Gregory Phillips / Tommy Quickly / The Remo Four / Johnny Sandon

The Best of Tommy Quickly, Johnny Sandon, Gregory Phillips & The Remo Four

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A rather peculiar single-disc, 30-track compilation that's worthwhile for Merseybeat fanatics, picking up some odds and ends that have rarely or never been reissued. It's divided between efforts by Tommy Quickly, Johnny Sandon, Gregory Phillips, and the Remo Four, none of them exactly household names, even in Liverpool; the link between them is that the Remo Four recorded with all of these singers (although they don't appear on every single cut). Tommy Quickly has the first 12 selections (comprising his entire recorded output), coming off like an even more pop-oriented version of Gerry & the Pacemakers, with less distinguished material. He's most remembered for recording an obscure Lennon-McCartney tune, "Tip of My Tongue," that the Beatles never released; that oddity is here, the other highlight being the catchy-as-hell Merseybeat bouncer "Kiss Me Now." Johnny Sandon (with eight tracks) had fronted the Searchers in their early days, although he and they went their separate ways before the Searchers recorded. He doesn't have much of a vocal personality, but "Lies" is a good, prototypical Merseybeat raver; its B-side, a cover of Ben E. King's "On the Horizon," is interesting for its early (1963) use of a volume pedal on the guitar, well in advance of the Beatles' use of the same device for "Yes It Is." The Remo Four offer competent, not especially striking British rock circa 1964, highlighted by their fairly gutsy cover of "Peter Gunn." Gregory Phillips' six cuts are the British Invasion at its most saccharine, though the tunes offer an embarrassingly bouncy guilty pleasure. The most notable of these songs, by far, is his not-bad cover of the Beatles' "Don't Bother Me," with its creepy organ, backup horns, and unexpected key change near the end; collectors will want this, because it was the first-ever cover of a George Harrison composition.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
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blue highlight denotes track pick