After more than 30 years in the Searchers MikePender decided to quit and start a career of his own. First this seemed to be a problem that couldn't be solved but finally they found Spencer James and he soon left his mark on the Searchers’ sound.

But it took more than two years until they had the chance for a new record contract - in the country where they made their first lp back in 1963: Germany. The German Coconut label (who also had worked with the Hollies) gave them a contract for a new lp (cd), mainly with new songs. Only two re-recordings were made but totally different to the originals. This new sound should attract them for a younger audience.

left: John, Frank and Spencer in the Coconut Studio in Hennef near former German capital Bonn. Billy is not on the picture and I wonder if he was involved at all, all the drum works sound artificial.

Ever since the 2nd Sire LP Billy was reduced to their "tour" drummer.

Picture taken from newspaper “Bonner Rundschau.”

The album was produced in 1988 but before it came out there were two singles ( + maxi singles and maxi cds) taken from it (see below), so it took until 1989 that the lp was on the market. That’s the reason why the sticker of the cover says: `89 remakes of Needles And Pins /Sweets For My Sweet. Those tracks were already recorded in 1988.
The sound was totally different not only because of Spencer’s influence. The producers ideas were determining. So most Searchers’ fans expected something else and were somehow disappointed.

Hungry Hearts was available as lLP 209459, CD 259459 and MC 409459 (in Germany) on the Coconut label and in the Benelux countries on Dureco 115162.1.

It contains twelve tracks. For details see comment by Tim Viney, taken from The Searchers’ Newsletter

above left: CD cover

left: back of the LP

below: Vinyl and and CD label

far below: Taken from CD booklet
and back for Benelux countries CD


Side 1.

1. FOREVER IN LOVE: (A-side of the new single): An atmospheric ballad, lead vocal by Spencer with Frank's voice prominent in the chorus.

2. LOVE LIES BLEEDING: A catchy tune written by John, more up-beat than the previous track.

3. ANOTHER LONELY WEEKEND: Another ballad, originally picked as the A-side of the new single, Spencer again sings lead in a softer style than usual.

4. SOMEBODY TOLD ME YOU WERE CRYING: The song we fans wanted to see as a single by The Searchers, but at least it is now available on record.
    One of the highpoints of the album.

5. EVERY LITTLE TEAR: (B-side of the new single), A bright number sung by Frank and good to listen to.

6. SWEETS FOR MY SWEET: A up-to-date treatment of the group's debut single and light years away from the limpid RCA version of the song.

Side 2.

1. NO OTHER LOVE: Side 2 gets off to a good start with this beat ballad from Spencer with the support of John and Frank on the chorus.

2. THIS BOY'S IN LOVE: One of my favourite tracks on the album. This song features a driving bass-line from Frank, a great vocal by Spencer with
    Frank again providing vocal support on the chorus.

3. FOOLED MYSELF ONCE AGAIN: Those of you who bought the Christmas cassette from Serena will already be familiar with outtakes of this song.
   Suffice to say, it was definitely 'alright on the night'.

4. BABY I DO: This is my favourite. Sung by Frank, with support from Spencer, this song has a lovely late 50's/early 60's feel with its marvellous "bop
    shoo waddy, bop shoo waddy waddy" chorus. A great song.

5. PUSH PUSH: A slow soulful number from Spencer. Perhaps the biggest change of style from The Searchers.

6. NEEDLES AND PINS: This is a superb re-vamp of the group's biggest hit, from the new extended intro to the vocal fade-out (closer to the original
    Jackie De Shannon version than their '64 recording. A great closing track to a fine album.

Benelux LP  

On October 15th, 1988 the new Searchers single was out: Forever In Love (Near To Heaven) b/w Every Little Tear: Ariola Coconut 111783. Below: Cover and label
Coconut even made a video clip - probably their only one - which was broadcasted on German television. But - despite being a perfect song for the late 80s - nothing happened chartwise.

Maxi-Single 611783 with the two tracks from the single plus a remix of Forever In Love (Dream Mix). Cover see single above.

 and the Maxi-CD 661783 with the same tracks as the Maxi Single.

Coconut even made a video clip - probably their only one - which was broadcasted on

German television. But - despite being a perfect song for the late 80s - nothing

happened chartwise.

Maxi-Single 611783 with the two tracks from the single plus a remix of Forever In Love (Dream Mix). Cover see single above.

Maxi CD releases: CD 661 783 came out with the following three songs Forever In Love (Near To Heaven), Every Little Tear and Forever In Love (Dream Mix) corresponding the Maxi Single.

and finally a four - track - maxi CD: 661 783 extended with Needles & Pins.

Early 1989 Coconut released the 2
nd single from the lp/cd: Needles And Pins (Club - Mix and Remake ’89. This time in four different formats.
The first one is the usual vinyl single: in Germany Coconut 112033 b/w Fooled Myself Once Again; and in the Netherlands Dureco 110156.7
The German Maxi-Single 612003, with Needles And Pins Radio Edit - Instrumental as an extra track.
The German Maxi-CD 662033 which had a fourth song: Lonely Weekend as a bonus track.
The fourth format is a two track CD single, only released in the Netherlands: Dureco 110156.2

Below: German single, front cover, back cover, label both sides

above: NL single, below: NL label, A-side far below: Maxi single

below: German CD single  
and fianlly the two track cd single from the Netherlands  

After the release of the album a third song came out in 1989. Again it was released as a normal single (112358) b/w Push Push, as a three track maxi - single (612358) with radio edit of No Other Love and as a maxi cd (662358) with a fourth track Lonely Weekend (Club Mix). Sadly none of the releases charted - so this was the end of their Coconut days

above cover, below label of the single  

The Searchers on German Televison, promoting their new single

below: Maxi Single, front cover like the 7 inch single  

below: 4 track Maxi CD