also heavily influenced by Buddy Holly) from Liverpool called The Beatles.Decca chose the Tremeloes over The Beatles. 

The original quintet consisted of lead vocalist Brian Poole, lead guitarist Ricky West, keyboardist Alan Blakely, bassist Alan Howard and drummer Dave Munden.]When Poole and Howard left the band in 1966, Alan Blakely took over leadership of the group, and Len "Chip" Hawkes, father of 1990s hitmaker Chesney Hawkes, replaced Howard. Poole pursued a career as a solo artist.After switching from Decca to CBS Records, the Tremeloes started a successful hit run from 1967 onwards with Cat Stevens' "Here Comes My Baby.


  1. Here's a trailer for the fore-mentioned and offbeat film that was inspired in part ( according to writer/director Wes Anderson) by the music of the 60's.

  2. I loved Summer Song so much!! Remember listening to it over and over. Concrete and Clay was great...as was Here Comes My Baby. Such good music... thanks, Doug, for this walk down memory lane.

  3. Not familiar with many of these groups Doug except for of course Cat Stevens and the only recent news I have heard concerning him was that he is on the "no fly list" not sure if it is true or not. Thanks for the history on " British Invasion" I, as I suppose many people associate it mainly with the "Beatles".

  4. I remember all of these groups and songs and liked them all. There were so many young artists back then that tried to make it and some did with one song wonders....and then they were gone. Yes those were the years with the "british invasion" with so many trying to get a big hit....but the Beatles beat them all out I think. The Troggs>Wild thing....The Animals>House of the Rising Sun....The Zombies>Time of the Season....so many great groups...and where are they now?

  5. I got a kick reacquainting myself to these songs as well. Thanks for stopping by, Christy

  6. I think "Cat" goes by the name Yusef Isman these days, Mike. Not sure what his status is with Home land Security, but he put out an album last year and seems to be pretty mellow and not a uninteresting fellow to find as a fellow passenger on the average commuter jet milk run.

    Yes, The Beatles cast a huge shadow. I enjoyed finding a few groups that weren't well known but still had a share of the spotlight.

  7. A lot of great songs, Marty. "The Troggs" are one of my favorite groups from this period. Chad and Jeremy I see are reunited and still touring, as are the Trembelos apparently in some form.

    I'd never heard of "Unit 4+2" but I certainly have heard that song. (Great to find a lot these old videos, the idea of seven guys in suits and coats banging out a song in some industrial nowhere-land is quite cheery I think. ) :-)

  8. That clip of "Concrete and Clay" reminds me of back when I was a boy and the song was a current hit.

    Mohammed Ali was still using his old given name back then: Cassius Clay... and we kids were so proud of ourselves for coming up with new lyrics to the song using "Cassius Concrete and Clay" as the meme.

    Hey... eight-year-olds are easily amused.

  9. Classic amusements indeed, Chuck. I remember there was song called "Funky Nassau" with a ending refrain of "funky Nassau...funky Nassau..."

    As school kids my pack of delinquents and I would say a person, place or thing had "gone funky" depending on what or who we were spoofing. :-)

  10. A few good old tunes there Doug, I remember these acts very well, they were part of my growing up and the incredible excitement of the early 1960s and the sense of something happening...'the happening' as it was conceived. Of course what was really happening is that young people enjoying the fruits of 20 years of postwar economic growth with disposable incomes to match, or at least unprecedented credit options, fuelled a massive consumer boom, the post Cuba Crisis survivor's party that we all went to, the psychedelic revolution that changed everything for ever. Imagine yourself on a bridge by a river..........

  11. It is simply amazing to me that the list of rebels that changed the world at the start this film could omit Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels - unbelievable!

  12. It does come down in large measure to economics and (at least in North America) demographics doesn't it, AA?

    From the records and the testimony and the journalism it was great time to be alive and around that's for sure.

    I'm convinced as well that there was something about those "13 Days in October" that helped trigger a mass disaffection with the future, or if we will even have one.

  13. That does seem to be a large oversight, AA.