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Between 1963 and 1966, the Merseybeats had seven UK hits, one of which (I think of you) made the top five. Don't turn around peaked at thirteen, as did Wishing and hoping (an American hit for Dusty Springfield). Their other four UK hits (It's love that really counts, Last night, I love you yes I do, I stand accused) failed to make the UK top twenty though two of them came close.
Line-up changes took their toll and the original group disbanded in 1966. Two of its members became the Merseys and had a UK top five hit with Sorrow, later covered by David Bowie who had a UK top three hit with it. One of the Merseys re-emerged in the seventies with another group, Liverpool Express, who had four UK hits including You are my love and Every man must have a dream.
This compilation focuses exclusively on the music of the Merseybeats though I'd like to have seen Sorrow (recorded for the same record label) included. While their chart history is not as strong as some of the other Liverpool groups, they had some great songs, both ballads and rockers, and were clearly accomplished musicians.
If you enjoy British pop music of the sixties, give the Merseybeats a listen. You'll be in for a treat.
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on 16 June 2008
These tracks may be more than 40 years old but they've been splendidly remastered here. There are two out-and-out masterpieces in the collection, I Think of You and Wishin' and Hopin'. The rest of the collection offers some very agreeable nostalgia but it was wise of the compilers to shuffle the chronological order and add some LP tracks as otherwise there would have been patches of very similar items back-to-back. The whole plays for only just over 45 minutes so could have been augmented by material from spinoff group the Merseys and/or additional EP/LP items. But overall this is a worthwhile memento of the work of an underrated group.
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on 14 January 2010
The Merseybeats were not among the most original bands to some out of the Liverpool area in the early 1960's. Their recorded output is also rather limited ( one album and less than a dozen singles ), but most of it actually very good and pleasant listening.

This well-compiled collection contains all their singles A's and B's, a couple of album tracks + a live-track. Most of their singles were nice pop-ballads of which some did pretty well in the charts in 1964. One their strongest recorded vocal performances is the single "I Love You, Yes I Do", which could easily be mistaken for a Beatles song from the "Please, Mr. Postman" era.

The group were supposedly also a fine live-band which the track "Long Tall Sally" seems to confirm. Like many other Liverpool bands they were not able to maintain their popularity and they disbanded in early 1966. The two lead-singers Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley reunited in the duo "The Merseys" and they recorded a string of uneven singles through 1966-68. Only the first, "Sorrow", lived up to their early fine moments.

This CD is really nice listening and their music does not sound out-dated like that of many of their contemporaries like "The Swinging Blue Jeans" or "The Dave Clark Five".

Besides the outstanding "I Love You, Yes I Do", songs like "Milkman", "Really Mystified", "Last Night", "See Me Back" and the Elvis Costello covered "I Stand Accused" stand out, but with a few exceptions this is an overall very consistent collection.
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on 18 January 2005
'The Very Best of The Merseybeats' is the very best CD in my collection. I say this with hand-on-heart, crossing which, I hope to die if I lie!

Not that I'm much of a CD collector, if I'm honest about it- more of superannuated, dyed-in-the-wool, fusty-dusty vinyl freak. Hey, and a 45 rpm 7" vinyl singles freak while we're about it, please. I love 'em - and I love this Meseybeats CD just as much.

Talk about money well spent! What an absolute humdinger of a collection this is! With the sole (soul?!) exception of 'Sorrow', a truly regrettable omission, let it be said. Okay, this McCoys' cover was released by The Merseys, if we're gonna be pedantic about it. But with this single understandable exception (hurriedly rectified, I might add, via my 3, 000 strong singles collection) 'The Very Best of The Merseybeats' is the definitive Merseybeats' collection with knobs on.

Yep, all their hits are here, every one of them as far as I can see. It ain't nothing but a 20 track cornucopia of a Merseybeats singles fest on stilts, of which my personal high notes are the classic 'Mr Moonlight'( originally the B-side of 'I Think of You' - some B-side! - and a rendition infinitely superior The Beatles' effort), and the unfairly underated 'I Stand Accused' and 'Last Night I Made a Little Girl Cry'. (Though it postdates it by a calendar year, I always imagine 'Last Night' to be a prequel to The Beatles' 'She Loves You'.)

With a repertoire outstripping that of The Animals (name me four Animals' singles without looking them up) - and, quite possibly, The Byrds, The Merseybeats lacked (luckily for me, a fan of long-standing) the compositional skills of The Beatles and their continuity of line-up. Billy Kinsley and Johnny Gustafson came and went at will, it seems to me; Aaron Williams gave up altogether from the mid-Sixties on - and barring 'Really Mystified' and 'See Me Back', I can't really say I'm overly keen on any track with a Tony Crane/Johny Gustafson credit. On the other hand, it is these perceived professional shortcomings I really cherish. Because this is precisely what keeps The Merseybeats (and myself by affiliation) ever Sixties-based and (in my mind's eye: okay, a pig's!) eternally young.

Because for me, and for the reasons already given, The Merseybeats will ever retain that quintessential tang and twang that so distinguished the beat music of the early to mid- Sixties. Consequently, whenever I tune into Tony Crane's distinctively nasal tones backed by Billy Kinsley's and/or Johnny Gustafson's quasi-percussive guitars, I am back again in Bernard Manning's World Famous Embassy Club (circa 1965) where The Merseybeats look and sound just as they always did . . . Hey, and me too, if you don't mind: full head of hair, girl on my arm ('the' girl c. 1965), pint of Tetley's bitter and a Senior Service cigarette on the go, nobbut 9 stone 10 pounds clad in a three-piece suit, winklepickers and overcoat, boozed up on a (hic')'nother Saturday night.

Happy days, eh? You just bet your black velvet collar and Italian bum freezer jacket, they were! Correction: ARE - whenever I slot this Very Best of the Merseybeats' CD back into play mode with the volume at top whack!
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on 18 November 2006
At one time in about 1960 the Mersybeats were named as Liverpool's top group-the Beatles were yet to be rated.Brian Epstein wanted to manage them in 1962 but they declined.Whether that would have made any difference should they have agreed the fact is the Merseybeats completely missed the boat with the British Invasion of 1964-which is rather strange considering the quality of the records which had charted in the UK.
First off was a cover of the Shirelles' Its love that really counts-a Bacharach song from the same mould as Baby its you-which was on the first Beatles album.
Next came a pair of songs written by Peter Lee Stirling,himself a failed singer but I think of you and Don't turn around were excellent.
It must have really galled on the Mersybeats however when Dusty Springfield had the American hit on Wishin'& Hopin'-the band had found the song first on the B side of a Dionne Warwick single but it was a hit only in the U K.
That was about the peak until the splinter act the Merseys in the mid 60s who charted with a McCoys cover called Sorrow.
Morphing into the Liverpool Express in the 70s via Billy Kinsley the fact is the Mersybeats still live as various members are part of the Class Of 64-a consortium who have issued CDs and tapes on a label called Holly.These are not on sale at Amazon and sometimes turn up at Beatles conventions
In the 70s came the Liverpool Express with at least one Merseybeat as a member and in the 80s Rocking Horse.
The Merseybeats today are really a case of whoever turns up and more details are on the website
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on 29 May 2004
Yeah.. great, competant band. Must be, with ole' Johnny G.
Worth the admission price just for Milkman.. that lovely chord-ey sort of sound. Tasty drummin' ... right on the button, too.
I suppose the image was a teensy bit naff... but then one had to eat etc.Nonetheless, good recording and a bargain price to boot.
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on 12 January 2012
Wanted this album just for "Fortune Teller" really, think it was originally released as 'B side' (never stopped playing it on juke boxes) on 'Think of You', long time ago as I was in my teens. But all songs are brilliant! Seen them three times, twice in Derby and at Loughborough Town Hall where my brother was the drummer in a supporting band on the same night, very underated group (Mersybeats that is). Another wierd story an old school mate of mine from Belper Parks School also became a drummer who copied Johnny Banks' style to a tee, which was unique as he sat well back on his stool, well - what happened was as I remember Johnny Banks took ill and my mate took his place in the Merseybeats as a stand-in or full time I can't remember - but it happened! You won't be disappointed with this superb harmonising rock band and some of the best drumming you've ever heard!
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on 24 November 2013
I am VERY in to 60's music again after all these years!!
If you were there in the 60's as i was then you cant remember it but this is an album that transports you back there though!!!
I was a child then but I am a grown woman now and can enjoy this 20 track CD......They only had 7 pops at the the Top40.
All 7 are here....Its Love that really counts....No24 1963
I think of you (their biggest) No5 1964
Dont turn around...No13 1964
Wishin'' and hopin' No13 1964
Last Night...No40 1964
I love you yes I do....No 22 1965
I stand accused.....No 38 1966
All fab tracks and if I had to have a fav..." it would take a long long time" would be it. All fab tracks indeed. Fab band ( as all Liverpool groups we) BUY IT its fab as I said AND the added bonus was that they are ATILL Together xx
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on 27 August 2015
Enjoying this CD, it's good to sing a long to the oldies and good to listen to ones I've not heard of before. I am building up a huge 60's collection as this is by far my favourite era and this CD certainly deserves to me in it.
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The 'Merseybeats' formed back in 1961 originally calling themselves 'The Pacific's' founder members 'Tony Crane'
and 'Billy Kinsley' remain key members of the 60's outfit are indeed performing still.
The Group emerged as performers at the 'Cavern' along with the likes of 'The Beatles' and 'Gerry And the Pacemakers'
and came to the fore during the Mersey and Group revolution of the early 60's.
Obviously as history shows, the competition for chart recognition was fierce and not all quality outfits lasted the course.
The Groups Chart Success was moderate between 1963-6 funnily enough, one of my all-time favourite 60's tracks was
the groups 'I Think Of You' (Chart '5' 1964) which was in fact their highest ever chart success though they did have a few
hits that many pop-fans of the 60's era will surely remember such as 'Don't Turn Around' (Chart '13' 1964) and 'Wishin' And
Hopin' (Chart '13' also 1964) they did have three or four lower order chart-entries, but never quite hit the high-spots.
They were a quality outfit that perhaps didn't get the recognition they deserved.....all of the groups Top 50 numbers can be
found among the track-list on this release.....a must for fans of the swinging 60's scene.
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