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Reviewed by - George Bennett

The Searchers
The Collection
Album -
If you're a fan of the 60's British Invasion, or you just like simple, and simply wonderful, harmony-laced pop, good news abounds!  Our esteemed editor Matt Rowe recently reviewed the new Animals' and Herman's Hermits' Retrospectives on SACD (see Archives), I have a great DVD-A of The Very Best of The Marmalade, and The Zombies 'Greatest Hits' (Audio Fidelity #AFZ001) on SACD, as well as this new SACD, again from the fine folks at Audio Fidelity (#AFZ018), entitled The Searchers 'The Collection'.  In SACD Hybrid stereo, the news is nothing but great!  This Searchers’ disc, as well as The Zombies disc, sounds as if they were recorded yesterday!  Absolutely stunning fidelity!  No surround sound, but I'll easily settle for material this old sounding as wonderful as it does here.  Kudos to Audio Fidelity!

None of the above mentioned bands are as well known as The Beatles and The Stones...they kinda rode in on the second wave of the British Invasion, along with the likes of The Kinks, The Dave Clark 5, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Hollies, Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, Chad and Jeremy, Peter and Gordon, etc...(Hell, I love this stuff so much, I even have two CDs by one-hit-wonders [here in the States - much bigger across the pond] Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mitch and Tich and their great single "Hold Tight".  If you remember this one, you are as much a 60's music fanatic and anglophile as I...please email me!)

The Searchers deserve a place in the pop-rock pantheon if for no other reason than their wonderful "Needles and Pins" hit single, contained herein (and, believe it or not, written by Sonny Bono of Sonny and Cher fame.  So, no matter what you thought of dear, departed Sonny, this oughtta up his cool quotient for ya!).  For those of you in the know, you can really hear the infamous kick-drum pedal squeak in this crystal-clear DSD stereo mix.  Another Searchers hit included here is their ubiquitous cover of "Love Potion #9".  There are 17 songs in all on this delightful disc, and among other hits and well-knowns (and must-haves) are "Sugar and Spice", "Don't Throw Your Love Away", "Ain't That Just Like Me", "When You Walk in the Room", "What Have They Done to the Rain", "Take It or Leave It", and "Goodbye My Love".  And the rest of the tunes are no slackers.  There's not a clinker in the lot.

The Searchers 'The Collection' reminds us of a simpler time, of innocence lost long years ago, when everything seemed possible.  I sincerely hope that Audio Fidelity pursues more of these lesser known Brit Invasion bands and puts 'em out in their stellar SACD Hybrid stereo mix.  For a mid-line price, you get memories brought out of the fog of time, rendered crystal clear in DSD stereo (or, if you're not that old, you get some truly great Brit-pop that will warm the cockles of your innocent little ol' heart).  Gawd, I do love it so!  Buy this one, if only to hear how grand it used to be.  There's been alot of great music in the last 40 years, and some of it is right here.  Very Highly recommended! 

Release Date: January 20, 2004
Tracks: 17 - Time: N/A
Produced by: N/A
Format: SA-CD

Track Listing:

Love Potion Number Nine / I Pretend I'm With You / Sugar and Spice / Needles and Pins / It's In Her Kiss / Don't Throw Your Love Away / Ain't That Just Like Me / Sweets For My Sweet / Unhappy Girls / When You Walk Into the Room / This Empty Place / Someday We're Gonna Love Again / Take Me For What I'm Worth / What Have They Done to the Rain / Take It or Leave It / Goodbye My Love / Have You Ever Loved Somebody.

The Searchers:

John McNally - Guitar / Vocals
Mike Pender - Guitar / Vocals
Chris Curtis - Drums / Vocals
Tony Jackson - Bass / Vocals
Frank Allen - Bass / Vocals
John Blunt- Drums / Vocals

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