Top positive review
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Stand-up geezer and underrated singer
on 3 September 2006
When John Lennon described Gerry Marsden as the northern equivalent of Joe Brown, he had it just about right. Gerry was (and is) Liverpool's local lad and stand-up geezer, even more than Lennon himself. This excellent compilation also reminds us that he is a remarkably good singer and the Pacemakers remarkably good musicians.
Unusually, the group featured a pianist, and an excellent one at that, Les Maguire.
Gerry's decision to ignore advice and release a version of Rogers and Hamerstein's You'll Never Walk Alone shows his instinctive understanding of his audience. It became one of his best known songs.
Gerry & The Pacemakers were an early manifestation of the British groups of the sixties and, like most, found their inspiration in the Skiffle of Lonnie Donegan and others. They enjoyed phenomenal early success, which did not last because they failed to progress and innovate. They stayed firmly rooted in the American popular tradition, with smooth melodies and unadventurous lyrics. They remain an essential, and now underrated, major sixties band. Give them a listen.
You'll find a few compilations on the market, but this is definitely the one to go for. It contains all the essentials and offers the most tracks per pound.