She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968.

Label: Ace Records.

Over the last few years, Ace Records has turned its attention to the music released by the British beat girls in the sixties and early seventies. This music made its way onto compilations like Love Hit Me! Decca Beat Girls 1962-1970 and Scratch My Back! Pye Beat Girls 1963-1968 which feature a mixture of familiar faces and new names. That is also the case with  She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968, which was recently released on Ace Records, and features twenty-five tracks.

Unlike previous compilations where compiler Mick Patrick dug deep into the vaults of Decca, Pye, EMI and most recently Philips, he turns his attention to a city in the northwest of England that is known the world over for two things, music and football…Liverpool. 

The city that gave the world The Beatles had a thriving musical scene from 1962 onwards. A&R reps made their way from London to Liverpool hoping to sign the next Fab Four. Groups like Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Searchers, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes and The Merseybeats were signed by record companies hoping to strike musical gold.

While many groups enjoyed a degree of success, no other group replicated the success of The Beatles. They were a one-off. However, this didn’t stop other groups and artists for trying. This included the twenty-five artists on She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968 which was compiled by Mick Patrick.

Opening She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968 is Cilla Black who was crowned Liverpool’s very own pop queen with Love Of The Lover, which was released on Parlophone in 1963. Just like A Shot Of Rhythm and Blues which wasn’t released until 1997 it epitomises the Merseybeat sound. This hidden gem was the first the future game show host recorded at Abbey Road.

The Liverbirds were a Liverpudlian quartet who were particularly popular in Germany. They were signed to the Star-Club label and in 1965, released their debut album Star Club Show 4. It features Why Do You Hang Around Me. Three  years later in 1968, their music had evolved and headed in the direction of R&B on their sophomore album More Of The Liverbirds., One of the highlights of the album was a cover of Long Tall Shorty, which is a reminder of this popular and talented group.

Before Cilla Black, Beryl Marsden  was regarded as the finest female vocalist on Merseyside. She features twice on the compilation. Her first contribution is Everybody Loves A Lover  from her 1964 album Live At The Cavern. Her other contribution is a cover of What’s She Got (That I Ain’t Got) which she released by Columbia in 1966. It features an assured performance from Beryl Marsden whose career was over by the early seventies when she returned to Liverpool and got married and had a family.

In 1953, the Vernons’ pools company decided to form its own singing group. That day, The Vernon Girls were born. The group originally featured members of staff, but they were later augmented by a few musical ringers. In 1957, The Vernon Girls made their recording debut and by 1962 were a familiar sight on British television. This popular musical troupe who were stars of stage and worked with some of the biggest names in British music  contribute 1962s Lover Please and 1964s Only You Can Do It.

Three members of The Vernon Girls left the group and formed The Breakaways, who in 1963, released that That Boy Of Mine as their sophomore single on Pye. It was written  and produced by Tony Hatch and is one of their finest singles from the trio who spent much of their career working as backing vocalists.

Another former member of The Vernons Girls was Samantha Jones. She had been the group’s lead vocalist, but left to embark upon a solo career. She recorded I Don’t Want To Be The One’ with g American songwrite and producer Teddy Randazzo, who was visiting the UK. However, the song was never released and makes its debut on She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968.

So does a number of rarities which have never featured on CD. This includes The Three Bells’ Someone To Love which was penned by Goffin and King and released on Columbia in 1965. It’s joined by  Nola York’s 1964 single on HMV I Don’t Understand which failed to find the audience it deserved. 

Then there’s Tiffany’s 1965 single on Parlophone Am I Dreaming? By then, she was regarded as Liverpool’s new pop Queen. Her other contribution is Baby Don’t Look Down which is credited to Tiffany with The Thoughts. It was released on Parlophone in 1966. Sadly, Tiffany never reached the heights that many thought she would, and  Cilla Black kept her crown. Looking back it’s a case of what might have been for this talented singer.

Among the other rarities is Sally Go Round The Roses by former Vernon Girl, Lyn Cornell. This was her final single on Decca on 1963. It’s a poppier sounding track than her earlier singles.

Just Being Your Baby (Turns Me On) by Cindy Cole was released as a single on Columbia in 1966, and although the song harks back to a deferent musical era showcases a talented vocalist who can breath emotion and meaning into a track.

Closing She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968 is Come See Me by Sandy Edmonds.  It was released in 1966 on Zodiac and features an arrangement that includes fuzz guitars, driving drums, rasping horns and backing vocalists that provide the perfect foil to Sandy Edmonds who opened for the Rolling Stones, The Searchers and The Pretty Things.This is a irresistible ear worm and closes the compilation on a high.

She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968 which was recently released by Ace Records, is a welcome addition to their Beat Girls’ series. It’s a lovingly curated compilation that features twenty-five track that are mixture of familiar faces and new names with hits rubbing shoulders with hidden gems which are often overlooked by compilers. They’re welcome additions to this compilation that celebrates and documents the golden age of the British Girl Pop.

During the six year period that She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968 covers Liverpool was one of the most famous musical cities in the world. This compilation takes the listener back to that time when  A&R reps from London-based record labels made the journey to Liverpool during the Mersey Beat boom hoping to sign the next big girl group or beat girl. Some of those on the compilation enjoyed a successful career while others enjoyed a brief brush with fame. Others never enjoyed the success their talent deserved but later, were able to say that they were there when Liverpool was the musical capital of Britain.

Little did anyone realise that this was a golden age. However, over fifty years later and the music is still remembered fondly by many people who will enjoy reliving their youth as rediscover the music on She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968.

She Came From Liverpool! Merseyside Girl-Pop 1962-1968.

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