Herman's Hermits: Karl Green (bass instrument); Barry Whitwam, Keith Hopwood, Derek Leckenby, Peter Noone.
Personnel: Keith Hopwood, Derek Leckenby (vocals, guitar); Karl Green, Peter Noone (vocals); Barry Whitwam (drums).
Liner Note Author: Jim Bessman.
Recording information: De Lane Lea Music Recording Studios, London, England (??/??/1964-09/27/1969); Kingsway Recording Studio, London, England (??/??/1964-09/27/1969).
Arranger: John Paul Jones .
If all you know about Herman's Hermits is that they had a couple of semi-novelty hits during the British Invasion with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry the VIII, I Am," RETROSPECTIVE aims to set you straight. Part of ABKCO producers Teri Landi and Jody Klein's grand plan to redress the balance of historical perspective on 1960s pop, this collection is a perfect overview of the band initially regarded as a safer version of the Beatles. While amiable, sunny pop is the dominant strain here, there are many tracks that further flesh out the group's profile. A version of Sam Cooke's "(What a) Wonderful World" points up the Hermits' soul leanings. The downright nasty "A Must to Avoid" and the witty, rocking "Museum" would sound right at home on a contemporaneous Beatles album. The Hermits' version of the Kinks' "Dandy" displays hipper tastes than many give Peter Noone and company credit for, and RETROSPECTIVE itself calls out for a 21st-century reappraisal of the band's catalog.