Posts Tagged ‘greatest hits’

Last post I shared a song from Peter & Gordon, a great duo to come out of the British Invasion, music I grew up with despite my age (thank you, Magic 104!). I first heard their songs on the radio, while another duo, Chad & Jeremy was more a product of a record album found at my grandparents’ (thank you, whichever aunt or uncle owned it!).

Chad Stuart, Jeremy Clyde, Peter Asher, and Gordon Waller (of Aberdeenshire, where I once spent considerable time). Two duos, with a maddening amount in common, but I have never heard of any rivalry, or even the two compared, although when Gordon passed away, the remaining three began performing together.

They arose independently of each other, coming along at about the same time. Each had a bespectacled, higher-pitched redheaded member, each a lower-voiced dark-haired one. Chad & Jeremy goofed around on episodes of Batman and the Dick Van Dyke Show, and Peter & Gordon knew the Beatles, thanks to Peter’s sister, Jane, being Paul’s famed pre-Linda romance.

Chad & Jeremy had a more elegant, hushed approach to singing and orchestration, while Peter & Gordon often sinking into overproduced histrionics“THIS LAND IS MINE!!”but both had a bunch of wonderful tunes before fading as the decade ended. To get to know them, here are five songs worth checking out from each:

Chad & Jeremy

A Summer Song—One of the finest songs to come out of the British 60s.

Dirty Old Town—A Ewan MacColl song—something you might not expect. And it packs a punch, with its gentle descriptions giving way to menace.

Willow Weep For Me—Meditative, jazzy blue companion to A Summer Song.

Donna, Donna—Another beautiful, defiant folk song.

Can’t Get Used To Losing You—Although they wrote some catchy album tracks, there are so many great covers by this duo, and they made their versions definitive ones. Here’s one from the Andy Williams catalogue that they zipped up a bit, still keeping it touching. Those harmonies, the hummed ending.

Peter & Gordon

Nobody I Know—The slightly poorer cousin of I Go To Pieces, with that same jangly guitar. Its writer makes it noteworthy to some. For me, it’s just a great song in the Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas mode. They had two other big hits in this vein.

If I Were You—A delectable minor key obscurity where the oboe line reels you in.

Don’t Pity Me—Gordon with some vocals that seem plucked out of late 70s/early 80s post-punk altie times.

Woman—The orchestration works here.

Lady Godiva—While C&J took a psychedelic turn later in their career, P&G went music hall for a spell, much like Herman’s Hermits did for at least half an album. “It’ll be funny,” said Gordon, and he was right. Super catchy too.

And now a splendid, understated bonus track from Chad and Jane Stuart. Jane is Chad’s wife, and she’s not Jane Asher, Peter’s sister! I believe Chad played guitar on this oneI Can’t Talk To You.

I’ve been singing I Go To Pieces and a few of these others for a few days now; thank you for joining me in this reminiscence of two great duos, whether you know them well, or have just discovered them.


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