She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970.

Label: Ace Records.

Format: CD.

Between 1964 and 1970 Pye Records and its sister label Piccadilly Records were housed in London’s West End. Both labels had an enviable roster of artists and included some of the top British female pop singers. Two of the biggest names were Petula Clark and Sandie Shaw. They were enjoying commercial success at home and abroad and were just two of many British female singers signed to Pye Records.

Among the other signings were Billie Davis, Lorraine Silver, Sandra Barry, Anita Harris, Tammy St John, Jackie Trent, Sharon Tandy, Dana Gillespie, Glenda Collins and Mally Page. They were joined by groups like The Ferris Wheel, The New Faces, The Breakaways, Margo and Marvettes, The Satin Bells, Pickettywitch, The Feminine Touch. These singers and groups all feature on an eclectic new compilation released by Ace Records, She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970.

There’s twenty-five tracks on She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970. This includes everything from pop and psychedelia to blues, folk jazz and even bubblegum pop. This is a truly eclectic compilation that’s guaranteed to bring back memories of one what was one of the golden ages of British music. 

Opening the compilation is a cover of Lennon and McCartney’s Rain which is taken from Petula Clark’s 1966 album I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love. It was produced by Tony Hatch and features an impassioned vocal powerhouse from one of the greatest British female vocalists of her generation.

Lionel Bart’s Reviewing The Situation was the title track to Sandie Shaw’s fifth studio album which was released on Pye 1969. She produced the album  with composer and trumpeter Ken Woodman. Sadly the album failed to replicate the success of her earlier albums. However, the hook-laden title-track is one of the album’s highlights and is a reminder of a truly talented British vocalist at the peak of her powers. 

I Can’t Break The Habit was the title-track to The Ferris Wheel’s 1967 album. The album marked the group’s debut, and the title-track is a stunning fusion of pop, soul and psychedelic rock that’s stood the test of time. 

When Lorraine Silver recorded Lost Summer Love in 1965 it was arranged and conducted by Johnny Harris. Although it was played a couple of times on Radio Luxembourg, this soulful stomper wasn’t a commercial success. Things changed in the late-eighties when the song became a favourite on UK Northern Soul scene and Lorraine Silver started appearing at weekenders across the country.

Before signing to Pye and embarking upon a musical career Sandra Barry was a child actor. In 1965 she recorded a cover of Harold Logan and Lloyd Price’s Question. It’s delivered with energy and enthusiasm but sadly failed to find an audience.

Blackpool-born Julie Grant signed to Pye in 1962 and three years later in 1965, released Stop as a single. This dramatic rendition of a Moody Blues’ song was arranged and produced by Tony Hatch. Sadly, it wasn’t a a commercial success and the eighteen year old left the label later that year.

Another single from 1965 was I Run To Hide which was recorded by Anita Harris. This jazzy track was produced by Mike Margolis and showcases a versatile singer who during her musical career could seamlessly switch between genres. 

The Breakaways were an American group who signed to Pye and also sang backing vocals for many solo artists signed to the label. In 1965, then covered Marty Wilde’s Your Kind Of Love which was produced by Tony Hatch. It’s a beautiful ballad which features a tender, almost wistful vocal. It’s one of the hidden gems on She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970 and is a welcome addition to the compilation.

Jackie Trent was not just one of Pye’s most successful artists, she was also a successful songwriter. She wrote Hollywood with Tony Hatch who arranged and produced this Bacharach and David inspired. Sadly, when it was  released as a single in 1968 it failed to replicate the success of earlier singles.

Sharon Tandy only released two singles for Pye. The first was Now That You’re Gone which was released in 1965. It featured Hurtin’ Me was the B-Side which nowadays is a favourite of fans of freakbeat and is regarded as a genre classic. 

When Dana Gillespie was signed to Pye she was a folk singer. It was only later that she reinvented herself as a blues singer. However, in 1967 Surrey-born singer covered The Hollies’ Pay You Back With Interest. Tucked away on the B-Side is the oft-overlooked and underrated Adam Can You Beat That.

In 1966, Glenda Collins was signs to Pye and recorded three singles for the label. Work began on an album which Run To Me. The title-track was produced by Joe  and is a poppy stomper with a feisty vocal. However, when the producer shot himself Glenda Collins decided not to continue her recording career.  Run To Me lay unreleased until 1997 when it featured on the album This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’. It’s a reminder of a talented singer and also one of the great British producers.    

When You’re Ready was featured on the B-Side of The Satin Bells’ single Da-Di-Da-Da which was released in 1968. It’s a catchy and melodic track from the group from Liverpool.

Hurry On Home by The Feminine Touch closes She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970. This slice of bubblegum pop was released as a single in 1970 just two years after changing their name from The Dollies.

The twenty-five tracks on She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970 will be walk down memory lane for many record buyers of a certain age. It’s a compilation that’s sure to bring back memories of what was a golden age for music in Britain. 

During this period, Pye was one of the most successful British labels. Three of their most successful singers were Petula Clark, Sandie Shaw and Jackie Trent who all feature on this lovingly curated  compilation. It features familiar faces who are joined by some old friends as well one hit wonders and what will be new names to many music fans. 

Sadly, not all these artists and groups on She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970 enjoyed the commercial success their talent deserved. Sometimes, commercial success was fleeting and other times it eluded talented artists. This lead to careers that’s were all too brief. As a result, the twenty-five tracks are a mixture of hits, near misses, B-Sides and album tracks. However, each of these songs have one thing in common…quality, and She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970 is a reminder of one of the great British labels during its heyday and what was a  golden age for music.

She Wants You! Pye Records’ Feminine Side 1964-1970.

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