For years I thought I wasn't a fan of The Searchers. Sure, their hits were great. "When You Walk In The Room," "Don't Throw Your Love Away," "Needles & Pins-UH."All great. But then there were the covers---"I Count The Tears," "Sweets For My Sweet," "Four Strong Winds," "Sea Of Heartbreak." Meh. Unlike, say...The Hollies, whose catalogue, especially the Clarke-Nash-Hicks years, went deep, I thought The Searchers were more of a "three and out" band.
Then, I heard "Popcorn Double Feature" from the recently released, destined for the hall of fame boxed set "Come Join My Orchestra" and I was gobsmacked, as they say. It sounded nothing like The Searchers I knew. I wanted more of these Searchers not those Searchers. So I decided to go deep and picked up a collection called "The Searchers Play The System," which features b-sides and rarities and even a cover or two. Just about every track is terrific. Not everything strays far from the safe British pop of the era, but what does blew my little mind.
Their very last single for the Pye label, "Second Hand Dealer," is up top. This is only three years after "Don't Throw Your Love Away." Another gem is "Umbrella Man," which is their first single for Liberty in 1968 and borders the psychedelic.
Even their cover of The Five Americans "Western Union" seems to have a bit more electricity than the original.
I know The Searchers continued well into the 80's with two decent power pop records for Sire, but that surprises me less than what they did on the singles posted here.