At one minute and fifty-six seconds, the Steve Barri /P.F.Sloan composition "A Must to Avoid" is a quick and wonderful taunt about a teaser, a "complete impossibility." From the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film Hold On, this is further Americanization of the British Invasion. The group's first hit in 1964, "I'm Into Something Good", was written by Brill Building legends Carole King and Gerry Goffin. "A Must To Avoid" is penned by songsmiths who picked up where the Brill Building left off, The Grass Roots' team of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan. As Herman's Hermits opened the door to different Top 40 styles, rarely getting the credit, once again Peter Noone is the pioneer. On the soundtrack album he gives the world an original version of "Where Were You When I Needed You", the Grass Roots not hitting until July of that year, and with this single a form that would inspire a television phenomenon. Listen to the guitars riffing on "A Must To Avoid", a Top 10 hit in January of 1966, and then listen to the #1 smash by The Monkees in September of that same year. "Last Train To Clarksville" is just a reinvention of this material and the image that brought it to the masses, taking the idea in a film and bringing it to television. "A Must To Avoid" is another unique tune in the diverse Herman's Hermits catalog, a group who, along with Tommy James & The Shondells, brought ideas to the table that others modeled their careers on. That Tommy James and Peter Noone garnered just about the same amount of hits (James had 17 plus 2 he authored for other groups, Peter a total of 18) is rather interesting. The bouncy jangly sound borrows a bit of rhythm from Van Morrison's "Gloria" without going into detail on why you'll be "trapped in the web of her lies." Where "Gloria"
made Van "feel all right", "A Must To Avoid" leaves the deceptions to your