The British Invasion brought a massive inflow of great music to US shores with bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones gaining worldwide acceptance and immense wealth as a byproduct. But The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were by far not the only ones to ride that steady stream of greats. There were many bands that filtered in through different appeal.
Peter Noone and his Herman's Hermits were one of the big Top 40 producers in every market with classic tunes like "Mrs Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter", "There's a Kind of Hush", and "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am" among many other inclusions. The shame of it was that this Top 40 British export didn't carry the weight that The Kinks and their other more famous cousins did but they did hold sway with radio perfect, completely hummable, and a very memorable stack of 45s. Anyone who listened to radio in the 60s knows "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am"...anyone. Unless, of course, your mother barred you from listening to the demon rock n roll.
Regardless, Noone's outfit produced enough singles to fill a Retrospective to the gills. Abkco's 26 song Retrospective is a gift in that they are presented in DSD clarity. And that's where we get all happy, us admitting Herman's Hermits fans (c'mon, you too). For those of us who have elected to derive the best that technology can deliver via great SA-CD and DVD-Audio issues, we get to take advantage of classics that we love thanks to Abkco's aggressive push into the realm of hi-res music. Each song, whether in Mono or Stereo, is delivered with warm audio clarity. This set was mastered by the always extraordinary Bob Ludwig so you're assured great loving care was put into the attempt to extract all that the tapes could yield. The DSD engineering was at the hands of Gus Skinas, again a stamp of excellence.
This collection contains 26 songs of which 24 are presented in Mono. The 2 tracks lucky enough to get the Stereo treatment are "It's Nice to be Out in the Morning", and "Museum." But all the tracks sound exquisite and make this collection one for the player. This CD has a hybrid layer that allows you to transport to the car or your walkman. This is an especially advantageous purchase even if you don't have an SA-CD player. The reason is that when you do get around to purchasing a hi-res player, you'll have this disc in store to get a new punch from as you re-discover the fun that was Herman's Hermits.
This anthology is housed in a digipak with a glued on the inside booklet. The booklet has 19 pages of liner notes and history. With so much Herman's Hermits goodness on a single disc, SA-CD, fully transportable, and crammed with everything needed to make you a HH expert, the value is all here. Fans are gonna love this one.