Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"On Tour" by Herman's Hermits (1965)

View the Premise & Ground Rules for Revisiting Vinyl.

Filed Between: The Heavy Metal soundtrack and John Hiatt

Obtained Via: Wholesale purchase of somebody's record collection.  Contents - one milk crate holding an eerie volume of Jimmy Swaggart and Dean Martin.

Key Tracks: Silhouettes still holds up in a timeless way.  Traveling Light is a rare example of pop-does-country done right.  Their version of I'm Henry VIII, I Am has always been my favorite.

Obvious Filler & Swings-and-Misses: And their version of The End of the World has always been my least favorite.  Along those lines, I bet I would like HH's For Your Love a lot better if there wasn't that iconic Yardbirds' version out there, ruining the fun for everybody else.

My Overall Rating of the Tracks Separately:
Above Average (2.5/4 stars)

Herman's Hermits tie with The Dave Clark Five for the heaviest riders of The Beatles' coattails.  On "On Tour," they're not even trying to hide it.  Don't Try to Hurt Me blatently mimics Paul's vocals, John's lyrics and George's guitar sound.  In fact, they actually go so far as to use the term "Hermitmania" in the liner notes.

But it's still a fair amount of fun.  When I was young, my parents played The Hermits just as much as they spun The Monkees and The Beatles.  [GASP! say the hipster music fans.]

And when you're little you don't recognize the difference between originator and imitator.  You don't even think about it.  Truth is, you wouldn't care even if you did.  When you're little, you're just keying in on sounds that grab your attention and make your rump shake.  And (if it hooks you like it did me) then you will spend the rest of your life seeking out more and more music that elicits the pure, uncultured joy of being a child.

So, is it an album?  No.  In true mid-sixties fashion, it's mostly composed of tracks that had already been released on single-play 45s (so most definitely NOT live).  Unfortunately, bubblegum by itself isn't sticky enough to bind these songs into an album.

Up next, "Summertime Dream" by Gordon Lightfoot and the best song ever about a shipwreck.

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