The Tremeloes are a veteran English beat group that became famous during the late 1960s near the end of the British Invasion. Formed in 1958 in Essex and first known as Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, the original lineup consisted of lead singer Brian Poole, Alan Howard (bass), Dave Munden (drums), Rick Westwood (lead guitarist, a.k.a. Rick West), and rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Alan Blakley (April 1, 1942 - June 10, 1996). The quintet's first major career break came in 1962 when it won an audition for a recording contract at Decca Records, competing against The Beatles. The band had its first chart hit the following year in the U.K. with a cover of The Isley Brothers' "Twist And Shout," which became a Top 5 hit and was also covered by The Beatles earlier that year. Brian Poole & The Tremeloes then topped the U.K. charts with their version of The Contours' "Do You Love Me," and this smash was followed by a long string of hits in both Australia and the U.K. to 1966 when Poole left the band to pursue a solo career. The Tremeloes continued as a quartet, with Len "Chip" Hawkes soon after replacing Howard as bassist. All members shared vocals with either Hawkes or Munden serving as the lead singer on most of the band's hits. Mick Clarke also provided bass and vocals from 1966-1967 and is one of several original and early members who make up The Tremeloes' current lineup.
The Tremeloes made their U.S. debut in 1964 with "Someone, Someone," which became a minor hit (credited to Brian Poole & The Tremeloes). Their fame took off in 1967 with their cover of the Cat Stevens-penned "Here Comes My Baby," which became a Top 20 hit and the band's first gold record. They had their greatest hit later that year with the Bob Crewe/Bob Gaudio-penned "Silence Is Golden," which was previously recorded by The 4 Seasons as the B-side of their 1964 smash, "Rag Doll." The Tremeloes' similarly-styled rendition of this oldies classic, which features Westwood's falsetto lead vocals along with close-knit group harmonies, became their second Top 20 hit and also went gold. Other hits included the good-timey "Even The Bad Times Are Good" (1967), a Top 40 hit which became the band's third gold record, and the catchy and upbeat "Suddenly You Love Me" (1968). Several minor hits followed through the late 1960s before The Tremeloes had their final charting song in the U.S. in 1970 with "(Call Me) Number One." The band also recorded a cover of the Jeff Christie-penned "Yellow River" intending to release it as a single, but the project was temporarily shelved. The instrumental tracks were later used to back the 1970 Top 40 hit by Christie.
Since their commercial peak in the late 1960s, The Tremeloes have continued to perform and record actively to the present day, with a number of personnel changes. The current lineup is a quintet consisting of three original and early members - Mick Clarke, Len "Chip" Hawkes, and Rick Westwood - plus Richard Marsh (guitar, vocals) and Hawkes' son Jodie (drums, vocals). Dave Munden remained with The Tremeloes through 2018, and Alan Blakley played with the band up to his passing in 1996. Brian Poole toured with The Tremeloes in 2006 and 2016.
- For more info about The Tremeloes and the band's touring schedule, visit thetremeloes.co.uk.
- Dave Munden remembers The Tremeloes' audition for Decca Records and discusses other topics in an interview with Gary James of classicbands.com.
- Rockandrollparadise.com pays tribute to Alan Blakley.
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- Even The Bad Times Are Good 1967
("Even The Bad Times Are Good" is a good-timey song in which maniacal laughter and yelling can be heard in the background throughout.)
- Here Comes My Baby 1967
- Silence Is Golden 1967
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