HERMAN’S HERMITS Blaze (1967)

Blaze (1967)
Their Overlooked Best… And Last!

Like many, you may have dismissed Herman’s Hermits as a catchy, sing-along, British Invasion novelty act a long time ago. But, before closing the book on Peter Noone & his mates, check out the band’s last real album, the ever-so-slightly psych-inspired Blaze. Picking up where There’s A Kind Of Hush All Over The Word left off, ace studio producer Mickie Most (of Donovan fame) introduces a bit more sophistication, and a touch more experimentation to the Hermits’ repertoire. Blaze opens with a noticeable shift in tone and texture, as Donovan’s “Museum” is given a muscular, sonically rambunctious treatment that should be familiar to Leitch-ers. There are still plenty of familiar Brit Invasion-style pop numbers here, all rather likable, if lightweight. “Green Street Green” borrows from The Kinks’ stylistic shuffle (the Hermits’ hit, “Dandy,” was written by Ray Davies), while “Moonshine Man” is yet another variation of the recognizable bass riff/beat from “Taxman.” Pre-10cc’s Graham Gouldman (who penned Hush‘s “No Milk Today”) contributes 3 compositions to this expanded re-issue, including the sophisto-pop sharp, “Upstairs, Downstairs.” Sadly, the original 10 song LP, maybe their best, failed to catch fire (their first commercial misstep), and the Hermits barely even attempted to follow it up, instead they issued a few singles for a few years (included here as bonus tracks) before calling it a day. Peter Noone co-produced Gouldman’s debut solo album, The Graham Gouldman Thing. Blaze is apparently out of print, but gettable at Amazon.


Museum (2:42)
Upstairs, Downstairs
(2:12)
Busy Line (2:31)
Moonshine Man (2:32)
Green Street Green (2:13)
Don’t Go Out Into The Rain (You’re Going To Melt) (2:13)
I Call Out Her Name (1:53)
One Little Packet Of Cigarettes (2:00)
Last Bus Home (2:19)
Ace, King, Queen, Jack (2:49)

Sleepy Joe
(3:10) (Single)
Just One Girl (2:38) (Single)
London Look (2:06) (Single)
Sunshine Girl (2:37) (Single)
Nobody Needs To Know (2:38) (Single)
Something Is Happening (3:10) (Single)
The Most Beautiful Thing In My Life (1:54) (Single)
Ooh, She’s Done It Again (2:17) (Single)
My Sentimental Friend (3:18) (Single)
My Lady (2:44) (Single B-Side)
Here Comes The Star (3:23)
It’s Alright Now (2:25)

10 Comments

  • 1
    Capt. Willard
    October 30, 2010 - 15:22 | Permalink

    Find it HERE, among other places.

  • 2
    puffnrandy
    July 28, 2012 - 13:51 | Permalink

    Thanks Cap’n… I’ll give it a shot since you are giving it a thumbs up.

  • 3
    Anonymous
    July 29, 2012 - 09:13 | Permalink

    The version of Museum here is fine, so I’m interested to hear the rest. 1967 was a good influence on many people. The stigma is well deserved, though. Thanks Willard!

  • 4
    Willard
    July 29, 2012 - 19:35 | Permalink

    It doesn’t all sound exactly like Donovan, but there are a lot of good producers and writers involved in this project.

  • 5
    Grateful
    July 30, 2012 - 20:06 | Permalink

    First of all, I missed this version of Blaze first time around. This is even better with all the bonus tracks. But, I never knew the Graham Gouldman connection to Noone as co-producer. Graham Gouldman has a clever wit with words and maybe even wrote the heaviest cleverest thing to ever get passed the censors. (“the impossible years” covers territory no-one else is brave enough to even suggest. Go Graham!)
    Thanks, Willard. I hope everything is going good with the blog. I used to think this thing could run itself!!! Ha ha, on that. I haven’t ever had enough appreciation for what you put into the blog. Re-Upping these few posts has made me see how much you really love music. That is awesome. It is a lot of work. I think that the Boat may be covered with wormholes…but she is unsinkable. Great work.

  • 6
    Willard
    July 30, 2012 - 20:21 | Permalink

    Many thanks.

  • 7
    ansina
    July 30, 2012 - 20:38 | Permalink

    A big THANKS (with many bonus extra thanks)!

  • 8
    jd
    August 7, 2012 - 22:28 | Permalink

    Brilliant and revelatory, thanks….

  • 9
    MiddlenameWayne
    August 11, 2012 - 18:42 | Permalink

    I can’t be the only person who remembers the Great Hermits Onslaught of the Early 80s, can I? I’m pretty sure that’s when it was* that a massive warehouse find (so big that it made the various Apple dumpings seem like yard sale finds) resulted in every cut-out bin in the USA being filled to the brim with still-sealed original ’60s copies of this and nearly every other Herman LP — which “Noone” had seen otherwise for over a decade! I think this was the only one I never ended up grabbing at the bargain price of a buck or so each — the one with the Frank Frazetta cover being the first one to snag my eye, of course!)

    — mnw

    *(I know it was late enough so that I was intimately familiar with The Knack’s version of “Heartbeat” before I had heard the HH rendition**.)

    **(Speaking of renditions, I assume everyone here has heard the “When Pigs Fly” compilation CD that includes Peter N. and the rest of the band doing that big hit by a different “Idol”: “White Wedding”.)

  • 10
    Willard
    August 11, 2012 - 18:49 | Permalink

    Missed that one, personally. But, god bless those cut out bins. About the only cool find I can remember of classic 60s LPs was at a flea market once in the late 80s. Some guy had a half dozen copies of Beatles ’65 for $2 each. So I scored one, cracked it open and it was an original Capitol issue, so I grabbed the rest of course (then proceeded to heartlessly overcharge my fellow man).

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