The Searchers were a beat group out of the Merseybeat sound, contemporaneous with the Beatles and the Hollies. They recorded a lot of pop covers early on, and good ones, like Sweets for My Sweet, Love Potion #9, and most notably Needles and Pins, which they helped make a classic.
I’ve long thought them to be an important band, because they played so well, and were such an important part of this most important pop scene, but I’ve been listening again lately and as much as I like all these songs, and admire the polish and playing on them all, the variety of styles and approaches leads me to conclude that the Searchers may have been, in their day, the world’s best wedding band.
I don’t mean that as a put down. Wedding bands are different from first rate rock bands, so I’ve dug a hole the Searchers have to climb out of, but I think they can do it. My point is that bands usually coalesce around some principles that guide their sound, their choice of material, their approach, or in other words, their vibe.
The Searchers didn’t really. They had the beat group sound, but they sampled pop and soul sounds without any orthodoxy. They just played, and like the best wedding bands, they brought great chops and energy to everything they did.
Which brings us to Alright, which seems to owe a lot to Ray Charles, but which also has a kick ass guitar solo. I love the way these guys play, but I also see that they’re not very visionary. Nothing wrong with that, but it does tamp down expectations. In any case, enjoy this!