21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Great Band that Deserved more Recognition!,
This review is from: They're In Town (Audio CD)
I first noticed the Rocking Berries a couple of years ago while sitting in a pub in London. A tape of oldies was being played in the background, and suddenly a song came up which I hadn't heard before. It was a great melody played by a band that sounded a little like the Searchers or the Beach Boys. I assumed the song was called "He's in Town" as that line was sung several times. Later we went to the Amazon record store and I went looking for the song. I eventually found this CD and was very excited to bring it home, and hear it through. Was it the right version and were the other songs as good?
Though "He's in Town" ,along with a dozen similar tracks, is a standout, I was not at all disappointed. From the booklet I learned about the history of the band; that they had a handful of hits through 1964-66, and that they stopped recording around 1968.
The band was obviously very talented - the playing tight; great vocals ( harmonies and falsettos ) and a crisp guitar sound; quite similar to the Searchers', and for their time quite good production.
I assume that they reasons that they did not get their big breakthrough was the great variety in their choice of material. Spanning from pure beat-pop through ballads to cabaret and comedy. Another problem was that the band did not write much of their material, and thus were very dependent of being given the right material. A few fine B-sides indicate that they might have had the talent, but it seems it was not given time to being developed. Their own song "She's Not Like Any Girl" is as good as most of their A-sides.
The songs in the vein of "He's in Town" are for me the highlights. Tracks like "You're My Girl", "Funny How Love Can Be", "The Water is Over My Head" and "Poor Man's Son" are pure pleasure, and tracks you can play again and again.
Their late recordings, many of which are released here for the first time, indicate that they were about to the the psychedelia trend a chance, and tracks like "Goodnight" ( Mike Heron), "Yellow Rainbow" ( the Move) and "Barterers and their Wives" ( Left Banke ) are played with great conviction.
I always enjoy playing these CD's; even though a few tracks like the "The Laughing Policeman" are usually skipped over.