The Searchers

The Greatest Hits Collection

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Among its 20 tracks, this Australian compilation contains all 12 of the Searchers' U.K. Top 40 hits and all seven of their U.S. Top 40 hits, which in some cases are not the same songs. For example, the group's debut British single, the chart-topping "Sweets for My Sweet," never charted in America, while their biggest U.S. hit, "Love Potion Number Nine," was not released as a single in the U.K. But they scored in both countries with hits like "Needles and Pins," "Don't Throw Your Love Away," "Some Day We're Gonna Love Again," "When You Walk in the Room," and "What Have They Done to the Rain" in 1964-1965, at first challenging the Beatles for popularity, at least at home, while eventually serving as a bridge from Merseybeat to folk-rock across the Atlantic. (It's hard to listen to the lilting harmonies and chiming guitars without reflecting on their profound influence on the Byrds.) By 1966, they were struggling to chart, probably because they never developed their own songwriting and had to depend on other people's material. But their performances here of P.F. Sloan's "Take Me for What I'm Worth," the Rolling Stones' "Take It or Leave It," and the Five Americans' "Western Union" demonstrate their interpretive abilities. This compilation is as good as any out there, and it may be obtainable domestically as an inexpensive import.

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