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The Merseybeats & The Merseys I Stand Accused - The Complete Merseybeats And Merseys Sixties Recordings (2-CD)

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(Grape Fruit Records) 63 tracks, digipack The Merseybeats emerged from the Liverpool group... more

The Merseybeats & The Merseys: I Stand Accused - The Complete Merseybeats And Merseys Sixties Recordings (2-CD)

(Grape Fruit Records) 63 tracks, digipack

The Merseybeats emerged from the Liverpool group scene during the Gold Rush years. With their combination of Everly Brothers-style vocal harmonies and cleverly chosen beat-boom ballads, they recorded several hit singles (including "I Think Of You," which reached the Top Five), a pair of very popular EPs, and a self-titled album that spent several months on the LP charts.

After their great version of "I Stand Accused" (a big favorite of local teen Elvis Costello, who later covered the song) didn't become the big hit it deserved, group leaders Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley reinvented themselves as vocal duo The Merseys, recording "Sorrow," one of the classic pop hits of the mid-'60s, later quoted in the Beatles song "It's All Too Much" and brought back to the charts a few years later by David Bowie.

'Sorrow' was followed by a handful of Merseys singles that, while less successful, are now highly prized by admirers of late sixties British pop and psychedelia and are now legitimately gathered under one roof for the first time.

I Stand Accused: The Complete Merseybeats and Merseys Sixties Recordings contains everything known to have been recorded by both acts, including demos, out-takes, alternate versions and home recordings. The set also includes the various splinter projects that took place during the same period, with a pseudonymous single as Crackers and some highly sought after 45s with Merseybeats drummer John Banks and former Big Three bassist Johnny Gustafson, who had briefly replaced Kinsley in the Merseybeats.

I Stand Accused, a 2-CD digipak release, includes many great color photos as well as a new 9,000-word essay detailing the fascinating careers of both bands, including their relationships with the Beatles and Brian Epstein before their fame, their adventures with The Who (with whom they shared the same management team, resulting in John Entwistle and Keith Moon playing on a handful of Mersey's tracks), and their unwanted role in the story surrounding the firing of Pete Best.

Article properties: The Merseybeats & The Merseys: I Stand Accused - The Complete Merseybeats And Merseys Sixties Recordings (2-CD)

Merseybeats, The - I Stand Accused - The Complete Merseybeats And Merseys Sixties Recordings (2-CD) CD 1
01 It's Love That Really Counts The Merseybeats & The Merseys
02 The Fortune Teller The Merseybeats & The Merseys
03 I Think Of You The Merseybeats & The Merseys
04 Mister Moonlight The Merseybeats & The Merseys
05 Long Tall Sally The Merseybeats & The Merseys
06 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry The Merseybeats & The Merseys
07 Shame The Merseybeats & The Merseys
08 You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover The Merseybeats & The Merseys
09 Don't Turn Around The Merseybeats & The Merseys
10 Really Mystified The Merseybeats & The Merseys
11 Milkman The Merseybeats & The Merseys
12 Hello Young Lovers The Merseybeats & The Merseys
13 He Will Break Your Heart The Merseybeats & The Merseys
14 Funny Face The Merseybeats & The Merseys
15 The Girl That I Marry The Merseybeats & The Merseys
16 Fools Like Me The Merseybeats & The Merseys
17 My Heart And I The Merseybeats & The Merseys
18 Bring It On Home To Me The Merseybeats & The Merseys
19 Lavender Blue The Merseybeats & The Merseys
20 Jumping Jonah The Merseybeats & The Merseys
21 The Things I Want To Hear The Merseybeats & The Merseys
22 Wishin' And Hopin' The Merseybeats & The Merseys
23 Last Night The Merseybeats & The Merseys
24 See Me Back The Merseybeats & The Merseys
25 Don't Let It Happen To Us The Merseybeats & The Merseys
26 It Would Take A Long, Long Time The Merseybeats & The Merseys
27 I Love You, Yes I Do The Merseybeats & The Merseys
28 Good, Good Lovin' The Merseybeats & The Merseys
29 Soldier Of Love The Merseybeats & The Merseys
30 I Stand Accused The Merseybeats & The Merseys
31 All My Life The Merseybeats & The Merseys
32 Our Day Will Come The Merseybeats & The Merseys
33 Nur Unsere Liebe Zählt The Merseybeats & The Merseys
34 Nur Du Allein The Merseybeats & The Merseys
Merseybeats, The - I Stand Accused - The Complete Merseybeats And Merseys Sixties Recordings (2-CD) CD 2
01 Sorrow The Merseybeats & The Merseys
02 Some Other Day The Merseybeats & The Merseys
03 So Sad About Us The Merseybeats & The Merseys
04 Love Will Continue The Merseybeats & The Merseys
05 Rhythm Of Love The Merseybeats & The Merseys
06 Is It Love? The Merseybeats & The Merseys
07 The Cat The Merseybeats & The Merseys
08 Change Of Heart The Merseybeats & The Merseys
09 Penny In My Pocket The Merseybeats & The Merseys
10 I Hope You're Happy The Merseybeats & The Merseys
11 Lovely Loretta The Merseybeats & The Merseys
12 Dreaming The Merseybeats & The Merseys
13 Honey Do The Merseybeats & The Merseys
14 It Happens All The Time The Merseybeats & The Merseys
15 Sorrow (Alternative Version) The Merseybeats & The Merseys
16 Nothing Can Change This Love The Merseybeats & The Merseys
17 Do Me A Favour The Merseybeats & The Merseys
18 Just To Be With You The Merseybeats & The Merseys
19 Sweet Day The Merseybeats & The Merseys
20 Take Me For A Little While The Merseybeats & The Merseys
21 Make Me Your Number One The Merseybeats & The Merseys
22 Bumper To Bumper The Merseybeats & The Merseys
23 Scrape My Boot The Merseybeats & The Merseys
24 Cool It The Merseybeats & The Merseys
25 Mark Of Her Head The Merseybeats & The Merseys
26 Hello Memories The Merseybeats & The Merseys
27 Pretend The Merseybeats & The Merseys
28 So How Come (No-One Loves Me) The Merseybeats & The Merseys
29 All I Have To Do Is Dream The Merseybeats & The Merseys
The Merseybeats   I Think Of You – The Complete Recordings It’s Love That... more
"The Merseybeats & The Merseys"

The Merseybeats  

I Think Of You – The Complete Recordings

It’s Love That Really Counts, I Think Of You and Wishin’ And Hopin' are just some of the attractive, haunting hits that made The Merseybeats one of the most popular of all the great Liverpool groups. They emerged at the same time as The Beatles and for a while threatened to rival them as heroes of the Mersey scene.

The founders of the group were Tony Crane (vocal, lead guitar) and Billy Kinsley (vocal, bass). As Liverpool school kids they listened to Elvis Presley and Little Richard and dreamt of becoming pop stars themselves. While still at school Tony (16) and Billy (15) formed a vocal duo called The Mavericks. When they saw The Beatles performing at The Cavern in 1962 they were blown away and decided to form their own group. The line-up included Tony and Billy, David Elias (guitar, vocal) and Frank Sloane (drums). For a while they were known as The Pacifics, then Aaron Williams and John Banks replaced Elias and Sloane and they changed their name to The Mersey Beats in February 1962.

In April 1962 the group played at The Cavern for the first time and secured a lunchtime residency. Tony and Billy gave up their day jobs as clerks in order to concentrate on a musical career. It became their proud boast that they supported The Beatles at The Cavern on more occasions than any other group. The next step was to shorten the name to The Merseybeats and the hot young act was signed to the Fontana label in June 1963. They were even managed by Beatles’ mentor Brian Epstein for a while, but decided to split from Brian after a disagreement about their stage image.

The Merseybeats’ first hit was an excellent 'reading' of the Hal David and Burt Bacharach song It's Love That Really Counts that got to #24 in the UK singles charts in September 1963. But their biggest hit was I Think Of You written by Peter Lee Stirling, which shot to #5 in January 1964. Both tracks were also recorded for a single in the German language, Nur unsere Liebe zählt/Nur du allein, a sought-after collectors’ item these days.

These haunting, yet lusty vocal performances epitomised the character of Liverpool's pop scene. Strength, romanticism and a down to earth attitude prevailed. A sense of humour and cheeky confidence also helped make the rest of the world sit up and take notice. Soon The Merseybeats were touring Britain and Europe, playing to hysterical hordes of screaming fans.

Billy and Tony continued to enjoy chart success and Don't Turn Around' got to #13 in April 1964. But the rollercoaster ride of stardom had taken its toll on the young musicians. Billy Kinsley left for a while to recover and subsequently formed an outfit called the Kinsleys. Meanwhile The Merseybeats' Wishin' And Hopin' got to #13 in July that year. Last Night (I Made A Little Girl Cry), was not quite so successful and just scraped into the Top Forty in November.

The group's only album, 'The Merseybeats' (1964) featured standards and ballads like Rodgers & Hammerstein's Hello, Young Lovers. However, an EP titled 'On Stage', although not 'live' the title reminded Johnny Gustafson that their 'live' performances were much tougher. Gustafson toured and recorded with The Merseybeats during the period Billy was out of the group. He also wrote some of the material the band used on the studio album. "I think we made the record in ten minutes" , laughs Johnny. "Fontana didn’t want to spend any money. They just wanted to knock an LP out quickly, to capitalise on the hit singles." Johnny (born August 18, 1942) had been a member of such early Liverpool bands as Cass & The Casanovas and The Big Three, a powerful unit that often played The Star-Club, Hamburg.

Some forty years after these events, Johnny Gustafson lives peacefully in Whitstable, Kent, but has fond memories of the crazy Sixties. "I joined The Merseybeats in the New Year of 1964, just after The Big Three had split up. Brian Griffiths the guitarist and I decided to team up with another drummer and we drove around Europe in search of gigs. We went to Copenhagen and Hamburg and ended up in a Frankfurt club called the Arcadia. Then we got fired for being too loud. It was ridiculous. I ended up singing without a microphone, but the club owner wouldn’t have it and he fired us. Just before we were due to quit, in walked a couple of The Merseybeats and their manager.

"Their bass player Billy had decided to quit for some reason and Tony Crane and Aaron Williams asked me to replace him. The group were very young when it all started to happen for them. I remember them telling me they had supported Little Richard at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton when Billy was still only sixteen. The Merseybeats were supposed to be a ballad style group. They were known for their vocal harmonies. But it turned out their stage act was quite wild and raucous. They'd play Little Richard and Bo Diddley numbers and they were an extremely loud, roaring band. The Big Three were also known for being a loud band, but I didn't tell Tony we had just been fired! I played my first gig with The Merseybeats the day after I came back to London from Frankfurt. The line up was myself, Tony, Aaron Willams and John Banks, who died in 1988. Tony was a very friendly 'Scouser' and I slotted in with the group very well."

Crane and Gustafson are credited with quite a few of the compositions on this CD, including Really Mystified, Milkman and See Me Back. Says Johnny: "Tony and I decided on a 'Lennon & McCartney' style split when we wrote these songs, although that didn’t necessarily indicate who wrote what. 'Really Mystified' was the first song I ever wrote when I was 16 and living in Liverpool. I just changed the lyrics for this version. It was originally called 'Baby Please Don't Go' would you believe. We recorded this version as a B-side of a single in a little studio in Bond Street. 'Milkman' was written in a hotel room in Lancaster Gate while I was sitting on the bed."

MERSEYBEATS I Think Of You - The Complete Recordings
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/merseybeats-i-think-of-you-the-complete-recordings.html
Copyright © Bear Family Records

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Tracklist
Merseybeats, The - I Stand Accused - The Complete Merseybeats And Merseys Sixties Recordings (2-CD) CD 1
01 It's Love That Really Counts
02 The Fortune Teller
03 I Think Of You
04 Mister Moonlight
05 Long Tall Sally
06 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry
07 Shame
08 You Can't Judge A Book By The Cover
09 Don't Turn Around
10 Really Mystified
11 Milkman
12 Hello Young Lovers
13 He Will Break Your Heart
14 Funny Face
15 The Girl That I Marry
16 Fools Like Me
17 My Heart And I
18 Bring It On Home To Me
19 Lavender Blue
20 Jumping Jonah
21 The Things I Want To Hear
22 Wishin' And Hopin'
23 Last Night
24 See Me Back
25 Don't Let It Happen To Us
26 It Would Take A Long, Long Time
27 I Love You, Yes I Do
28 Good, Good Lovin'
29 Soldier Of Love
30 I Stand Accused
31 All My Life
32 Our Day Will Come
33 Nur Unsere Liebe Zählt
34 Nur Du Allein
Merseybeats, The - I Stand Accused - The Complete Merseybeats And Merseys Sixties Recordings (2-CD) CD 2
01 Sorrow
02 Some Other Day
03 So Sad About Us
04 Love Will Continue
05 Rhythm Of Love
06 Is It Love?
07 The Cat
08 Change Of Heart
09 Penny In My Pocket
10 I Hope You're Happy
11 Lovely Loretta
12 Dreaming
13 Honey Do
14 It Happens All The Time
15 Sorrow (Alternative Version)
16 Nothing Can Change This Love
17 Do Me A Favour
18 Just To Be With You
19 Sweet Day
20 Take Me For A Little While
21 Make Me Your Number One
22 Bumper To Bumper
23 Scrape My Boot
24 Cool It
25 Mark Of Her Head
26 Hello Memories
27 Pretend
28 So How Come (No-One Loves Me)
29 All I Have To Do Is Dream