Retrospective (2004 Remaster)

Retrospective (2004 Remaster)

It’s hard to imagine just how big the Mickie Most–produced Herman’s Hermits were in the '60s. It’s also hard to imagine just how critically dismissed they were based on their safe-for-mom coifs, suits, and songs, such as “I’m Henry the VIII I Am” and an absolute bubblegum version of Sam Cooke’s “(What A) Wonderful World.” It’s too bad, because the gems were many, and singer Peter Noone was blessed a soothing radio tenor that not only drove teen girls crazy but also let the songs age really well. And the tunes are more varied than many might think. The waltz-timed “East West,” “Sunshine Girl,” and “My Sentimental Friend,” for example, all have a decidedly California sunshine-pop sound, while others touch on the baroque, such as the irresistible and string-backed “No Milk Today” and “Here Comes the Star.” Even the ubiquitous hits (“There’s a Kind of Hush,” “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat,” and Goffin-King's great “I’m Into Something Good”) take on certain relevance in this historic context, where 23 of the 26 songs made the Top 40 in either the U.S. or the U.K.

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