Sunday, April 20, 2014

Suddenly It's the Tremeloes

Even though I seem to be listening to hundreds of Hollies songs at the moment, I have also dedicated a good amount of time to another UK group, the Tremeloes. Considering how good they are I didn't hear much about them until I had already become aware of pretty much every other significant UK band of the 60s. I listened to a compilation by the Tremeloes a few times until my brain realized that there is indeed something really magical here.

The Tremeloes have performed several famous songs, such as Yellow River, Suddenly You Love Me, and, quite surprisingly the syrupy 1983 europop Words. Even though their most famous song is probably Silence Is Golden, they have performed plenty of easy-going songs some of which almost sound like they were recorded during a party at the studio (Here Comes My Baby, Even the Bad Times Are Good). In some of the most memorable songs the band does incorporate a mixture of fun and a certain melancholy. Check out Negotiations in Soho Square or Happy Song: the latter sounds not just happy but the opposite too. In any case, something about the Tremeloes' unique energy reminds me a little of the Beatles (the Tremeloes performed Good Day Sunshine) but even more of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mich & Tich.

In addition to Silence Is Golden, I swoon over the Tremeloes harmonizing on songs like I Shall Be Released and Now's the Time. These guys could really sing and perform incredibly catchy songs. I am also most definitely fascinated by the variation: in the 60s section we have everything from the impressive melancholy of Be Mine, Come on Home and As You Are to considerably different songs (and arrangements) such as Helule HeluleMy Little Lady and Girl from Nowhere. As the 70s approached, the Tremeloes seemed to incorporate even a little bit of psychedelic feel. Prime examples of this include Me and My Life, By the Way, and the fantastic (Call Me) Number One.

The Tremeloes didn't score hits after the early 70s but the singles were still melodic and catchy. And just like so many other fantastic 60s bands, it seems, also the Tremeloes are still around.


Keiju said...

This article almost seems to introduce The Tremeloes as a covers band. The truth was that even though they really did perform many cover songs, they also wrote a great part of their music themselves. Perhaps my favourite song of theirs is By the Way, released 1970 which seems to be my favourite Tremeloes year. A great band.

Melody Freak said...

I guess that is mostly a coincidence. This time I didn't focus on the songwriting credits but just the music instead (there were surely many "covers" on the compilation I was listening to). Probably every great 60s band wrote a lot of original material so I guess I don't feel the need to mention it every time.

The concept of a "cover song" of the 60s is open to discussion. You might say that a song doesn't feel like a cover if you haven't heard it performed by anyone else before (the Tremeloes had only one song I had heard before, in English I mean). Back then people would write songs, give some of those away, and also receive songs from many different sources - some of those songs had been performed by someone else before, some hadn't.

I'm usually happy as long as I'm hearing good music. The choice of song can be an accomplishment in itself if you perform the song well. Call me lazy but I don't have a very systematic view on the songwriting credits. Sometimes I actually get really surprised by the credits when I finally decide to have a look at them (which can be fun).

Keiju said...

No, that is not laziness. People are just emphasizing different things. But still, "Silence Is Golden" is a Four Seasons original, "I Shall Be Released" is a Bob Dylan song, "Words" was a F.R. David hit, "Here Comes My Baby" is a Cat Stevens song (I am not sure who performed it first), and "Good Day Sunshine" is, well, we all know. "Yellow River" was a hit for Christie though The Tremeloes recorded it before it became one. "Be Mine" and "Suddenly You Love Me" were Italian melodies with English words. And so on... These kind of things interest me, and when speaking about the 1960s (skipping "Words", naturally) the covers issue is not only a bad thing. For example, it is amazing how similar The Marmalade and The Grass Roots' versions of "Lovin' Things" were to each other. I mean, the bands weren't very similar, were they? :)