Founded in 1958, Brian Poole and the Tremeloes expectedly slimmed their name down to simply the Tremeloes when their lead singer exited the crew in 1966 to launch a solo career. Residents of England, the band was briefly embraced by American audiences, but enjoyed phenomenal fame throughout Europe for several years.
Lauded for their impeccable harmony prowess, the Tremeloes religiously maintained a polished, professional pose. Every note and chord was always in place, while the hooks were smooth and glossy. Commercial pop was obviously the band‘s bag, but they often brazenly flirted with a variety of musical concepts during their tenure, and the results were nothing less than impressive.
Although plenty of Tremeloes compilations are available, The Definitive Collection (Castle Communications) tends to be the one I return to the most when craving a fix of the band’s music. Comprised of two discs, the package features the group’s Here Comes The Tremeloes album in its entirety, while the other record offers a nice mix of hits and misses.
Released in the summer of 1967, “Here Comes The Tremeloes, not only entails chart-topping singles such as “Here Comes My Baby,” which gurgles to a lively showcase of whistles, handclaps and laughter, and the similarly fun and energetic “Even The Bad Times Are Good,” but gobs of equally invigorating tracks.
Buzzing with distorted psychedelic effects, “What A State I’m In” is indeed a keeper, as well as the duly coined “Round And Round” that spins tirelessly to a vertigo-induced cadence. Piloted by pulsating rhythms, “Let Your Hair Hang Down” rocks hard and fast, and a cover of “Run Baby Run (Back Into My Arms)” by the Newbeats is spiked with cackling fuzz riffs.
Moving onto the rest of the retrospective, there’s the achingly gorgeous “Be Mine,” a doo-wop flavored ballad bleeding with romantic prose. Cut in the same vein as this toe-curling sentiment is “Silence Is Golden,” where “Helule Helule” wiggles and romps with Latin-laced vibes.
Brimming with lush textures and stately melodies, “Words” pays affectionate homage to both Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne, and “Call Me (Number One)” bristles with quivery Bee Gees styled vocals, accompanied by flashes of freaky six-string samplings.
Despite the fact the Tremeloes basked in the limelight, they remain a grossly underrated band. Their majestic vocals certainly played a prominent role in their success, but folks seem to overlook at how amazingly synchronized and adaptable they were at appropriating fresh creative possibilities.
Shining on with flurries of unforgettable songs, The Definitive Collection is pop music personified.
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