EMI Plus' budget-priced The Story series presents straightforward, no-frills compilations of major rock artists with catalogs in the EMI vaults, accompanied by CD-ROMs containing brief biographical information (in English, Dutch, French, and Spanish), discographies consisting of album titles and dates of release, and a photo gallery. The organization of the compilations tends to be simple, and that of the Gerry and the Pacemakers volume is no exception. The album consists of the group's first ten singles, each A-side followed by its B-side, as released on EMI's Columbia subsidiary (no relation to the U.S. Columbia label) from early 1963 to early 1966, in order. The first nine of those A-sides reached the British charts, with the first three -- "How Do You Do It?," "I Like It," and "You'll Never Walk Alone" -- all hitting number one, and three others -- "I'm the One," "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying," and "Ferry Across the Mersey" -- reaching the Top Ten. In the U.S., where the group's recordings were released originally on Laurie Records, the tracks were not issued in exactly the same way, and this selection misses the American chart entries "Give All Your Love to Me" (which was not released in the U.K.) and the Top 40 hit "Girl on a Swing" (released after the material included here). The use of the many B-sides gives a greater sense of the Pacemakers, especially Gerry Marsden, as writers, since they frequently wrote the songs on their singles while they filled up their albums with covers of rock & roll standards. So, there may be some discoveries here for Gerry and the Pacemakers fans familiar only with their big hits.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann