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The Searchers|Hearts In Their Eyes

Hearts In Their Eyes

The Searchers

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In a way, the Searchers are a footnote. Never entering the upper echelon of British Invasion beat groups, the band nevertheless had legs, outlasting all but the titans of the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and the Who. The Searchers always flew just below the radar, even if they had something of a renaissance at the tail end of the '70s with a new lineup headed by lead singer -- and only constant -- John McNally, with his lead guitarist companion Mike Pender directing the band through two superb power pop LPs and their jangle echoing in the stable of Shelter Records, heard strongly in the early records of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. They are best known for their earliest hits -- 1963's "Sweets for My Sweet," 1964's "Needles and Pins" -- which may be because they were their biggest hits but it's also because the Searchers never abandoned their pure pop template throughout their entire career, something that becomes blindingly evident over the course of the four-disc box set Hearts in Their Eyes. Every other Brit group of their time stretched their wings during the psychedelic years but the Searchers pledged their allegiance to jangling guitars and sweet melodies, dipping their toes into the soft slick waters left behind by Bacharach but pretty much adhering to their game plan of playing ringing rock and turning R&B into pop. When their peers were blowing their minds, the Searchers got a little bit bubblegum and while they consolidated their strengths during the power pop '70s, they were always somewhat restrained by the lack of a truly distinctive songwriter. McNally could turn out some handsome melodic tunes but they were at the mercy of other writers, borrowing heavily from American pop and R&B in the early years, then finding gems among the pub rockers in the late '70s. These strengths and weaknesses are in equal relief on Hearts in Their Eyes, which may not contain all of their released singles -- their cover of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" is nowhere to be found -- but it has all their best along with smartly selected highlights from their albums. Taken together, it is the big jangle: tuneful, crystalline pop that likely sounds better at a remove than it did at the time due to its unadventurous consistency. The Searchers weren't trailblazers; they were a dogged, dedicated beat group that never strayed from its hooky vision. They don't belong in the upper echelon of British beat but they have their place, as this entertaining and comprehensive box makes plain.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Hearts In Their Eyes

The Searchers

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1
Sweets for My Sweet (Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:02:21

Doc Pomus, Composer, Writer - Mort Shuman, Composer, Writer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2002 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

2
Rosalie (Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:02:28

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2002 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

3
Sho' Know a Lot About Love (Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:02:11

Buddy Mize, Composer - GARY PAXTON, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2002 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

4
Let's Stomp (Live at The Iron Door Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:02:06

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 2002 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

5
Sweet Nothin's (Live at the Star Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:02:19

The Searchers, MainArtist - Ronnie Self, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

6
Learning the Game (Live at the Star Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:01:47

The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

7
Hey Joe (Live at the Star Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:02:26

The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

8
Sweet Little Sixteen (Live at the Star Club, 1963)
The Searchers
00:03:02

The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

9
Sweets For My Sweet (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:28

Doc Pomus, Composer - Mort Shuman, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

10
It's All Been a Dream
The Searchers
00:01:49

TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Chris Curtis, Composer - Chris Crummy, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

11
Alright (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:09

TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist - JERRY ROSS, Composer - Lester Vanadore, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

12
Love Potion No. 9 (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:05

Jerry Leiber, Writer - Mike Stoller, Writer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

13
Farmer John (Mono)
The Searchers
00:01:59

Don Harris, Composer - Dewey Terry, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

14
Money (That's What I Want) (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:47

Berry Gordy Jr., Composer - Janie Bradford, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

15
Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:11

James Smith, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

16
Since You Broke My Heart (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:52

Don Everly, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

17
Tricky Dicky (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:08

Jerry Leiber, Composer - Mike Stoller, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

18
Where Have All the Flowers Gone (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:57

PETE SEEGER, Composer, Writer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

19
Sugar and Spice (Stereo Version)
The Searchers
00:02:15

TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Fred Nightingale, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

20
Saints and Searchers (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:03:17

Tony Jackson, Composer, Arranger - Traditional, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist - Chris Curtis, Arranger - Mike Pender, Composer, Arranger - John McNally, Composer, Arranger - Chris Crummy, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

21
Don't Cha Know (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:01

TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist - Ernest Hall, Composer - David Box, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

22
Some Other Guy (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:06

Jerry Leiber, Composer - Mike Stoller, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, MainArtist - RICHARD BARRETT, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

23
Listen to Me (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:12

Buddy Holly, Composer - Norman Petty, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

24
Unhappy Girls (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:38

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Marijohn Wilkin, Composer - Fred Burch, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

25
Ain't That Just Like Me (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:25

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Billy Guy, Composer - Earl Carroll, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

26
Cherry Stones (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:28

Howard Barnes, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Harold Fields, Composer - Joseph Roncoroni, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

27
All My Sorrows (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:03:26

Glenn Yarbrough, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

28
Hungry for Love (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:24

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Gordon Mills, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1963 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

29
Once Upon a Time
The Searchers
00:02:03

The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1992 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

30
Needles and Pins (Mono)
The Searchers
00:02:13

SONNY BONO, Composer - Jack Nitzsche, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

31
Saturday Night Out (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:01:43

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Bobby Richards, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

32
Don't Throw Your Love Away
The Searchers
00:02:16

Jimmy Wisner, Composer - Billy Jackson, Composer - Jackson, Composer - TONY HATCH, Producer - The Searchers, Composer, Performance, MainArtist - Wisner, Composer - James J. Wisner, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

33
I Pretend I'm With You
The Searchers
00:01:59

Tony Jackson, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Chris Curtis, Composer - Mike Pender, Composer - John McNally, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

DISC 2

1
This Empty Place (Stereo Version)
The Searchers
00:02:09

Burt Bacharach, Composer - Hal David, Lyricist, Writer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

2
Where Have You Been? (Stereo)
The Searchers
00:02:38

Barry Mann, Composer - Cynthia Weil, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

3
It's In Her Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song) (Stereo Version)
The Searchers
00:02:16

Rudy Clark, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

4
Sea of Heartbreak (Stereo Version)
The Searchers
00:02:24

Paul Hampton, Composer - Hal David, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

5
I Count the Tears (Stereo Version)
The Searchers
00:02:03

Doc Pomus, Composer - Mort Shuman, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

6
Hi-Heel Sneakers (Stereo Version)
The Searchers
00:02:33

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Robert Higginbotham, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

7
Can't Help Forgiving You (Stereo)
The Searchers
00:02:05

Jackie DeShannon, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

8
I (Who Have Nothing)
The Searchers
00:02:45

Jerry Leiber, Composer - Mike Stoller, Composer - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Carlo Donida, Composer - Giulio Rapetti, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1992 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

9
Someday We're Gonna Love Again
The Searchers
00:01:59

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Sharon McMahan, Composer - McMahan, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

10
No One Else Could Love Me
The Searchers
00:02:12

The Searchers, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

11
Someday We're Gonna Love Again (Alternate Take)
The Searchers
00:02:02

The Searchers, MainArtist - Sharon McMahan, Composer - McMahan, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

12
Bye Bye Baby
Tony Jackson & The Vibrations
00:02:31

Tony Jackson, Performance - Mary Wells, Composer - Tony Jackson & The Vibrations, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

13
Watch Your Step
Tony Jackson & The Vibrations
00:02:42

Tony Jackson & The Vibrations, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

14
When You Walk in the Room (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:22

Jackie DeShannon, Composer, Lyricist - The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

15
(I'll Be) Missing You (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:02:02

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Chris Curtis, Composer - Mike Pender, Composer - John McNally, Composer - Frank Allen, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

16
What Have They Done to the Rain
The Searchers
00:02:34

The Searchers, Performance, MainArtist - Malvina Reynolds, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

17
This Feeling Inside (Mono Version)
The Searchers
00:01:43

The Searchers, MainArtist - Chris Curtis, Composer - Mike Pender, Composer - John McNally, Composer - Frank Allen, Composer

© 2012 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company ℗ 1964 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd., a BMG Company

Album Description

In a way, the Searchers are a footnote. Never entering the upper echelon of British Invasion beat groups, the band nevertheless had legs, outlasting all but the titans of the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, and the Who. The Searchers always flew just below the radar, even if they had something of a renaissance at the tail end of the '70s with a new lineup headed by lead singer -- and only constant -- John McNally, with his lead guitarist companion Mike Pender directing the band through two superb power pop LPs and their jangle echoing in the stable of Shelter Records, heard strongly in the early records of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. They are best known for their earliest hits -- 1963's "Sweets for My Sweet," 1964's "Needles and Pins" -- which may be because they were their biggest hits but it's also because the Searchers never abandoned their pure pop template throughout their entire career, something that becomes blindingly evident over the course of the four-disc box set Hearts in Their Eyes. Every other Brit group of their time stretched their wings during the psychedelic years but the Searchers pledged their allegiance to jangling guitars and sweet melodies, dipping their toes into the soft slick waters left behind by Bacharach but pretty much adhering to their game plan of playing ringing rock and turning R&B into pop. When their peers were blowing their minds, the Searchers got a little bit bubblegum and while they consolidated their strengths during the power pop '70s, they were always somewhat restrained by the lack of a truly distinctive songwriter. McNally could turn out some handsome melodic tunes but they were at the mercy of other writers, borrowing heavily from American pop and R&B in the early years, then finding gems among the pub rockers in the late '70s. These strengths and weaknesses are in equal relief on Hearts in Their Eyes, which may not contain all of their released singles -- their cover of Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" is nowhere to be found -- but it has all their best along with smartly selected highlights from their albums. Taken together, it is the big jangle: tuneful, crystalline pop that likely sounds better at a remove than it did at the time due to its unadventurous consistency. The Searchers weren't trailblazers; they were a dogged, dedicated beat group that never strayed from its hooky vision. They don't belong in the upper echelon of British beat but they have their place, as this entertaining and comprehensive box makes plain.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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