Herman’s Hermits — “Dream On”/”I Gotta Dream On”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 19, 2022


613) Herman’s Hermits — “Dream On”/”I Gotta Dream On”

Can’t believe Herman’s Hermits never sued Aerosmith over the blatant steal of this song! It is a cool ‘65 album track and B-side that amalgamates a lot of the British Invasion sounds then on the radio.

Ah, Herman’s Hermits (see #300) — they didn’t get any respect, but some of their songs were so wonderful. The Hermits need a Monkees-like reappraisal. As Bruce Eder says:

Herman’s Hermits were one of those odd 1960s groups who accumulated millions of fans, but precious little respect. Indeed, their status is remarkably similar to that of the Monkees, and it’s not a coincidence that both groups’ music was intended to appeal to younger teenagers. The difference is that as early as 1976, the Monkees began to be considered cool by people who really knew music; it took decades longer for Herman’s Hermits to begin receiving higher regard for their work. Of course, that lack of respect had no relevance to their success: 20 singles lofted into the Top 40 in England and America between 1964 and 1970, 16 of them in the Top 20, and most of those Top Ten as well. . . . [C]ommercially, the Hermits were only a couple of rungs below the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.


Phil Bausch says of the Hermits that:

In 1965 they sold more records than the Beatles . . . But in three years they’ll were done. . . . [S]ome of England’s best session players worked on their singles, including Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones . . . . Peter Noone was cute, charming, and an accomplished vocalist. He and the band played-up their British accents on songs like “Henry The VIII” and “Mrs. Brown”, because American audiences were loving all things British at that time. . . . Herman’s Hermits’ flame burned brightly, but quickly. . . . In all, the group had 18 Top 40 hits, are credited with selling over 80-million records,


Eder goes deep:

[In 1963], the Heartbeats got a new member in 16-year-old Peter Noone, who filled in one night when their regular vocalist failed to turn up for a gig. Noone . . . had been a child star on television in the late ’50s, on the television series Coronation Street . . . . Their big break came in 1964 when producer Mickie Most . . . . was impressed with their wholesome, clean-cut image, and with Noone’s singing and pleasant, non-threatening stage presence, and he agreed to produce them, arranging a recording contract for the group with the EMI-Columbia label . . . . Herman’s Hermits’ debut single, a Carole King/Gerry Goffin song called “I’m Into Something Good,” released in the summer of 1964, hit number one in England and number 13 in America. . . .

[T]he Hermits didn’t play on most of their own records; Mickie Most, as was typical of producers in the era . . , saw no reason to make a less-than-perfect record, or spend expensive studio time working with a band to perfect its sound — as long as Peter Noone’s voice was on the record and the backing wasn’t something that the group absolutely couldn’t reproduce on stage, everyone seemed happy, including the fans. Conversely, the group didn’t have too much control over the choice of material . . . . [but] was grateful for the hit records that they chalked up, the revenue that those generated, and the gigs that resulted. . . . Mickie Most recognized that [the Beatles, Stones, etc.] were leaving behind a huge number of listeners who would still buy songs resembling simple, relatively innocent sounds of 1964 . . . . Just how far back he and the group could reach was revealed . . . [when] an American disc jockey heard the[ir] song “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” . . . and convinced the label to issue it as a single. The song had been done almost as a joke . . . its guitar/banjo sound and Noone’s vocal performance — Mancunian accented and laced with a vulnerable, wide-eyed innocence — deliberately reminiscent of George Formby, the immensely popular ukelele-strumming British music hall entertainer of the 1930s and 1940s. In England, that record would never have been considered for release by an image-conscious rock & roll group . . . it would also have destroyed their credibility. In America, however, it was considered just another piece of British Invasion pop/rock . . . and it shot to number one on the charts . . . . After that, a formula was established . . . . [including] including the actual Edwardian-era music hall number “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am,” specifically for release as singles in America. The latter record reportedly made the group members cringe over what it would do to their image in England, but in America it hit number one . . . .


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