While Sire Records was focused on bringing punk and New Wave to the masses in the late ‘70s, signing everyone from the Dead Boys and Ramones to the Talking Heads and Pretenders, label chief Seymour Stein still had his eye on other genres.
Case in point was the signing of Liverpool’s The Searchers, a fantastic and surprisingly overlooked group from the ‘60s Merseybeat scene that also happened to churn out hometown scene mates the Beatles.
By 1979, when Sire signed The Searchers their sound had evolved into a mix of power pop and rock in the vein of everyone from The Kinks to a peppier Big Star. It seems appropriate then that Omnivore Recordings, the one label almost single handedly turning a new generation on to Big Star thanks to their re-releases, is behind this phenomenal 2-CD collection from The Searchers. While only spanning three-years, for this collection they’ve pulled together 29 tacks, including songs from their 1979 self-titled album and 1980s “Love Melodies” and four bonus tracks including a previously unreleased cover of John Hiatt’s “Ambulance Chaser.” The two records have been hard to find outside of auction sites for the past 10 years or so.
Even though the snapshot here is just a three-year period in the band’s decades-long tenure, many of the tracks here are among the band’s greatest songs. “Switchboard Susan” is fantastic even today, as are songs like “This Kind of Love Affair” and “It’s Too Late.” There is even a stellar cover of Big Star’s “September Gurls”
Now is a great to rediscover (or discover for the first time) this under the radar group and “Another Night” is the ideal starting point.
The Searchers – Another Night: The Sire Recordings 1979-1981/2 CDs/Omnivore Recordings/2017 / https://twitter.com/omnivorerecords