The Searchers: Release date October 1979

UK: Sire SRK 6082

US: Sire SRK 6082

Germany: Sire 200-986-320

NL: Sire WBN 56762

RA: Sire Music Hall 50-14.349-3

Canada: Sire QSR 6082

Portugal: Sire / Danova SRK 6082 NP

Produced and Engineered by Pat Moran.

Recorded and Mixed at Rockfield Studios,Wales, U.K. April through July 1979.

Mixing Engineer: Ted Sharp "It's Too Late" Remixed by Ed Stasium

Keyboards on "Lost In Your Eyes" and "Coming From The Heart": Bob Jackson

Photography: Martin Poole

Original Concept: Steve Mowell, Valerie Allam

Innersleeve Photo: Chris Qabrin

Album Design: Spencer Drate, John Qillespie

Thanks To: Paul McNally, Seymour Stein, Rob Dickins, Dena, Rose, Charles Kingsley Ray Martinez,  John David, Pete Kelly, Buzz Music, Chris and all at Rockfield

Mike Pender sings lead on all tracks except Donít Hang On which is sung by Frank Allen. But all of that extraordinary guitar work is done by John McNally (with Mike playing 12 string electric guitar).



above: Front cover of the German and the first UK release from 1979. Below: Part of the back cover

Below left taken from the UK/Ger inner sleeve. Below right: From German Music Magazine: Music Joker

below: Label of the UK lp

Scanned from the original US inner sleeve


Let's recap for a moment. The Searchers are of course the group responsible for that clutch of Merseybeat classicsó "Sweets for my Sweet", "Needles and Pins", "Love Potion #9", "When you Walk in the Room" et al. Liverpool's number two ranking group, second only to the Beatles, The Searchers were the only really successful and stylistically innovative Mersey group outside the Brian Epstein stable.

The nucleus of The Searchers today is the same as during their mid-sixties heyday: John McNally, lead guitarist and singer, founded the group back in 1961 with Mike Pender, guitarist and lead singer, while Frank Allan, bassist and occasional lead singer, joined the fold in August 1964 after The Searchers were the First major beat group to suffer a split in their ranks. Frank played on all Searchers records from "When you Walk in the Room" onwards. Only drummer Billy Adamson is a newcomer, though of ten years standing.

The Searchers didn't quit, although the hits stopped flowing as the sixties started waning. Without ever disgracing their name, they carried on, playing the clubs, touring Europe, America and Australia. Recordings during this period were scarce (and now much sought after), while for five years they had no deal at all. Then, in late 1978, The Searchers signed to Sire, not to cut nostalgic recycled hits, or a rock'n'roll revival collection, but a modern album. They'd waited for someone with the faith to let them prove that their brand of rock was utterly timeless.

"The Searchers", the resulting album, leaves no room for doubt. As contemporary as any album released this year, it has already been universally acclaimed by the far from gullible British rock press. Three tracks speak volumes for The Searchers' undeniable place in today's rock world, the Will Birch/ John Wicks' song "Hearts in Her Eyes", Tom Petty's "Lost in Your Eyes", and a rare Bob Dylan effort. "Coming from the Heart". Will and John's group. The Records, along with Tom Petty's outfit, are both self-confessed admirers of the sound that The Searchers made so compelling and original in the sixties. Both are committed to bringing that genre back into contention. The Searchers anticipated the jangling folk rock sound that inspired groups such as The Byrds and Beau Brummels as well as Dylan himself.

Ultimately, though, it's not The Searchers' track record that enables them to compete with today's groups; it's their playing and singing. Their instrumental work is as tight and exhilarating as ever, still that same blend of rhythmic precision and inventive melody. Those trademark harmonies, too, highlighted by Mike Pender's emotion-charged lead vocals, have simply matured with the years.

And the group proves the point as it works out on these hand picked songs: Mod Brown's "No Dancing", which has drawn comparisons with Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe's mighty Rockpile: Lowe himself has had a bash at veteran pub rocker Micky Jupp's "Switchboard Susan", and, dare I suggest. The Searchers' version has the edge. Add, among others, a radio classic from Airwaves man John David, "It's Too Late", and a brace of group compositions, and "The Searchers" is probably the first so-called 'comeback' album to thoroughly justify the coming back.

ó Mick Houghten

Below are the American version, promo cover front and back plus inner sleeve information, then the regular cover and label

You might have noticed it: In America the lp was titled The Searchers, while in Europe it was only Searchers. The reason might have been that "The" sounded a bit out of time in 1979.

Below: The American inner sleeve and on the right another article from Music Joker.

above: Canadian LP

left: LP from Argentina

This lp was a real big chance for the Searchers to win a new audience and to keep the old one. The songs were new - no re- recordings of their old hits like they did a few years earlier (and like their mates - Swinging Blues Jeans, Merseybeats Ödid), very   good  material which had always been  a strength of the Searchers. The sound was perfect, the guitar work overwhelming, the vocals extraordinary. Every Searchers fan was (probably) delighted. I remember them playing Hearts In Her Eyes on German television. I was so surprised to hear them playing a new and very good song. This was a great moment back in 1979. That song was the first single from the lp (see below) and (I think) they hoped desperately for a chart success which didnít come.

So - after a quick decision - the album was withdrawn, at least in the UK and released  again in January 1980 without Coming From The Heart (one of my favourites). Three new tracks were added - recordings from early 1980: Loveís Melody, Back To The War and Silver - all sung by Mike Pender.

The pictures above show front and back cover including both sides of the label of the new release. The title was still The Searchers, the record number now SRK 6086. This lp also came out in Japan RJ-7660.

Singles, taken from the LP

  Hearts In Her Eyes  b/w   Donít Hang On    
UK Sire SIR 4026 Oct 1st 1979
Ger Sire  101 169 - 100 1979
NL Sire WBN 17.539 1979
Fr Sire 2C 008-63512 1979

above: UK release, below: Germany

below: record from the Netherlands

Itís Too Late  b/w  Don't Hang On    
US & Canada  Sire SRE 49175 Jan 80
Argentina Music Hall - Sire MH 32.812 1980
It's Too Late is different to the LP version  

Sire in USA, Canada and Argentina didnít consider Hearts In Her Eyes strong enough for the American market. They choose Itís Too Late b/w Donít Hang On and released in on Sire 49175 in January 1980. Radio stations already received a promo release late 1979 with Itís Too Late in mono and stereo. While the Canadian promo had both tracks. The single came out only in a factory sleeve. Unfortunately the single didnít chart.The single was not a huge seller it seems. Chartings from February to December 1980  included peaks of #14 in Zimbabwe and #133 in the USA on the Record World chart; it was also an airplay hit in South Africa on Capital Radio reaching #14


Itís Too Late   /   This Kind Of Love Affair    
UK Sire SIR 4036

March 1980

Ger Sire Ariola 100 937 - 100 1980
Jap Sire SFL-2479 1980
SA Warner Brothers WBS 353 1980
Same remixed USA version    
above: release from the UK, below the German record and Japanese   cover
Love's Melody c/w Changing was released in July 1980. (Sire SIR 4041), taken from the 2nd version of the LP and called Hit Single Version
because of being a little different from the LP version. In opposite to "Hit Version Single" it was unfortunately another "Non-Hit Version".
In Germany Sire released this single as well: Sire 102 331, the   picture cover is almost indentical to the UK single.