Tuesday, December 20, 2022

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Searchers "Popcorn Double Feature"


The Searchers-Popcorn Double Feature/Lovers U.S. Kapp K-811 1967

The Searchers had a fairly modest impact on the United States charts starting in February 1964 when "Needles And Pins" reached #11 and introduced them to the American hit parade . After that they managed six more hits in the American Top 40 with a staggering 17 singles released from '64-'66 mostly on the Kapp label (their earlier releases were on Liberty and a few on Mercury). By 1967 the band's American career was past life support and were another British Invasion band in the morgue with a toe tag, "killed by flower power and psychedelia" (or just plain overkill). 

The band always had a knack for covering interesting American tracks, so for their final U.S. release in February 1967 on Kapp they chose a tune called "Popcorn Double Feature" (issued in the previous month in the U.K. as Pye 7N 17225). It was later released by American artist Tim Wilde on Tower in July. Unfortunately as was the case with their previous singles , it saw no chart action in the States. 

To the uninitiated "Popcorn Double Feature" is an impressive track both musically and lyrically. It sings about changing times and social ambivalence ("People are flyin' and babies are cryin' don't nobody care at all, there's love and there's laughter and good things come after just follow the bouncing ball..."). The Searchers rock it out with jangling guitars meshing with the band's typical smooth harmonies. The number is backed by some interesting strings that put the track firmly in the "pop psych" domain and ranks as one of their strongest releases in my mind.

The flip side "Lovers", is a McNally/Pender original (the band frequently had originals on the B-sides of many of their singles). It's a tepid  beat ballad of sorts, total cabaret fodder with it's clacking claves and inoffensive volume. Next...

Both sides are available everywhere because the band's Pye catalog has been issued to hell by Castle Communications. 

Hear "Popcorn Double Feature":

Hear "Lovers":