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Hurst, Mike: Producers Archives Volume 4 1966 - 1980

Mike Hurst is an English musician turned producer who has had a long and fruitful career in the music business. He joined The Springfields in 1962 and helped unleash the band in the US with the hit "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" and continued their success with "Island of Dreams" and "Say I Won't Be There". However, the band's career was short and they broke up in 1963. He then went on to form the band The Methods featuring Jimmy Page and Alvin Lee on guitar. From there it was on to producing and becoming influential in the early careers of Marc Bolan and Cat Stevens.

On Producers Archives Volume 4 the years 1966 - 1980 are covered by twenty-two Hurst produced tracks. This is the fourth and last disc in the series.

On the album you get twenty-two short tracks with a brief synopsis on each one by Hurst. I like the fact he is brutally honest in his descriptions even to the point of not liking some of the tunes. The disc opens with two tracks by the band Fancy, a version of "Wild Thing" and "Touch Me". Both tunes have sultry female lead vocals that add a certain sexual element and I can see why teenage boys back in the day probably dug these tunes. The next two tracks by the Fingertips, "You Put The Magic In Me" and "Anyone You Want Me To Be" are breezy pop tunes with a hint of disco and are nice enough but don't really work for me. New World's "Somethings Wrong" is in the style of say America or James Taylor and are pleasant enough as are the two Billy Fury tunes "Old Sweet Roll" and "Paradise Alley". One of the best tunes is the irresistible pop of "Face To Face" by Sprinkler. Other good tracks include the psychedelic rock circa 1968 of "Pink Dawn" by New Zealand's The Human Instinct and The Beatles-like "Top Girl" by The Cymbaline.

So a few hits, a few misses but overall if you dig '60s and '70s pop music Producers Archives should be worth checking out. Released on Angel Air Records.

Track Listing:
1. Wild Thing � Fancy (1973)
2. Touch Me � Fancy (1974)
3. You put The Magic In Me � Fingertips (1975)
4. Anyone You Want Me To Be � Fingertips (1975)
5. Somethings Wrong � New World (1971)
6. Old Sweet Roll (Ho-De-Ho) � Billy Fury (1970)
7. Paradise Alley � Billy Fury (1970)
8. Face To Face � Sprinkler (1977)
9. Pink Dawn � The Human Instinct (1968)
10. Wednesdays Child � Mike Hurst Orchestra (1969)
11. Love Receiver � Terry Mace (1979)
12. Wooly Bully � Hit & Run (1978)
13. Killer On The Dance Floor � The Speedos (1980)
14. Top Girl � The Cymbaline (1966)
15. Save The Last Dance For Me � The Bachelors (1977)
16. Children & Flowers � The Bachelors (1977)
17. I Won't Dance � John Henry (1974)
18. Two Wheels � Firebird (1974)
19. Moonbeam � Ayshea (1975)
20. Keep It Up � Gilly Mason Band (1975)
21. Music Maker � Ray Fenwick & Fancy (1975)
22. (The Space Invaders Meet The) Purple People Eater � Russ Abbot (1980)

Added: July 9th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 745
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Hurst, Mike: Producers Archives Volume 4 1966 - 1980
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-07-10 02:59:59
My Score:

My SoT colleague did an exceptional job of summing up Mike Hurst’s career and the focus of this series of Producers Archives releases featuring Hurst’s diverse body of work. How diverse?

Consider the sheer variety of songs on this single 22-song disc:

• A cover of Chip Taylor’s “Wild Thing” by a group called Fancy, for which Hurst writes in the liner notes he “settled for a non-vocalist, Helen Caunt (no error in spelling, please).” She also was a Penthouse Pet and Rod Stewart's girlfriend.
• “Killer on the Dance Floor,” a dark yet engaging precursor to the New Wave movement of the Eighties, performed by the one-man band known, oddly, as The Speedos.
• Firebird’s “Two Wheels,” a blatant Beach Boys wannabe, complete with revving engine and summertime harmonies.
• The disco-rocker "Keep It Up" by the Gilly Mason Band, which sounds like "Hot Stuff"-era Donna Summer. "This is the one I have no idea about," Hurst writes. "I don't recall who Gilly Mason was or any of the band, only that it was released on Bell." That's too bad.
• A pair of songs -- Jackie DeShannon’s “Children and Flowers” and The Drifters’ “Save the Last Dance for Me” -- from The Bachelors, a band Hurst calls “a tough act to handle” because of the group’s manager. “I am not too proud of this,” Hurst admits, “but sometimes in business we do what we have to do.”

There’s nothing remarkable about Hurst’s production techniques, but that doesn’t make this collection any less of a revelation. Hurst hints at the end of Volume 4’s liner notes “that’s it. No more archive.” If that is, indeed, the case, then you might find it worth digging into the first three volumes of Hurst’s Producers Archives to track down more songs that you probably never would otherwise hear.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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