Three Top Five hits, including the million-seller "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," a remake of the song that hit twice in 1957 for the Diamonds and the Rays, Bob Crewe's "Silhouettes," and the lead-off track "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" propel this album into rock history. Mickey Most's tremendous production of Peter Noone, the near country of "Traveling Light," the cover of Skeeter Davis' "The End of the World" -- her number two hit from 1963 -- and Barry Mann's wonderful "I'll Never Dance Again" all make for a highly listenable album created in a day when albums were secondary to hits. The genius of Mickey Most is that he packs the punch into all these songs in a solitary moment -- every one of them clocks in at three minutes and under. "Silhouettes" is three seconds shy of two minutes, "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" an amazingly succinct one minute and 49 seconds. These are short little pop blasts -- you could really fit the 26 minutes on one side of a long-player -- and the young Peter Noone brings each melody home. His instincts are obvious, while the partnership of Noone and producer Most finds them very serious about their art. If the band was geared toward the teen market for the time, history has proven the validity of Herman's Hermits as a musical entity. Peter Noone tours relentlessly, performing each hit as if it was his first time in the studio with the song. 10CC's Graham Gouldman finds his "For Your Love" included here, prior to the Yardbirds hitting with it this same year. On other albums Herman's Hermits also performed Gouldman's "Listen People," "No Milk Today," and "East West," all charting for Noone's group, as well as "Bus Stop," which was a hit for the Hollies in 1966. That's certainly a hip legacy; add to that the fact that one of the original girl groups, Goldie & the Gingerbreads featuring Genya Ravan (her birth name is Goldie) had a hit in Britain with "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" only because their manager found it on Mickey Most's desk and, according to Noone, absconded with it prior to the Hermits recording, well, covert operations in the early days of the British Invasion makes for good copy. "Henry VIII" managed to get into the classic Ghost film with Patrick Swayze using it to drive Whoopi Goldberg crazy. In concert in the year 2000 and beyond, Noone's fans can't get enough of him repeating the second verse. It's the same as the first, and this album is precious pop by a vital artist.
AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione