Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Herman Monster


Did any band ever have more hits with less lasting impact than Herman's Hermits? Sure, everybody knows "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," but those guys had eleven Top Ten hits from 1965 to 1967.

"Just a Little Bit Better"? "Listen People"? "Leaning on the Lamp Post"? "Dandy"? Those were huge hits in 1965 and 1966, and I'm pretty sure I've never heard a one of them. ("Dandy" was even written by Ray Davies of the Kinks.) And if I've never heard them, who has?

The mid-Sixties were apparently a good time for mediocre bands to rack up piles of hits. Gary Lewis and the Playboys had seven Top Tens in 1965 and 1966, and you've never heard of any of them except "This Diamond Ring" and "She's Just My Style."

9 comments:

Gavin said...

And the Dave Clark Five made it into the RRHOF.

Scraps said...

I'll bet you'd find you recognize "Listen People".

The one Herman's Hermits song I'll defend as terrific is "There's a Kind of Hush". The rest is disposable, except "I'm Into Something Good" which is a King/Goffin song and sounds like it.

Scraps said...

I wouldn't put the Dave Clark Five in the RRHOF -- inasmuch as I care -- I'd put them ahead of the Lovin' Spoonful, anyway -- where did I put the rest of this sentence? -- but they were a lot better than Herman's Hermits.

T. Nawrocki said...

"There's a Kind of Hush" has been immortal ever since Lenny sang it to his bowling ball on "The Simpsons."

Someone's going to make a case for Herman's Hermits in the RRHoF, too, on the Paul Molitor plan - eleven top Ten hits is a bunch. I'm sure that would put them in the upper third of all enshrined RRHoFers. As it stands, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Dave Clark Five and Lloyd Price now constitute the lower border of that institution, the Jesse Haines/Chick Hafey/Tommy McCarthy of rock & roll. Which reminds me...

Pike said...

Great. Now I'm going to have "Leaning on the Lamp Post" stuck in my head all day.

Rob said...

you gotta admit, there have been many versions of "Something Good" and the Hermits were the only ones who made it rock. Throw in "No Milk Today" and "Henry VIII," and that's three just plain GREAT singles, plus about twice as many pretty good ones. ("Dandy" was bloody awful.)

Dave Clark Five just had "Catch Me If You Can," and the Monkees probably improved it when they plagiarized it for their theme song. (Wait I take that back.)

who'd win in a fight, Mrs. Brown or Ms. Jackson?

T. Nawrocki said...

I can't believe all the Hermitania being thrown around here.

Pike said...

I can't believe you just brought up the "Hermitania." Those damned Germans sank that ship and I'll never forgive.

T. Nawrocki said...

who'd win in a fight, Mrs. Brown or Ms. Jackson?

Sylvia's mother would take them both.