“Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.” “There’s a Kind of Hush (All Over the World).” “A Must to Avoid.” These chart hits from Herman’s Hermits have stood the test of time, but how many reading this remember the films in which those songs were featured? Upon signing to MGM Records in the U.S., Herman’s Hermits were groomed for a Hollywood film career, and why not? At the height of the group’s fame, they rivaled the Beatles for popularity, even topping them as the biggest-selling pop act in the U.S. in 1965. 1966’s Hold On! and 1968’s Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter, two of the band’s three big-screen musical comedies, have just received made-on-demand DVD release in remastered editions from Warner Archive. Alongside these releases, ABKCO will reissue on one CD the soundtracks to both films on May 17.
Herman’s Hermits burst onto the scene with their 1964 revival of “I’m Into Something Good,” a Carole King and Gerry Goffin composition originally recorded by Earl-Jean of the Cookies earlier that year. “Something Good” topped the U.K. charts and placed a respectable No. 13 in the U.S. It launched a successful series of singles on both sides of the Atlantic revealing the British Invasion in full swing: “Silhouettes,” “I’m Henry the VIII , I Am,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” “Listen, People,” “Dandy” and of course, “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.” Led by Peter Noone (or Herman), the band boasted the considerable talents of Keith Hopwood, Derek Leckenby, Karl Green and Barry Whitwam. While session players including John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page contributed to the Hermits’ records, producer Mickie Most has confirmed that the band played on many of their own most successful recordings. All told, they scored eleven Top 10 hits between 1964 and 1967.
Hit the jump to go back to 1966 when The British Invasion infiltrated Hollywood, U.S.A.!
Hold On! brought together two of America’s favorite things circa 1966: the music of Herman’s Hermits and the space race! In the film, NASA wishes to name a rocket after them so a nerdy scientist (played by Herbert Anderson) is sent to shadow them on tour to determine whether they are “rocket worthy.” The usual zany complications ensue, including run-ins with crazed teenagers and the police! Bernard Fox, Dr. Bombay on TV’s Bewitched, plays a fictionalized version of band manager/producer Mickie Most. Bolstering the silly plot is a strong line-up of songs performed by the band and co-star Shelley Fabares. P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri contributed the title song as well as the Top 10 hit “A Must to Avoid,” “All The Things I Do For You Baby” and “Where Were You When I Needed You” (better known in the Grass Roots’ version). Also featured is “Leaning on a Lamp Post,” the band’s successful reworking of Noel Gay’s song. Fred Karger and his writing partners wrote the rest of the original score, including Shelley Fabares’ “Make Me Happy.”
1968’s Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter found the group far-removed from outer space, in the world of dog racing! Yes, Mrs. Brown is a greyhound, and Herman and the gang are eager to race her. How to raise the money for the entry fees? How about playing some concerts? Then Herman meets a human Mrs. Brown, who happens to have (you guessed it!) a lovely daughter. Will Herman find true love at last? Mrs. Brown is another lavish, splashy musical, and famed British comedian Stanley Holloway (best known as Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady, both onstage and onscreen) makes an appearance. The movie reprised some Herman’s favorites including the title song and “There’s a Kind of Hush”, covered to further success by the Carpenters. Graham Gouldman, later of 10cc, contributed four songs to the soundtrack including the group’s ode to hometown Manchester, “It’s Nice to Be Out in the Morning.” Band members co-wrote “Searching for the Southern Sun” with Karl Green, not Peter Noone, on lead vocals. “Wings of Love” hints at a more psychedelic direction, and both parts of “Daisy Chain” are instrumentals in a style uncommon to the group.
ABKCO’s two-on-one CD, Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter/Hold On!, hits stores on May 17. You’ll find a pre-order link and track listing below!
Original Soundtrack Recordings, Herman’s Hermits, Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter/Hold On! (ABKCO, 2011)
- It’s Nice to Be Out in the Morning
- Holiday Inn
- Ooh, She’s Done It Again
- There’s a Kind of Hush (All Over the World)
- Lemon and Lime
- The Most Beautiful Thing in My Life
- Daisy Chain (Part I)
- Daisy Chain (Part II)
- The World Is For The Young
- Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter
- Hold On!
- The George and Dragon
- Got a Feeling
- Wild Love
- Leaning on the Lamp Post
- Where Were You When I Needed You
- All The Things I Do For You Baby
- Gotta Get Away
- Make Me Happy
- A Must to Avoid
Tracks 1-10 from Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter, MGM LP SE-4548, 1968
Tracks 11-20 from Hold On!, MGM LP SE-4342, 1966