British Invasion: Herman's Hermits - Listen People, 1964-1969
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During the mid sixties, Herman's Hermits were second only to The Beatles in terms of record sales, but the band was more than just a pop phenomenon, they crafted some of the most enjoyable music of the era. Herman's Hermits: Listen People 1964-1969 is the group's first official DVD release and features 22 complete songs filmed from 1964 to 1969 that sets the record straight on one of the most underrated bands of the sixties. Included are the classic hits 'I'm Into Something Good', 'Can't You Hear My Heartbeat', 'Wonderful World', 'Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter', 'I'm Henry VIII, I Am' and 'There's A Kind Of Hush' as well as later masterpieces 'No Milk Today', 'Listen People' and their cover of The Kinks' 'Dandy.' In between the performances, original members Peter Noone, Keith Hopwood, Karl Green and Barry Whitwam talk about the songs and tell the band's history in new interviews filmed exclusively for the DVD. The bonus features include a 24-minute concert filmed in 1966 for Australian television, a commentary track with Keith Hopwood and Karl Green and an additional 15 minutes of exclusive interviews including the band's great recollections about the 1967 Hermits/Who tour. This DVD is one of the first four releases in the British Invasion series and is sold individually or as part of the British Invasion Box set along with Gerry & The Pacemakers: It's Gonna Be All Right 1963-1965, Small Faces: All Or Nothing 1965-1968 and Dusty Springfield: Once Upon A Time 1964-1969 and an exclusive bonus disc with over 2 1/2 hours of additional content.
Reelin' In The Years Productions, has created some of the best loved and critically praised DVD series on the market today including the multi-platinum selling Definitive Motown series (Marvin Gaye, Temptations, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles), the GRAMMY-nominated American Folk Blues Festival series and the award-winning Jazz Icons series. Now, with Metropolis Studios' Voyage label, they are proud to give the deluxe treatment to one of the greatest periods ever in music--the British Invasion. Each DVD features archival full-length television performances filmed back when the artists were in their prime and at the height of their careers. Interspersed between the performances, original band members talk about each song and recount special moments in the history of the group. In addition, each performance has been transferred from the original master tape and includes best-possible video and re-mastered audio. Each DVD also includes a 24-page booklet with insightful and informative essays by noted rock historians as well as previously unseen photos and memorabilia.
"... a welcome addition to the documentation of mid-'60s music...this set is a giant leap forward from the usual fare, which has tended to be thin on footage and way too long on a short list of talking heads. Indeed, British Invasion's chief assets are the abundance and quality of its visuals and the insights and brevity of its commentaries (from artists and associates-no critics)...Two thumbs up." -- SonicBoomers.com, Gene Sculatti, March 5, 2010
"And what audio/visual treats these discs are! Meticulously researched and packaged, expertly restored and annotated and whenever possible hosted by many of the actual participants themselves, the songs and stories flow in never less than quick, LOUD frenzies so perfectly reminiscent of those once-Swinging Sixties themselves...this is one British Invasion which truly concentrates, as all such documentaries should but seldom do, on the MUSIC." -- thecelebritycafe.com, Gary Pig Gold, March 22, 2010
During the initial onslaught of the British Invasion, as The Beatles and The Dave Clark Five slugged it out for the devotion of America's masses, a cuddly quintet, Herman's Hermits, practically usurped them both. Neither as adept nor as savvy as their competition, they were assured continuing chart success via the astute guidance of producer Mickey Most and a reliable arsenal of songwriting support.
Fascinating and entertaining, "Listen People" nicely documents the Hermits' flirtation with fame through rare home footage, 22 complete performances, an entire 1966 concert, and interviews with four of the five principals (guitarist Derek Leckenby passed away in 1994), who provide first-hand commentary describing an accidental parade of hits. Accidental, because the band's biggest singles -- "I'm Into Something Good" and "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" -- were initially rejected.
There's no mention of the subsequent squabble over branding rights, but Noone admits they never had potential to further evolve like some of their contemporaries. As he acknowledges, a name like Herman's Hermits doesn't hold much potential for launching a psychedelic soiree. -- Goldmine, March 06, 2010See all Editorial Reviews
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Second, the greatest value of this DVD is that it demonstrates what a GENUINELY PHENOMENAL BAND THE SMALL FACES WERE. Too many Humble Pie and Faces fans sometimes regard the Small Faces as a lesser band of the three, just a little pop group, and we perhaps think of them only in terms of some quirky psychedelic (Itchycoo Park) or good time (Lazy Sunday) hits... but these guys were a tough as nails, hard rockin' quartet. The only reason we Stateside generally don't appreciate this fully is because we never got to see them live. Whereas I can tap into my memories and FEEL what it was like to see Humble Pie and the Faces, each of whom I must have seen at least a dozen times, each time leaving soaked with sweat with a big grin on my face.
And of course there's the ultimate bottom line to this DVD, which has now become a cliche it's so true... and that bottom line is...
God Bless the fully incomparable and greatly missed Steve Marriott. He was one of a kind if any performer ever was.
For those vaguely familiar, this is the band who did Itchycoo Park in 1968 as part of their fourth and hardest rocking album Ogden's Nut Gone Flake. If you liked that tune, there were many you never heard, and will here. Damn good live songs throughout, from all of their first five albums.
Wonderful video, from the old days to new, and super LIVE VERSIONS of S.F. immortality, like Song Of A Baker - and it was played GREAT live. Saw much more clearly how Ronnie Lane was as much of the impetus to further S.F. songwriting as Steve Marriot, and maybe it was Lane who pushed them into what some historians have called the "first hard rock" on Ogden's.
See Ronnie go nuts late in a jam with Marriot, his hands moving like lightning up and down his bass neck, on a cool sounding hard rock riff of Marriot's..
So good to see and hear these performers again as there is nothing today in music that will ever match the "love of simply performing the music, not for the money" mentality of so many groups we had in the 60's.