The Searchers’ hits of the 1960s hits have, of course, been repackaged and recycled endlessly over the decades but their subsequent recordings, for labels other than Pye, have usually been a lot harder to find, particularly on CD. This anthology sets the record straight.
Compiled to celebrate the band’s 50th anniversary, this 4-CD box set presents a wholly comprehensive overview of the band’s career, starting with tracks from the legendary 10” demo LP that they recorded at Liverpool’s Iron Door Club. It includes the powerful arrangement of “Sweets For My Sweet”, which ultimately won them their Pye recording contract.
Following a handful of live sides, recorded at Hamburg’s celebrated Star Club in the spring of 1963, the set goes on to include all the many UK and international hits they cut for Pye between 1963-67, plus picks from their EP and LP tracks and a number of collectors’ oddities, including brief clips from a handful of BBC Radio interviews. The band subsequently recorded for labels such as Liberty (included here is their ‘long-lost’ European single ”Shoot ’Em Up Baby”), RCA (great versions of Neil Sedaka’s “Solitaire” and The Bee Gees’ “Spicks And Specks”), Sire (check out the magnificent power pop of “Hearts In Her Eyes” and “Love’s Melody”), PRT (the excellent “I Don’t Want To Be The One” and 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
Bringing the story fully up to date, the collection closes with a couple of 21st Century live recordings, the band’s revivals of Kim Richey’s “Every River”’ and Moon Mullican’s “Seven Nights To Rock”. The 64-page stitched-in booklet features a substantial history of the band by rock music writer Bob Stanley, a foreword from the infamous Jon Savage, input from all of the surviving Searchers, plus a plethora of rare photos.