Monday, September 18, 2017

The Easybeats - The Best Of Of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl (1967)

(Australian 1964–1969, 1986)
The Best of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl was released in May 1967 in Australia and New Zealand) this album was first digitally remastered for CD in 1987 and then in 1997 with a different artwork (as per this post). It was then remastered again by Don Bartley and reissued in 2013 for the  iTunes Store and released in 2014 on 180 gram vinyl for Record Store Day Australia. This version features slightly different font to the original 1967 version and has the Parlophone logo removed.

It was the first compilation album released exclusively in Australia and New Zealand to coincide with the 1967 Australian Homecoming Tour. The album peaked on the Kent Report Charts at number 3 and became the 20th best selling album in Australia in 1967. Another interesting feature about this LP was the “Recording History of The Easybeats” chart featured on the covers rear.

The Follow Up Single To 'Friday On My Mind'
Within the Easybeats camp there were heated arguments, prolonged discussions and gridlocked disagreements over what should be the follow-up single to 'Friday on My Mind'. It was an important decision. The right follow-up to a breakthrough hit could ensure a long and successful career. The wrong choice could doom them to one-hit-wonder status. Finally, Shel Talmy and United Artists decided on 'Who'll Be the One'. ('Do You Have a Soul?' would be the B-side.)

Their reasoning was that it had similar vocal harmonies and production values to 'Friday'. George explains, 'Shel Talmy produced it (a hell of a good producer) in the American tradition of a follow-up record sounding like the first hit ... American bands have been known to use the same backing track for a follow-up single. The strategy may have been sound but the song was not single quality. It had a slightly catchy chorus, but no hooks, no fiendishly clever guitar-work, no infectious harmonies and nothing lyrically unique. Every member of the band opposed the choice.

Maggie Makeig reviewed the new single in Everybody's magazine at the time and was accurate in her assessment: ' "Do You Have a Soul?" sounds a better side to me with much more going for it. I can imagine the soul searching that went on before the 'Beats decided on 'Who'll Be the One' but I think it was a mistake.' George says, 'The next single became 'Who'll Be the One' which was crap, but it seemed to be the thing to satisfy most people. It wasn't in the same league as 'Friday on My Mind', it wasn't even on the same planet!'

Arguably, any other song on Good Friday would have been a better option (except 'See Line Woman' which was a bit experimental). Wiser heads would have consulted the Top 40 charts from Down Under. 'Sorry' was a proven winner. It had shot straight to No. 1 in Australia and No. 2 in New Zealand just before 'Friday' broke through. Stevie Wright explains, 'Some of our big hits ['Sorry' and Til Make You Happy'] weren't considered big hits by the English when we got there. We were just treated with the contempt they usually reserve for those from a European country. They just didn't want to know ... Time had moved on and the English just didn't consider [re-releasing those songs]. They thought the stuff that went to number one in Australia was second-rate.'

Australian rock musician and writer lain Mclntyre argues that the top contender for follow-up single should have been 'Pretty Girl': 'Although there was an obvious, gold-plated contender in the superb "Pretty Girl" the song was inexplicably passed over and relegated to the B-side of a later single.' What counted against this ballad was that it had a different feel to 'Friday' and that Harry Vanda took lead vocals. But one listen today confirms that it would have been perfect for the English market and that it is one of the best examples of the Easybeats' exquisite and creative harmonies. [extract from Vanda & Young - Inside Australia's Hit Factory, John Tait, 2010. p82-83]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my 1997 CD release of the album and includes full album artwork for both vinyl and CD releases.  Featuring such classics as "She's So Fine", "Wedding Ring", "Sorry" and the mega hit "Friday On My Mind", this timeless compilation album is chock a block full of 'Easy Fever'.
For more information on John Tait's comprehensive and authoritative biography of The Easybeats' power house musicians Vanda & Young, see his bookstore website
Track Listing
01 - For My Woman (Young, Wright)
02 - She’s So Fine (Young, Wright)
03 - Wedding Ring (Young, Wright)
04 - Sad Lonely And Blue (Young, Wright)
05 - Easy As Can Be (Young, Wright)
06 - In My Book (Young, Wright)
07 - Women (Young, Wright)
08 - Pretty Girl (Vanda, Young)
09 - Come And See Her  (Young, Wright)
10 - I’ll Make You Happy  (Young, Wright)
11 - Too Much (Vanda, Young, Wright)
12 - Sorry (Young, Wright)
13 - Made My Bed ; Gonna Lie In It (Young)
14 - Friday On My Mind (Vanda, Young)

The Easybeats:

Stevie Wright - Vocals
Snowy Fleet - Drums
Dick Diamonde - Bass
Harry Vanda - Guitar, Backing vocals
George Young - Guitar, Backing Vocals

The Best Of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl (249Mb)

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