Customer Reviews: Changes: Story of Beryl Marsden
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on June 24, 2016
1st half of CD (the Liverpudlian's teenage years, 1963-66): five stars
2nd half of CD (late-'70s/early-'80s and latter period, 2007-2011): two stars

Although she went nearly hitless outside of her home town of Liverpool, Beryl Marsden (née Hogg) was a dynamic teen vocalist on the local Merseybeat scene, who made a string of terrific singles over a three-year period when she was 16-19 years of age (1963-66). She was clearly on the R&B side of the girl-pop ledger and did some very credible covers of U.S. pop/R&B artists: "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)" [Barbara George], her début single; "When the Lovelight Starts Shining Thru His Eyes" (The Supremes), "Everybody Loves a Lover" (inspired by the Shirelles' version; from a live various artists LP recorded at The Cavern); "Music Talk" (Stevie Wonder); and "Break-A-Way" (Irma Thomas).

The one week she spent on one national British chart was with the strong, soulfully sung original ballad "Who You Gonna Hurt?" from 1965. But, IMO, her best chance for a breakthrough hit (if her excellent cover of "I Know" couldn't do it in the UK) could have been its
pulsating and energetic flipside, a should-have-been girl-pop U.S.-import classic titled "Gonna Make Him My Baby." April Young's original 1965 version may have been a bit too late to have caught the girl-group wave (a problem for Beryl Marsden in the UK also), as it only reached #129 in Cash Box, despite being designated in Billboard as a "breakout hit" in Philadelphia. This is a dynamic, right-on-the-money example of the genre that fans of this style need to hear.

From 1966, we get a single by the short-lived R&B ensemble The Shotgun Express, featuring both Beryl Marsden and Rod Stewart. Oddly, this orchestral pop-soul hybrid, "I Could Feel the Whole World Turn Around," was atypical of what the group normally did, only serving to alienate fans and squelch any momentum they might have been building.

When Beryl re-emerged in a later era, production values on records had drastically changed; and gritty, organically-produced R&B/soul was nowhere to be found. Synthetic music now ruled the pop scene. The less said about her three pop sides included here from 1979 and 1981 the better.

The eight latter-day tracks (2007-2011) show her to be in great voice, and her co-write "Too Late" is a very good '60s-throwback, girl-group-influenced song. Also vocally impressive are her covers of the Shirelles' (obviously an inspirational group for her from the beginning) "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" and "Baby, It's You." It's just a bit difficult for fans of records from the 1960s and the way they were produced back then to sit still for the rather annoying, artificially created musical backings relied upon here.

I have been listening to the first twelve tracks repeatedly, and they seem to fly by; but I just can't make myself slog through the rest again.

Still, a fine job by RPM putting together this first-ever Beryl Marsden comprehensive collection. The 16-page accompanying booklet is impressive, with photos and twelve pages of well-written, detailed liner notes by John Reed (with the participation of Beryl Marsden).
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on August 28, 2015
A very underrated Brit singer from Sixties Liverpool. Beryl has an excellent voice. She put out several charming singles in the sixties and should have been more popular. An excellent collection of you like The British Invasion. RPM is up to its usual excellent standards with this release.
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on April 18, 2012
Forget about who's better - Beryl or Cilla ? They're both from the North and the similarity ends there. If this comprehensive compilation of Beryl's recorded output (mostly from the 60s) is anything to go by, she should have been up there with all the other hit making Brit girls of the era. She had a strong rocking ballsy voice and a unique sound - whether it was the lack of consistent record company promotion, occasionally unsuitable production values or just plain bad luck, Beryl only managed to scrape into the bottom reaches of the NME Top 30 charts (not even the official Record Mirror charts) with one single and for only one week.

Fact is, RPM has done a great job with this compilation and given Beryl and her fans a reason to celebrate. The first dozen or so songs here are quite flawless and a sad reminder of how we in the 60s had let so many of these gems slip by. My favourites among these are "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More")", "Love Is Gonna Happen To Me", "Music Talk", "Break-A-Way" and "What's She Got (That I Ain't Got). They've got "hit" written all over them so it's puzzling how they had failed to take off.

Inevitably, the quality starts to dip with the later recordings. As Lynn Jackson, "Sad Songs" is an exception - a refreshing and different style definitely worth listening to. The Shotgun Express songs suffer from inferior production values (I wonder how Rod Stewart would feel listening to them today). The 80s and later material only come across as pointless covers - who needs another version of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" ? Even the super commercial and tuneful 60s styled "Too Late" and "Changes" can't disguise the fact that Beryl unfairly missed the big time in the 60s and nothing later can ever compete with her recorded legacy from that era.

"Changes - The Story of Beryl Marsden" is a must buy for fans and those who love the music of 60s girl singers. The first half alone is worth the price of the CD.
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on July 11, 2012
Breakaway, Big Hit in the south land. Beryl comes from Leeds, UK, if I'm not mistaken. 93 KHJ Boss Radio in Los Angeles had an interview with Her and with Charlie Tuna in early 1966 and I wish I'd recorded that one, Sam Riddle was about to take over the mike when in comes Kam Nelson (if your belly button is inner or outer girl, Man) and all Hell broke lose. It was funny and awsome! When She was here at that time, She hung out alot around Hollywood, checking out the seen on Wilshire Blve., Sunset and La Brea, talking and hanging around the sense. Cool Lady! But every time I hear Breakaway, it always remind Me of Madison Square Garden in the day's of Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey and Gillette Razors for some reason. The other songs I Dig is Love is going to happen to Me, I only care about You, The Lovelight Starts Shining Thru' His Eyes, and I Know. P. S. When I was in 6th Grade, I snucked through the back door of the Whiskey A Go Go with help from my older Brother and heard Van Morrison, with cigarette in Hand and His Group Them and Jim Morrison that jumped up on stage from the crowd below not using the steps on the side singing Gloria for over an Half Hour. Did anybody recorded that one???????????????? Hey, Thanks for the Vote, looks to Me You've been AROUND TOO!!! Thanks!!!
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on June 13, 2012
1. I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)
2. I Only Care About You
3. When The Lovelight Starts Shining Thru' His Eyes
4. Love Is Going To (Gonna?) Happen To Me
5. Everybody Loves A Lover (Live)
6. Who You Gonna Hurt?
7. Gonna Make Him My Baby
8. Music Talk
9. Break-A-Way
10. What's She Got (That I Ain't Got)
11. Let's Go Somewhere
12. I Could Feel The Whole World Turn Round (As The Shotgun Express)
13. Funny `Cos Neither Could I (As The Shotgun Express)
14. Sad Songs (As Lynn Jackson)
15. Hungry For You
16. I Video
17. Hello Stranger
18. Baby It's You
19. Will You Love Me Tomorrow
20. Everything I Need
21. Shakin'
22. Too Late
23. Changes
24. I'll Be There
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on April 5, 2012
I had never heard of Beryl Marsden until I started really investigating the lesser known singers and bands of the "British Invasion era." Once I started hearing her music, I knew I had to have a CD. Great stuff, fun to listen to, and if you love "oldies/British Invasion' music, it's like having new oldies to enjoy! Certainly worth owning!
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on August 27, 2012
In 1963 a new girl singer from Liverpool with the same surname as Gerry made a cover version of Barbara Lewis' Hello Stranger but neither version had any impact here.There was the inevitable comparison with Cilla Black though Beryl Marsden needed a lot of luck to even come close
In fact Beryl Marsden never troubled a chart whether she was part of the Shotgun Express or changed her name.There's no answer and no reason why at least she was never allowed entry to the One Hit Wonder Club
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