Jun 3, 2009

HONEYBUS - STORY (DERAM 1969) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 13 bonus

Their debut single, "Delighted to See You," which was cut with the help of Roulettes members Bob Henrit and Russ Ballard, sounded more like the Beatles than anything heard in British pop/rock since the Searchers had faded from view in early 1966. The B-side, "The Breaking Up Scene," could have been the work of the Jimi Hendrix Experience or the Creation. Actually, if anything, they sounded a great deal like the Bee Gees, who had just begun establishing themselves as something more than Beatles sound-alikes -- the difference was that the Bee Gees were a performing band as well as a top-notch studio outfit, fully capable of doing (and willing to do) most of their output on-stage Then Honeybus hit with their third release, "I Can`t Let Maggie Go," in March of 1968, which rode the British Top 50 for three months and peaked at number eight. One of the most fondly remembered examples of psychedelic pop/rock to come out of England in 1967, with a richly textured, reed-dominated arrangement (with a bassoon very prominent and a break played on oboes and clarinets) and a pleasant McCartney-esque lead vocal surrounded by gentle high harmonies, all wrapped up in a melody that wore well on repeated listening. The record should have made the group, but instead it shattered them. All three of the songs are on this cd.
"Honeybus` sole album was recorded in 1969 and released in early 1970, by which time "I Can`t Let Maggie Go" was fading from the memory of the British public, original leader Pete Dello was long gone, and the band themselves had been inactive for months. It`s therefore not entirely representative of what the group was about. They did show themselves to be one of the few bands that could emulate the lighter and quieter sides of the 1968-69 Beatles with a degree of competence, although as is usual when the Beatles were imitated, the songs and execution were much more lightweight than what the Beatles themselves recorded. At times it sounds like Badfinger without the muscle or occasional outstanding songs that made Badfinger recall the Beatles without sounding like tepid wannabes. The Beatlesque harmonies are nice and the lyrics sometimes clever, and the arrangements are tasteful, sometimes employing substantial traces of country music and subtle orchestration.


Anonymous said...


I love this album. Thank you for sharing your records with us.


bobbyb said...

Thanks for this great album. I think the review is a little harsh. For the most part Honeybus were one of the truly great pop/psych bands. When most of pop bands of the late 60's fell into awful tedious prog and amplified rock. Honeybus still focused on melodic invention, subtle arrangements and songcraft.
Of the 25 songs on this CD, about 15 are absolute gems.

Great band

Gerard said...


Anonymous said...

Thank You For A Great Album.

18 RODAS said...

Fantastic record, one of my favourites of all the times. We reunited Honeybus in 2002 only with two original members Colin Hare and Peter Dello for a gig in our town. Since that summer Colin Hare began recorded again and now he has a fantastic new Honeybus (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bem-HMpwDs&feature=related)

Some songs of this album in acoustic

Jake said...

Great post - always loved Honeybus. One thing which is notable about the song "I Can't Let Maggie Go" is that it was used for many years in t.v. commercials for a low-fat diet bread called "Nimble" - it proved to be one of the most successful commercials in British t.v. history - to the extent that I would bet every Brit between the ages of about 35-60 knows this song very well - even if they do not associate it with Honeybus. Here's one of the ads.


Georgie Hirezola said...

bobbyb: I usually post reviews found on the Net, avoiding to write my own opinion about the records I'm posting here. Believe me I have my own reasons!!!! As for this album I can only say I TOTALLY agree with you!
18 rodas & Jake: thanks a lot for the really useful comments & links.
thank you all for your nice words!

Anonymous said...

Hi Georgie,
I have discorvered your amazing blog today and I have found this great album with bonus tracks.

Anonymous said...

Love this group! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi from Cy
Nothing to add, other than thanks, cos as you can see the people here have spoken.
Cy from Pck.