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The Honeycombs

  • The Honeycombs

    The Honeycombs

  • Joe Meek,
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    The Honeycombs

    the honeycombs

    The Honeycombs( 1964 )
    Colour Slide / Once You Know / Without You It Is Night / That's The Way / I Want To Be Free / How The Mighty Have Fallen / Have I The Right? / Just A Face In The Crowd / Nice While It Lasted / Leslie Anne / She's Too Way Out / It Ain't Necessarily So / This Too Shall Pass Away

    Honey Lantree was a female drummer that legend has it, directly inspired Karen Carpenter to take up the drums as an instrument. The Honeycombs were a Joe Meek act who provided him with his final UK number one hit, 'Have I The Right', a track that was sped up so much so, The Honeycombs could never perform it live because the singer couldn't keep up. Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, a very prolific British songwriting team who would also write a million seller for Elvis pen most of the tunes on this album. Singer Dennis O'Dell has been unfairly described as a Gene Pitney unable to hold notes, but there's no doubting his wobbling vocals were, along with Honey, the distinguishing feature of The Honeycombs. The songwriting guys did the Honeycombs proud here, by the way. Unlike many Joe Meek acts, The Honeycombs benefitted from proper, actual songwriting by the then budding team of Howard and Blaikley. Add into this the Joe Meek production and you have yourself one of the finest albums to emerge in 1964. The Beatles and Dylan were more than up and running by then, as were The Rolling Stones but it's this album that i'm placing right up there with the best of that year alongside them. Not, you know, The Hollies or somebody. 'Colour Slide' for instance repeats the floorboard bass drum percussion of hit song 'Have I The Right' and had it been released a year or two later would still have fitted right in. It sounds slightly 'Nuggets', sounds slightly 'freak-beat', to these ears at least.

    Elsewhere, a Joe Meek version of folk/rock enriches tunes such as 'Once You Know' and especially 'That's The Way'. The Honeycombs with everything that went on within them and around them were pretty distinctive. Distinctive vocals, very distinctive drummer, a female drummer was almost unheard of back then. Distinctive Joe Meek production and top songwriting evocative of the beat-group era but superior to many of Blaikley and Howards contemporaries.'That's The Way' was a top twenty UK hit song and apart from a slightly corny 'I Love You', 'I Love You' repeating back and forth vocal between Honey and Dennis is one of my favourite tunes here. Almost every track is a winner. I don't need to describe 'Have I The Right', so let's focus on 'Just A Face In The Crowd' instead. Reminds me of Roy Orbison tunes, the percussive rhythm is especially of that type. 'Leslie Ann' is a nice folk/rock - beat group type of tune. 'She's Too Way Out' is a full Joe Meek production with a heavy sounding bass guitar. The soft 'This Too Shall Pass Away' as a generous song fourteen rounds out the album with a fine wobbly vocal from Dennis. You can get this album as a two-fer with the only other LP the group released by the way. So, track it down, there's no excuse.

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    Readers Comments

    Martin Murray Leader Founder Member THE HONEYCOMBS kops4444@yahoo.co.uk
    Hi Adrian firstl you have some points wrong in your review,we played HAVE ITHE RIGHT live at every venue we ever did and still do so today. Ken Howerd and Alan Blakley were discovered by my goodself and did not get famous tillafter HAVE I THE RIGHT.The arranegements of allthe songs you here are Mine Joe loved them all and never ever altered one of them. Many thanks for a great review on the album. REGARDS Martin Murray

    Mike London
    We all know that listening to an album and seeing a group live are two different experiences, but the new line up (2010) has to be seen and heard to be believed. Martin Murray is still rocking with a great bunch of guys (and girl ) with a pedigree that goes back a very long way. They have all been in the charts and played world wide during their time as musicians working with all manner of artists from the Beatles to the Stones, Dusty Springfield, Lulu etc. You cant judge a book by it's cover or a record by it's sleeve but they have captured that 'Meek' sound again. Their new official web site is www.thehoneycombs.org.uk The old site is a covers band now. Well done guys. Mike Barringer.

    Martin Murray London
    Wow, Thanks Mike London, what a tremendous live stage review, it looks like the hard work at rehearsals has paid of. We are so proud as we are getting this feedback everywhere we perform. Also many thanks for mentioning the new website address and that the old one is a covers band. Warmest Regards Martin Murray, Leader Founder THE HONEYCOMBS.

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