George Starostin's Reviews



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Sheena D . Colvin <> (29.09.2005)

A dirty ol'punk comments upon - burp - the Searchers... "AND WHEN THE WORLD HAS ENDED GUESS I KNOW IT'S TRUE"

General stuff:

1. Awww... i (censored) love these (censored) cuz they're just - a (censored) kull buncha guys. Ehh... why? Don't ask me. I dunno.

2. Okay, let's get "serious" for a moment. Not that it's really important but it's funny to make a serious "essay" about some minor' band cuz jano major bands are not so interestin' in this aspect, there's such a lot written about them... so, let's discuss a couple of "myths".

- Myth #1. "...but unfortunately, the Searchers were sometimes far too p-r-o-f-e-s-s-i-o-n-a-l to make a song really emotional and moving" (from some other review). Yeah their claimed "professionalism" is their eternal curse, but does it really exist? Let's see.

- 1. Instrumentals. They always had good drummers (still have, to be precise). Frankly speakin', Tony Jackson wasn't any God of bass but as we all remember (do we?) he was in the band from 1960 to 1964 only, eg less than one-tenth of the band's time in this world; but after his defection, the boys hired a guy whose vocals may be hard to digest but in the domain of bass playin', he's a really "kull" one (not that he's a Mike Dirnt of any kind but his playin' is really impressive). Eh, what did i forget? ah yeah, guitars... wwell, they did have one of the best rhythm-guitarists "of all time" (at least, one of the most "hearable" and fastest ones - or the most aggressive ones, if you please; but (censored) happens and the guy decided to switch on lead - not that he's bad at that but i'm against such things, really) but their lead guitar was nothin' of that special in many cases (sorry Mike).

- 2. Vocals. Here, the boys won't get that many points. Starting from the end... Spencer is more than Okay but as some fans say his vocal abilities are more convenient to ballad-type songs rather than rock'n'roll (i dunno but they're probly right). Chris sings pretty well, and he can not only do the vocal part properly (if his left foot doesn't argue) but also put all of his emotion into it if ja get what i mean. Tony is very accurate, too; when it cumz to hittin' notes, he's perfect, but to me, his voice lacks personality and emotion - sometimes. Frank is a very good boy with amazin' sense of humor but gee, keep him away from mics! he can wake the dead one! he'd do better writin' fairytales for children... Mike has a wide-range, light (and also ve-e-ery weak) voice, and when he's not doin' his usual "arrogant" singin', he sounds cute - even if he doesn't necessarily hit the notes. Did i forget somebody? ah... sorry, John. Just cute. The only drawback is that his lead parts can be counted on two hands' fingers...

- Myth #2. "...but blaming the Searchers for not writing their own songs is like blaming the fish for not speaking!" (from the same other review). Well they did write anyway. Not that they were very numerous; but there's enough of them for a couple of albums. A couple of DOUBLE albums. Actually, they did have a chance to make an all-original record in late 70s - but of course they didn't use that chance! And would you believe that they don't necessarily suck? Of course their songwritin' is not brilliant and in good doze pedestrian... but not as pedestrian as DC5's, at least, i mean, you don't scream Ay, that's Twist and Shout" as soon as you hear the first chords... and i don't know what is better, to be true: to re-write the same song a thousand times with different titles and a bit different lyrics or not to write at all... In any case, i truly do believe that the Searchers' best song is the one written by one of them (presumably John McNally, other possible 'candidate' is Chris Curtis but personally i doubt it). I mean "I'll be loving you", a song that was completely forgotten for some reason...


PS: some addition to the personnel changes: back in 1998, Billy Adamson ceded his drum kit to Wa... uh... Eddie Rothe (who looks twice as funny as Spencer James and thrice as funny as Billy Adamson). Whatever.

And both Tony Jackson and Chris Curtis are no longer with us. That's really a pity.

Mike Pender's band (some changes were made since 1992 but i'm not well aware): Mike Pender hs (lead vocals, guitar); Chris Black (guitar, vocals); Barry Cowell (bass, vocals); Steve Carlyle (drums, vocals). Of course i wish them all the best but i also pray for Frank/John/Billy for not giving it up after Mike's departure. It'd be a shame to have the only Searchers like MPS, really sorry ('Red ferrari' is a piece of [censored]!!!). Well, nevermind. I've heard Mike is doin' pretty fine as a solo act. Good luck to him. Whatever.


<> (06.08.2003)

I don't disagree with your review of the British Meet the Searchers LP, but the American version is a "desert island classic". It only has 5 of the same songs ("Alright", "Ain't Gonna Kiss Ya", "Farmer John", "Since You Broke My Heart" and "Tricky Dicky")--the others included on this version were "Needles and Pins", "Oh My Lover", "Ain't That Just Like Me", "Some Other Guy", "Saturday Night Out", "Cherry Stones" and closing the album, "Don't Cha Know". It rocked from beginning to end and sounded as passionate as any Beatles album. Not a single one of the wimpy R&B covers for which you dislike them. Powerful guitar rock and great drums. I thought the loss of Tony Jackson was a disaster because with Frank Allen, the group became too gentlemanly and tidy. True, Tony sang some clunkers, but not so on this album. If you ever find the American version on LP, buy it!!!


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Steve Potocin <> (02.01.2003)

First things first. 'Needles And Pins' was not originally intended for The Searchers, it was recorded by top notch singer- songwriter Jackie DeShannon, who wrote The Searchers Best song , 'When You Walk In The Room', and The Searchers after hearing her version, and smelling a hit recorded it.I had always thought that it was a 12 string on the record, but a interview with Mike Penders in the early 90s says the job was done with ,not double tracked, but simultaneous 6 strings! Whatever , Great sound! The Searchers were great singers, good musicians, but were interpreters, which stopped them cold. I don't care, this was a crackerjack Btitish invasion band, albeit a poppy one. A B+.


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