This is the CD that some of us have waited years to buy. Over the last few years pop groups such as Steps, S Club, etc have been formed by record labels, producers, song writers and managers to front their hits. Those groups have been created and moulded into "Hit Machines", they had their time in the limelight then PUBLICLY disbanded. The Dooleys were a totally different concept. They had been touring clubs and theatres for 7 years before signing to GTO Records with Ben Findon as their song writer and producer. Before their "over night chart success" their stage act had won them various "Clubland" awards and even seen them tour Russia and Eastern Europe in 1975. Their recording career had began in 1974 when they signed to Alaska Records, they recorded under former Status Quo producer John Schroeder. One of the tracks they recorded was written by Ben Findon and Geoff Wilkins called "Hands Across The Sea". It was the intention that this would be their first single, but a big blow came when they were informed that the song had been entered into that years "Song For Europe" to be sung by Olivia Newton John. A couple of years later, a couple of members realised that Findon was producing hits for Billy Ocean and set about contacting him, telling the story of their disappointment at not being able to release "Hands Across The Sea". Findon signed them to GTO and in the summer of 1977 gave them their first hit, the disco orientated "Think I'm Gonna Fall In Love With You" which just missed out on a place in the Top10. "Love Of My Life" charted towards the end of the year, reaching No9. Sadly, it then took until May 78 before their next release which had been delayed a number of times before release. Maybe by the time "Don't Take It Lying Down" had hit the shops The Dooleys were almost forgotten about. The track crawled to a peak of No60. Though by the end of that summer "A Rose Has To Die" had taken them back to the higher and more respectable area of the chart. (Reaching No11). Then came 1979, and what a year for The Dooleys. "Honey I'm Lost" took them back into the chart, but suprisingly only reached No24. At this point, there was a big change, until now, all the lead vocals on Dooleys singles had been provided by Jim Dooley. "Wanted" featured sisters Anne and Kathy on lead vocals and soared to No3 behind only The Police and Boomtown Rats in the UK chart (4th Aug). The song even out-sold the corresponding ABBA single (Does Your Mother Know). "The Chosen Few" reached No7 towards the end of the year, and by the time it left the chart they had spent 6 consecutive months within the UK Top75 singles chart with their 2 Top hits of 1979. Though sadly, as it seemed to be going so well, things on the UK market started to go wrong for the group. The 1980 singles "Love Patrol", "Body Language" and "In A Riddle" struggled chartwise. This may have been the result of GTO being purchased by Epic / Sony and the company not wishing to promote the former independent labels acts (Billy Ocean was not allowed to release his new material at the time). Despite these chart setbacks, the group made a final album for GTO in 1981 called "Secrets" with Barry Blue replacing Findon as producer. The sessions with Blue produced 3 singles "Taken At The Flood", "And I Wish" and "The Dancer", but none returned them to the chart heights they deserved. One further single was released in 1982, "Will You Or Wont You" was written and produced by Mike Myers and Bob Puzey who had assisted Ben Findon on most of the 70s hits. The track also featured Vicki Roe who had replaced Anne as vocalist alongside Kathy and Jim. The Dooleys continued to tour until 1992 with the number of family members reducing every so often. In 1979 they held the record for the most siblings on a hit single. 6 Dooleys - Jim, Anne, Kathy, Helen, John and Frank were joined by Anne's husband Bob and unrelated drummer Alan for those hits. Early in 1982, Anne and Bob left after starting a family taking youngest sister Helen with them to start a new life in South Africa. John, Frank and Alan departed in 1985 and later formed a new group called The New Dooleys. Jim and Kathy continued the group with a series of musicians until 1992. Kathy then started a solo career which included clubs and also supplying English female vocals for a troupe of Russian Ice Skaters in "Phantom Of The Opera On Ice" in the mid 90s. This CD includes their 10 UK chart hits plus 4 stageshow favourites and will soon be available as a tribute to one of the finest pop acts the UK has ever produced.
This group comprised three brothers, three sisters, the husband of one of the female Dooleys and an unrelated man. With Jim Dooley providing lead vocals, they had four hits in the British charts but their two biggest hits (Wanted, The chosen few) were with female lead vocals. Actually, despite my having a soft spot for female singers, I prefer the songs with Jim as the lead singer. Of the songs featuring female lead vocals, my favorites (Stone walls, Don't let me be the last to know) were recorded during the period when the hits featured Jim's lead vocals, but they didn't chart and may not have been released as singles.
With Jim as lead singer, the Dooleys only made the British top ten once, with Love of my life - it peaked at nine - by they came close with A rose has to die (my favorite Dooleys song) and Think I'm gonna fall in love with you (their first British hit). Two other singles with Jim as lead singer (Don't take it lying down, Honey I'm lost) gave them minor British hits during their main chart run. Following their two biggest hits (Wanted, The chosen few) , they had three further minor hits with female lead singers (Love patrol, Body language, And I wish) before disappearing from the British charts completely.
The song with the most interesting history on this compilation is Hands across the sea, which was recorded by Olivia Newton-John in 1974, along with five other songs that were voted on as possible Eurovision entries. Eventually, Long live love became the Eurovision entry (and Olivia ended up finishing fourth behind Abba) but all the other tracks appeared on Olivia's album, Long live love. The Dooleys had at one time hoped that Hands across the sea would be their debut single, but once the song had been entered for Eurovision, the plan was abandoned. Even though the Dooleys didn't have to compete with Olivia's version (which, of course, was never released as a single), the fact that the song had been submitted as a possible Eurovision entry damaged its prospects, whoever recorded it. Given that the Dooleys didn't chart for a further three years, it clearly took them a long time to find another song as good as Hands across the sea, which they eventually included on an album. Exactly why the public voted for Olivia to sing Long live love at Eurovision remains a mystery; Hands across the sea is a better song, whether sung by her or the Dooleys.
This compilation rounds up all the Dooleys hits and the best of their other recordings including all the songs that I've mentioned, but there are no liner notes. If you're into the music of the New Seekers and other similar groups, you might enjoy the music of the Dooleys.
Have been waiting for this CD for years. Have been checking with Amazon on and off and last month found what I have been dreaming of! Have had the 12"LP for near on 30 years and so having access to the CD compilation is a real treat. Now I am able to download this music for my car, onto my iPod, everywhere and it's great. Certainly worth the wait. Husband wants to sue for divorce though!!
There's very little that can be added to what everyone else has already said about this amazing group and CD!
Fourteen great Tracks - including ALL their hits (unlike many similar compilations that leave odd ones out) - including a couple of Tracks from their outstanding Album material. You will simply wish to play this CD over and over again, and it will just remind you of how great music used to be in times gone by...
Excellent well written and superbly performed pop music from a much underrated British group. I'd almost forgotten about them until I saw a video on u-tube. Wanted, Love Patrol, The Chosen Few are all catchy, fun tunes. Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know is an undiscovered gem - just perfect. Only disappointment is the omission of Will You Or Won't You, a song that would have been No1 if recorded by ABBA.
Wow this takes me back. Being of a certain age its nice to listen again to well crafted, catchy and simple honest songs, rather than some of the trash of today! The Dooleys were good singers as well which helps and played instruments unlike the current boy-band crop. If you like your music upbeat, straightforward and rewarding to listen to, this album will not disappoint.
A good "Best Of"album by The Dooleys album which contains the main hits that they had.Sadly "In A Riddle,"The Dancer","Taken At The Flood" and "Will You Or Won't You" which are excellent singles are not included here some of which could have been included here instead of the last three tracks as they were not singles.