Bear Family Records is into something good!
On March 27, the reissue specialists will unveil The Best of Herman’s Hermits: The 50th Anniversary Anthology, a two-CD, 66-song collection including all of the band’s classic hit records plus demos, B-sides, rarities and a 140-page (!) booklet. For this set which totals almost three hours of music, a whopping 56 tracks are promised to appear for the very first time in true stereo mixes.
Herman’s Hermits burst onto the pop 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 which revealed 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, Herman and his Hermits scored eleven U.S. Top 10 hits between 1964 and 1967 and 30 international hits.
All songs appear here in true stereo for the first time ever, with the exception of the following eight (which have previously been released in poor stereo sound): "A Must To Avoid," "There's a Kind of Hush," "Museum," "Upstairs, Downstairs," "Busy Line," "Green Street Green," "Don't Go Out Into the Rain" and "Mum and Dad."
Bear Family’s new collection looks to complement previous comprehensive releases for the band including Into Something Good: The Mickie Most Years 1964-1972, a now-out-of-print 4-CD collection of (mostly) everything the band recorded in one mix or another; and ABKCO’s 2004 Retrospective (also released on hybrid stereo SACD) with a choice sampling of 26 tracks. The Best of Herman’s Hermits has been produced and compiled for Bear Family by Grammy-nominated producer Ron Furmanek, with new liner notes by Andrew Sandoval, who has done so much wonderful work for the catalogues of The Monkees and The Kinks, among others. Mark Mathews has remastered all tracks. The collection is housed in a six-plate digipak and promises “hundreds of rare sleeves, labels and groovy pictures” in the booklet. Peter Noone, who still tours today as Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone, provides the collection’s foreword.
Amazon links aren’t yet available for this deluxe anthology which is due on March 27 from Bear Family. Longtime fans should appreciate the cover, based on the original 1965 LP The Best of Herman's Hermits! In the meantime, you can pre-order directly from Bear Family at the link below.
Herman's Hermits, The Best of Herman’s Hermits: The 50th Anniversary Anthology (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.) (Bear Family, 2015)
- Only Last Night (Feb 1964 Demo)
- I’m Into Something Good
- Mrs. Brown You’ve Got A Lovely Daughter
- Kansas City Loving
- Sea Cruise
- Walkin’ With My Angel
- Show Me Girl
- I Understand (Just How You Feel)
- Your Hand In Mine
- Thinkin' Of You
- Wonderful World
- Just A Little Bit Better
- Hold On!
- Leaning On The Lamp Post
- A Must To Avoid
- My Reservation’s Been Confirmed
- The Story Of My Life
- There’s A Kind Of Hush
- Saturday's Child
- If You’re Thinkin' What I’m Thinkin'
- You Won’t Be Leaving
- No Milk Today
- Little Miss Sorrow, Child Of Tomorrow
- Gaslite Street
- East West
- What Is Right What Is Wrong
- Mum & Dad
- My Sentimental Friend
- Years May Come, Years May Go
- Thinkin' Of You (Feb 1964 Demo)
- Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat
- I’m Henry VIII, I Am
- The End Of The World
- For Your Love
- I Gotta Dream On
- Don’t Try To Hurt Me
- I’ll Never Dance Again
- Tell Me Baby
- Listen People
- Bus Stop
- Little Boy Sad
- This Door Swings Both Ways
- Upstairs Downstairs
- Busy Line
- Moonshine Man
- Green Street Green
- Don’t Go Out Into The Rain (You’re Gonna Melt)
- I Call Out Her Name
- The London Look
- The Colder It Gets
- A Year Ago Today
- I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving
- Sleepy Joe
- Just One Girl
- Sunshine Girl
- Something's Happening
- Here Comes The Star
- It’s Alright Now
- Smile Please
- Bet Yer Life I Do
Phil Cohen says
I'm amazed that they found the group's multitrack tapes. In the early 1990's when I visited EMI at their old Manchester Square headquarters in London, an EMI executive told me that when EMI bought Mickie Most's "Rak Productions" that they didn't get many multi tracks, and that Most typically abandoned the multi tracks after finalizing the mono mixes, then, years later, the studios disposed of those tapes. The subsequent discovery of multitracks for the albums "The Yardbirds-Little Games" & "Donovan-Sunshine Superman" proves that Most's multitracks weren't disposed of after all. I wonder if the multitracks for "The Animals" still exist, or if the Herman's Hermits tapes contain any unreleased songs or alternate takes that could be used on future projects. All of EMI's British recordings(except The Beatles & The "Virgin" label) were purchased in 2013 by Warner Music, however ABKCO still retains their perpetual U.S.A. license for "Herman's Hermits" & "The Animals". Ditto for Epic's perpetual U.S.A. license on Mickie Most's productions for Donovan & Jeff Beck.
I'm slightly concerned over Bear Family's attempts to produce a set with an 86 minute per disc playing time. I ordered the set. I hope that at least one of my numerous CD players can play the discs. I had previously believed that CD's maximum capacity was 81 minutes...until Universal's Japanese affiliate produced a platinum SHM-CD by the group "Cream" with an 83 minute running time. I only encountered that disc via an unofficial download, and sound quality towards the end of the disc was normal and fine.
Victor Dang says
Yes, quite amazing isn't it? Speaking of the Animals, my one hope is that they do a similar box for the Animals next, with ALL possible tracks in stereo.
John Collins says
What a beautifully designed cover. The lay-out and the colours. I do appreciate a well-designed cover.
Agreed. Maybe that's because it's a revival of the '65 LP cover, as the article mentions.
I am surprised that Bear Family is getting into "British Invasion" material. But, unlike others above, I am very disappointed in Bear Family's preference for stereo on many of their sets. In this era, and earlier, I firmly believe that nearly all mono mixes are superior to the stereo mixes. On many country boxsets from the late 50's and early 60's, BF puts out the stereo, when the far better mono mixes still have not made it to CD
Phil Cohen says
Your beloved mono mixes are not being taken away from you. They are easily available elsewhere on many CD compilations(ABKCO, EMI, Repertoire). The "Bear Family" 2-CD set is an attempt to bring people something different...and never before heard. How do you know that these stereo mixes won't sound good. 56 of them have yet to be heard. Ron Furmanek has done excellent stereo mixes on other 1960's British groups.
I'm really talking about Bear Family's tendency to use stereo on many vintage country boxsets (if they can get it), when the mono was so superior, and never otherwise reissued on CD
the stereo mixes literally beat the pants off the mono deadened sound. The sq is tremendous.
Phil Cohen says
Let's hope that this will be the first of many "Bear Family" collections by formerly EMI 1960's artists. All of EMI's British recordings(except The Beatles & The "Virgin" label) are now owned by Warner Music, who licensed these Herman's Hermits recordings to "Bear Family".
During the final years of EMI's existence, they released a series of 4-CD & 6-CD sets by 1960's British artists. Some were superb, while others were plagued by mastering issues that EMI, already in bad shape, could not afford to correct(I.E. by replacing faulty discs for consumers). I'm convinced that "Bear Family" could create superior editions of these boxed sets, especially with Mr.Furmanek & Mr.Sandoval on board. With the recordings changing possession(from EMI to Warner Music), it is a fresh chance to take a look through the tapes. Perhaps some things previously thought to be lost will be found.
I only have a few "Bear Family" releases in my collection, including the Deluxe boxed set edition of "Beatles Bop"(the Beatles with Tony Sheridan recordings) and two various artists "1000 Nadelstiche" sets(British & American artists singing their hits in German). These were all superb collections.
A excellent collection worth getting & reviewed it on Amazon as well.
kregg cain says
I have been waiting for this for years. I love the versions that have a longer fadeout. I have been trying for years to find longer fade on no milk today and now i have it and more. Great job on these songs. Hope theres more to come. Anything more from L.P. Both sides of hermans hermits? I really like that one.
kregg cain says
I wanted to add that if you could get ahold of these songs it would be the iceing on the cake. HQ stereo- wings of love from vol.3. L'autre jour ,the futrue mrs. 'Awkins,my old dutch, dial my number, two loveley black eyes from both sides of hermans hermits. Again great job!