Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lee Andrews & The Hearts

This is one of those releases that make you wonder how legit it is. To begin with, it has two titles: Best of Lee Andrews & The Hearts, and Teardrops. That isn’t so unusual. So what else? Well the label: MCR Productions. And it’s licensed from Red Dog Express. And it was made in Holland. Lee Andrews & The Hearts recorded 2 hits for Chess, and 1 for United Artists. They are on here, all. There are no acknowledgments of the original labels. It all looks very suspicious. This kind of thing is normal.

The credits list all 10 tracks. 3 of them have songwriting credits, 7 don’t. There are no liner notes, no biographical information, no recording dates.

But the sound – the sound on these recordings is genuine 50s. There is no way for anyone to get the old guys (or any old guys) back into the studio and rerecord the old numbers, and have them sound this authentic.

This is a cassette by the way, a prerecorded cassette, the only copy I’ve ever seen, in any format. It has all 3 of their hits on it. How wonderful is that!

Lee Andrews & The Hearts:

Teardrops – I’m using the written configuration given on the cassette label. Whitburn has “Tear Drops.” Either way, I guess this is the tale of crying. Lee has done someone wrong, he tried to find happiness with “someone new,” and now he is asking forgiveness. It’s dumb, really, but a great 50s prom slow dance. The Turtles covered this; their version was first released on a late 70s compilation called Happy Together Again. This was a hit towards the end of 1957.
Try The Impossible – The impossible in this case is trying to understand “how I feel about you.” And he goes on try the incredible, try the thisable, try the thatable. This has more of tin pan alley than one usually hears in doo wop. From the summer of 1958.
Just Suppose
Glad To Be Here – A song about performing. Here’s where the group goes uptempo.
Bluebird Of Happiness – There seem to be a lot of songs about Bluebirds, Paul McCartney did one – and this is one. There isn’t much to it.
Long Lonely Nights – This is from the summer of 1957, but it didn’t get higher than 45, notwithstanding its plaintive appeal. Bobby Vinton’s version reached 17 in 1965, but it wasn’t nearly as good.
Bells Of St. Mary – The sound of this sounds like a throwback to The Harptones.
Lonely Room – Just another doo wop ballad about being broken hearted. I think he should get out of his room though.
The Fairest
The Clock – This seems to have been written by The Big Bopper. Story of a guy being driven crazy by his clock. Cf The Clock On The Wall by The Guess Who.

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