The first ten cuts on this 20-song CD were recorded by Mike Pender's Searchers, the breakaway group that the co-founder guitarist formed in the mid-1980s (the other ten are by the reconsituted Gerry & the Pacemakers). The Searchers never became a slavish "oldies" act, and this version of the group does an astonishingly good job, capturing the key textural elements of the originals on "Sweets for My Sweet," "Take It or Leave It," "When You Walk in the Room," "Don't Throw Your Love Away," "Someday We're Gonna Love Again" and "Needles and Pins," but adding a credible mix of soul (in a white, '60s Liverpool vein) and passion in the singing. Indeed, these and other key parts of the band's repertory are sung with beguiling freshness, and the playing is tight, hard, and precise -- the bass work on "Take Me for What I'm Worth" is practically worth the cost of this budget-priced disc, and "What Have They Done to the Rain" is actually improved over the original, its tempo slowed down ever so slightly. The quality of the performances is, overall, better than one has any right to expect of a group now coming up on its 40th year in business. The Gerry & the Pacemakers songs are less interesting (see separate entry).
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder