The Searchers and how how did Kapp get all those stereo mixes?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by empirelvr, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Forum Resident

    Wish I had the SACD. Got the vinyl though. Hats off to you for that!. The best The Searchers have ever sounded as far as I'm concerned. Back in storage I have the stereo mix of The New Searchers LP on a 7.5 ips Kapp issue (Ampex, IIRC) reel-to-reel that sounds very sweet. Surprised to find that when I did -- would not have thought something like that would get an official rtr release, but anyway...your remaster tops them all.

    Funny thing about memory for record people...I remember the first copy of The New Searchers LP I bought. That one was mono, still sealed and in the budget bin in 1971 or 1972 for 59 0r 99 cents and I thought why not? All I knew of the searchers was Love Potion No. 9 and the old Kapp Someday We're Gonna Love Again / No One Else Could Love Me But You 45 my older sister gave me. Safe bet, I thought. Kept that one till one of the stupid vinyl purges of the '80s. Still have the rtr though and the mostly equivalent UK Pye lp -- Sounds Like Searchers.
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  2. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    I have been a major fan of the Searchers since I was a wee toddler. And those old Kapp 45 RPM singles are still beloved to this day. I own many, and strive to keep spares as I still play and enjoy them regularly.
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  3. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    I'd much rather have the Searchers singing other people's material than lesser material they may have written. The music is timeless, the band underrated.
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  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I actually don't have any Kapp 45's but I have most of the PYE singles. Hard to resist a record that looks like this:
    searchers three.jpg
  5. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    Steve, if I found any Pye 45 singles of the group in playable shape, you know where they would go. In McLover's 45 RPM holdings. But you know this. I have not found any in the wild, but if I do, they will come home with me, likewise Pye LP discs.
  6. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    A few of those British Pye 45's made their way to Australia too, as did a lot of other
    British records in the day.
    Got quite a few Lonnie Donegan too which are also wonderful players!
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  7. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    East TN
    And you also had Aussie pressings made under licence.
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  8. Billo

    Billo Forum Resident

    Southern England
    That is an early copy of Sugar and Spice or maybe an export single as PYE went over to the pink label with PYE insignia on the middle left hand side in 1963 in the UK as opposed to the older 'plumb' label with PYE at the top - which most Lonnie Donegan singles have

    re their own songs - they were never encouraged to write like most bands back then as besides Chris Curtis being a strong song finder in truth then the 'Tin Pan Alley' boys had songwriting and the royalties pretty much wrapped up, tho' The Shadows, Johnny Kidd, Marty Wilde and Billy Fury were songwriters on the UK music scene the fact is largely before Lennon-McCartney songwriting in the UK was seen as something best left to the 'professional' songwriters (a bit of a con really as it was something of a 'closed shop' re getting the royalties)
    - hence George Martin suggested The Beatles do 'How Do You Do it' which was written by a 'proper' songwriter

    However Chris Curtis was a decent songwriter - he penned 'I Pretend I'm With You', the excellent 'If I Could Find Someone', 'You Wanna Make Her Happy' and 'No One Else Could Love Me' (which is often mis-titled on compilations)

    Chris and Mike wrote 'He's Got No Love' which made no.12 in the UK so they could write chart hits - Chris admits he nicked the guitar hook off The Stones 'The Last Time' but I never spotted that as it sounds different enough to me !

    John McNally wrote 'This Feeling Inside' used as a 'B' side and later 'It's Time' which was a fine album track

    they wrote the excellent 'Till I Met You' (featuring exactly the same instrumentation as Paul's song 'And I Love Her') again used as a 'B' side it was a fine and sophisticated number

    John wrote the surreal 'Crazy Dreams' which saw them perhaps too belatedly attempting to modernise their sound with some good guitarwork it backed the final PYE single written by Mike and Frank 'Second Hand Dealer' a great Ray Davies style observational song with terrific drumming by new drummer Johnny Blunt

    original album tracks such as 'Don't You Know Why' and some great 'B' sides over 1965-66 like 'So Far Away', 'I'm Never Coming Back', 'I'll Cry Tomorrow', 'It's Just The Way' and the sublime 'Lovers' proved that while nowhere near as prolific as say Beatles, Stones, Who, Kinks, Hollies etc The Searchers could compose quality material

    'Come On Back To Me' was a good original number used as the 'B' side of the RCA single re-recording of 'Needles and Pins' issued in 1972, it was also included on the 'Second Take' album that year

    Even the two later Sire records albums only included a couple of 'Pender-McNally-Allen' tracks (they later put any original songs under the team banner regardless of who wrote it) - but 'This Kind of Love Affair', 'Don't Hang On', 'Another Night' (issued as a UK single) were great songs, they also wrote rarer 'B' sides 'Changing' and 'Hollywood' released on the PRT single which backed up 'I Don't Wanna Be The One'

    An ALL Originals PYE, RCA Victor, and Sire eras Searchers compilation would be a very interesting CD set for the future I would say
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  9. Phil D

    Phil D Forum Resident

    Apparently they had some old plum coloured labels left and used them on initial pressings of Sugar and Spice. That's the correct paper sleeve for that label, looks nice.
  10. Billo

    Billo Forum Resident

    Southern England
    yeah you get that 'crossover' period with EMI too - green Columbia, blue HMV, and red Parlophone singles early on that went over to the standard black label for Parlophone, Columbia and HMV in 1962

    Cliff/Shadows 'It'll Be Me' single is most common on green Columbia but latter copies in 1962 are on black Columbia label

    Johnny Kidd and The Pirates HMV single 'I Can Tell' initially is on blue HMV label, but black label copies then followed later in 1962

    Red Parlophone continued to be pressed in Ireland in 1963 - there are Irish red label Parlophone copies of The Beatles 'From Me To You' while in the UK 'Please Please Me' was issued on both red and then black Parlophone label
  11. empirelvr

    empirelvr "Give me the chocolate, and nobody gets hurt!" Thread Starter

    Virginia, USA
    There are two distinct stereo mixes for "Needles and Pins." One is the version issued by Kapp on "Meet The Searchers" (never released anywhere else as far as I know) which has centered vocals and backing track on one channel and background vocals on the opposite channel, and a stereo mix that has become the common one with main vocals in one channel, backing track centered, and all other elements in the other channel. Not sure when this mix was done, but, if not issued in the U.K. in the 1960's first started popping up on compilations in the 1970's.
    I'm not so sure about that. The fact stereo mixes exist for tracks not released by Kapp on LP or tracks Kapp put out only as singles without much hope for any kind of LP inclusion (like "Have You Ever Loved Somebody") makes me wonder if they did some stereo mixing post-Kapp for European affiliates for later UK/European compilation and reissue LP's. Since the session tapes were only three track, and didn't have that much in the way of unique effects, it's kind of hard to tell if they were using stereo mixes on later issues meant for Kapp, or if someone went back and did a new mix for whatever project was in the works at the time. As above, "Needles and Pins" exists in two unambiguously different stereo mixes which clearly shows Pye did play around with doing stereo remixes of some of the material.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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  12. empirelvr

    empirelvr "Give me the chocolate, and nobody gets hurt!" Thread Starter

    Virginia, USA
    Would that be "Have You Ever Loved Somebody"? If so, how did Kapp's US based mixes of both "leak" to become common on reissues in later years? hmmmm.....
  13. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    It started off so promisingly with the B-side of the first single penned by Chris - some of the finest merseybeat I've heard:

    "It's All Been A Dream"

    'Fred Nightingale' made sure he got the follow up A-side after the debut single topped the charts...
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Same stereo orientation, but not the same actual mixes.
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  15. darling

    darling Forum Resident

    Philadelphia, PA
    Off the top of my head, you will need:
    Second Take (Tarragon) for the RCA recordings
    Another Night (Omnivore) for the Sire recordings
    Hungry Hearts (Coconot) for the, er, Coconut recordings

    You might also consider:
    Live At The Iron Door (Sanctuary) for their original demo tape
    At The Star Club (Bear Family) for their early live-ish recordings
    BBC Sessions (Sanctuary) which does exactly what it says on the tin
    Swedish Radio Sessions (Sanctuary) for some great 60s live recoridngs

    There are a whole bunch of discs you need to clean up all the odds and ends too, including:
    30th Anniversary 3CD set (sequel - for some alternate versions and PRT recordings)
    40th Anniversary 2CD set (Sanctuary - for For What Its Worth, a Liberty records outtake)
    Hearts In Their Eyes 4CD set (for an unrelased PRT-era song)
    The VA comp The Sun Shines on My Street (for the unreleased 60s demo The Great Train Robbery)
    and many more... but I am digressing

    Here's an old list I put together which mostly answers your question. Corrections and additions would be very much welcome:

    Stereo versions of songs only heard on the five Sanctuary album reissues in mono:
    Saturday Night Out (US LP: MTS/N&P)
    I'll Pretend I'm With You (SACD: The Collection)
    Someday We're Gonna Love Again (SACD: The Collection)
    When You Walk In The Room (SACD: The Collection)
    What Have They Done To The Rain (SACD: The Collection)
    This Feeling Inside (Golden Hour CD)
    Goodbye My Love (SACD: The Collection)
    Till I Met You (Golden Hour CD)
    He's Got No Love (Golden Hour CD)
    So Far Away (US LP: TMFWIW)
    When I Get Home (US LP: TMFWIW)
    I'm Never Coming Back (US LP: TMFWIW)

    Stereo versions of songs not heard on the five Sanctuary album reissues:
    Take It Or Leave It (SACD: The Collection)
    Have You Ever Loved Somebody (SACD: The Collection)

    Pye-era songs with no known stereo versions:
    It's All Been A Dream
    No One Else Could Love You
    I'll Be Missing You
    The System
    Don't Hide It Away
    It's Just The Way
    Popcorn Double Feature
    Western Union
    I'll Cry Tomorrow
    Second Hand Dealer
    Crazy Dreams
    foreign language recordings (at least, nothing officially)

    Significant Alternate Stereo Mixes:
    "Needles And Pins"
    Vocals one channel (Sanctuary)
    Vocals centered (SACD: The Collection)
    Plus various other alternate mixes discussed above.
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  16. javilu77

    javilu77 Forum Resident

    Buenos Aires
    Wow, thank you so much!
    Silly optimistic me thought there would be a single CD gathering the stereo mixes for the singles...
    Now if Andrew Sandoval or someone is reading, that is a great idea for a new CD!
    And if the tapes exist, I'd love to hear a stereo mix of "I'll be missing you" as it is my favorite Searchers song.
  17. Phil D

    Phil D Forum Resident

    Red "She Loves You" as well but this used the black label typeface.
  18. william r small

    william r small Forum Resident

    Cleveland, OH
    "darling" has done a most excellent job of laying out The Searchers stereo discography above and this is a marvelous reference.

    I would like mention this though. The confusion over the release of stereo mixes seems to lie with Pye Records activities in the 1960s. Going back to the original five Searchers LPs, the first four albums were originally mixed and issued in mono only in the UK. Their fifth LP "Take Me For What I'm Worth" did receive a stereo release in 1965 and Kapp released these same mixes (except for 'I'll Be Doggone'). Accept the fact that Kapp insisted on stereo mixes for the earlier material and received these from Pye for their own American LP releases though apparently stereo mixing for third LP "It's The Searchers" was done by Kapp in New York. And from these five distinct groupings of tracks the Kapp albums were assembled.

    Now: crucially, between 1966 and 1968 UK Pye released four compilations of Searchers material on their Marble Arch "budget" label. These consisted of "Searchers Smash Hits" (MALS-640, 1966) and "Smash Hits Vol. 2" (MALS-673, 1967), both containing new stereo mixes of singles and B-sides taken from the multi-track tapes. It seems to be at this time when the variant stereo mixes of 'Needles and Pins' and 'Don't Throw Your Love Away' were created. (Probably because Pye did not have access to Kapp's New York mixes of "It's The Searchers" from which those songs were taken.) Two more Marble Arch releases were "Sugar and Spice" (MALS-704, 1967) and "It's The Searchers" (MALS 798, 1968), these comprised of newly created stereo mixes of the original albums of the same titles, but with only ten tracks taken from each album, leaving the remaining tracks in mono in the Pye vault. Later reissues of all this material sourced whichever stereo mix was most most readily available though in 2001 Castle / Sanctuary seemingly sorted out the tape mess and created a very fine series of mono / stereo CD reissues of the original albums.

    (According to "" the dark maroon label for 'Sugar and Spice' above is a "contract pressing" done for Pye by the independent Oriole label, probably due to a production crunch.)

    One more thing. John McNally once said that Pye Records had the attitude that "it was all going to go away in a minute." Thus the rush to record and release Searchers material at a breakneck pace from 1963 and '64.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
  19. Absolutely !
    The recordings sound nice and clean, no clutter in the arrangements or mixing.
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  20. I have the 3 CD set “The Definitive Pye Collection” and I really like it.
    Anyone else have it and/or have an opinion about it in terms of sound, remastering, stereo vs. mono versions, etc. ?
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    A lot of what you just wrote is inaccurate. Re-read what I've written on the subject..
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  22. WMTC

    WMTC Forum Resident

    Just wanted to say that I have found this thread fascinating; I've long enjoyed "Sugar and Spice," "Needles & Pins," & "Love Potion #9." Actually, "Love Potion's" "B" side, "High Heeled Sneakers," is a great track, too. Never knew that the band released a bunch of albums! I'll definitely be keeping my eyes out for them.
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  23. william r small

    william r small Forum Resident

    Cleveland, OH
    Please correct anything I wrote which you know to be inaccurate. I would apreciate you setting the record straight. Many thanks.
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I guess you have most of it right. Except:

    The second album for Kapp, not the third was mixed in New York. 12 songs only, from the third UK LP, and a few songs from the first two UK LP's and one "B" side. That's all.

    The material on the first USA Kapp album was mixed by Pye and they retained stereo masters of everything they sent to Kapp, including third, fourth, etc. I was told they had Kapp dub them a stereo tape of "THIS IS US" in 1964 so Pye had stereo for everything in the 1960s.

    The later Pye stereo albums (Golden Hour), etc. used these mixes. The Arch stuff unwisely remixed a few tracks to get the crucial music in the center channel. Did not work well.

    At any rate, trust me, after all this time, the 20 of us who give a crap are dying off!

    Thanks for your interest. You got most of it right.
  25. Billo

    Billo Forum Resident

    Southern England
    It is true that PYE felt the groups thing would not last very long and as a result they rush released Searchers product onto the market in the UK - the second PYE album 'Sugar and Spice' was released while the debut album 'Meet The Searchers' was still high in the UK album chart and probably only split and therefore diluted sales of both albums as a result

    - EMI were far more restrained re say Beatles, Hollies, Shadows etc albums, if they put out two albums in a year (as all did a few times at least) the releases were well spaced out normally so as not to detract sales of the previous album

    the original UK albums on PYE were:

    original line up Tony Jackson, John McNally, Mike Pender & Chris Curtis

    1. Meet The Searchers 1963
    2. Sugar and Spice - 1963
    3. It's The Searchers - 1964 (a far gentler style more refined rather polished sound)

    Tony Jackson then edged out of the band with Frank Allen (ex-Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers) brought in on bass and lead / backup vocals

    4. Sounds Like Searchers - 1965
    5. Take Me For What I'm Worth - 1965 (final album with Chris Curtis)

    PYE never allowed a follow up album but in 1966 re-issued 'Meet The Searchers' on budget 'PYE Golden Guinea' label then compiled 'The Searchers Smash Hits' issued on budget Marble Arch label

    later a 'Smash Hits vol 2' (with new drummer John Blunt in the cover band photo line up) also a clipped to twelve tracks Marble Arch version of 'It's The Searchers' was re-released with a new cover photo

    PYE ' Golden Hour of The Searchers' and a volume two were released in the early seventies, the first around 1972 I think - both are out on CD

    A Hallmark budget LP 'Needles and Pins' with ten tracks had the rarer stereo mix of the title track

    6. 'Second Take' issued in 1972 with new drummer Billy Adamson on RCA Victor (UK wing) was re-recordings plus 'Desdemona' (USA minor chart hit around 1971) and 'B' side 'Come On Back To Me' - the album was later re-issued as 'Needles and Pins' on budget RCA International label in revised cover

    An RCA Years CD version includes a number of extra songs that were either on RCA singles or left unissued at the time

    7. 'Searchers' - 1979 - Sire records - produced by Pat Moran recorded at Rockfield studios this updated their classic guitar sound putting guitars and vocals to the fore with just a bit of backup keyboard work

    the album came in two sleeves but with a different track listing, first was a 'four space planes' type sleeve and included the Bob Dylan song 'Coming From The Heart' then that was dropped from the revised second release in a sleeve with the group on the cover in a greyish tinged black and white - the tracks 'Silver' and 'Back To The War' were added

    8. 'Play For Today' - 1980 - came in a black sleeve the USA version was titled 'Loves Melodies' with a different track running order again featured a very contemporary rockin' guitar sound similar to Tom Petty etc (whose sound was influenced by the early Searchers & The Byrds etc)

    the song 'Love's Melody' was issued on a UK single but was a completely different recording (far 'punchier') than the album version

    9. 'Hungry Hearts' - 1988 - Coconut Records (Germany) featured Spencer James on guitar/ guitar synth, lead vocals with McNally, Allen, and Adamson - a very 80's keyboardy sound overall, it had re-recordings of 'Sweets For My Sweet' and 'Needles and Pins' plus 'Somebody Told Me You Were Crying' - the final studio album by the band to date and likely to be the last as they retire later this year

    hope this helps anyone starting out to collect the original UK versions of The Searchers studio albums
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2019
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