11 April 2021

The Wake - Boys In The Band/ To Make You Happy

Grooving Lieber and Stoller cover from seventies popheads
Label: Carnaby
Year of Release: 1970
While The Boys In The Band's single "(How 'Bout A Little Hand) For The Boys In The Band" was a hit in the USA, its British reception was more muted and it failed to chart. That might seem like a puzzling outcome for such a bold dancefloor smash, but a key factor in its failure might have been this spoiler release being put out a whole month earlier and sucking up most of the media attention.
It has to be said, The Wake's version isn't greatly different. The vocals are softer and more persuasive, but the backing is as powerful a facsimile as arranger Bill Shepherd could manage, and it swings just as hard as the original version. Such persuasive production enabled The Wake to sneak on to "Top of the Pops" to mime to this record, but despite the prime-time television exposure, it still sold poorly, meaning "Boys In The Band" has never really been a widely recognised track in the UK.

The Wake consisted of Bill Hurd on vocals and keyboards, John Edmonds on guitar, Chris Weeks on bass and Tony Miles on drums. Hurd later went on to more notable success with The Rubettes.

They also managed to release four other singles before calling it a day, and their 1971 concept LP "23:59" - based on the goings-on at a New Year's Eve party - is quite keenly sought after by psychedelic pop collectors these days, with copies going for as much as £150.

If you're struggling to listen to the previews below, please go right to the source.


john111257 said...

Never mind the song, this label is fascinating

Arthur Nibble said...

The Carnaby label didn't last very long and, when they moved manufacturing and distribution to another major, they got rid of the Union Jack design, replacing it with a red crab on a beigey / white background.

23 Daves said...

Yes, as Arthur says it was a bit of a flash in the pan. Had John Walker of the Walker Brothers on its roster which should have generated a hit or two, but didn't, and nothing else that's particularly interesting.

Easy to get mixed up with the Spanish label Carnaby as well, which mainly seemed to deal with licensed content from other countries (and had a Buckingham Palace guard in its logo!)

Steve @ Northern Pop Quizzes said...

Great track I have an EX copy, part of my Top Of The Flops collection. Date of appearance was 30th July 1970. The other flop featured on that show? 'Edna' by Stavely Makepeace.