This Essex, England-based beat group of the late 60s originally operated under the title Johnny Milton And The Condors, although they did not record as such. Comprising Mick Clarke (b. 10 August 1946, Grimsby, Humberside, England; bass/vocals), Clive Graham (drums), Johnny Milton (vocals) and Rikki Smith (lead guitar), they made their debut as the Symbols in 1965 with a single, ‘One Fine Girl’, for Columbia Records, which was produced by Mickie Most. However, they experienced several line-up shuffles during their four-year existence, with Joe Baccini (bass), Sean Corrigan (guitar) and Chris (Chas) Wade (drums) also playing with the group at various times. After a cover version of ‘Why Do Fools Fall In Love’ failed to procure mainstream success, the group switched to President Records in 1966. The best of the seven singles they recorded between then and 1968 was a cover of the Ronettes’ ‘Best Part Of Breaking Up’, which became their second chart hit at number 25 in January 1968. They had first reached the charts a year previously with ‘Bye Bye Baby’, this time a cover version of a Four Seasons song. Both boasted the group’s distinctive close harmony sound, but any impetus they gained from the success of these singles was not carried forward to their sole album, which members of the group publicly disowned in the press. After the group’s dissolution, Clarke joined the Rubettes. Wade and Milton played with the pub-rock band JJ Foote during the mid-70s.
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