Album review: THE EXPLORERS CLUB – To Sing And Be Born Again

THE EXPLORERS CLUB - To Sing And Be Born Again

Goldstar Records [Release date 16.10.20]

This covers’ album, simultaneously released with “The Explorers Club”, is a mixture of the obscure and the enduring. The picks self evidently come from an era that embraced bubblegum pop and sublime pop artistry at one and the same time. Which means we have the magnificent Frankie Valli/Walker Brothers’ monster worldwide hit ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’, and Dylan’s ‘The Mighty Quinn’ (a hit for Manfred Mann) on the one hand. And we have the lightweight, marshmallow pop of ‘I Wonder What’s She’s Doing Tonight’ (Boyce and Hart) and the sickly saccharin ‘Roses And Rainbows’ (Danny Hutton), on the other.

Too often though, Brewer adds nothing really new, making this more of a tribute album. But maybe that was his intention.

Even if no singer is ever likely to match Howard Kaylan’s richly toned, perfect weight sixties’ pop vocals, Brewer shows exquisite taste in covering ‘She’d Rather Be With Me’ (The Turtles). His cover version is reverential, probably out of respect and nothing more.

Some of the out-of-time material remains surprisingly roadworthy. Especially when Brewer does add something, like beefing up the production and arrangements, transporting the material from the past into the present.

The compact sophistication and fabulous guitar motif of ‘Kicks’ (Paul Revere & The Raiders) gets a full-on production treatment, with Brewer teasing up the middle eight very sympathetically. And the much covered (Jackie DeShannon, Peggy Lee (!!!)) ‘Didn’t Want To Have To Do It.’ (Lovin’ Spoonful) gets a sparse but gloriously romantic arrangement.

Of course, no sixties/seventies covers album will ever do those eras justice. But indulging in trivial pursuit can be fun. The Monkees: Boyce & Hart wrote almost all of the band’s early material (inc Last Train To Clarksville). At one point The Lovin’ Spoonful were being considered as the band to play the Monkees role, but the deal fell through over song copyright. Danny Hutton, singer of ‘Roses And Rainbows’ (and later to join Three Dog Night) auditioned, but lost out to Peter Dolenz. ***

Review by Brian McGowan


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk Sunday 21 March 16:00 EST, 21:00 GMT

Watch again

More about Josh


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 14 March 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 23 March 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 GARY HUGHES Decades (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 METALITE A Virtual World (AFM Records)
14:00-16:00 KAT DANSER One Eye Open (indie)

Power Plays w/c 5 April 2021 (Mon-Fri)

ALTZI Point Of No Return (RA Music)
DIRTY LACES Breathe (Golden Robot Records)
ASHEN MOON Ashen Moon (Golden Robot Records)
ANDREWW Shadow Love (indie)
JORDAN RED Freak Show (indie)
HAYES & Y Empty Orchestra (indie)
KELSEY BOVEY Another World (indie)
NEPTUNE RAIN We Breathe The Same (indie)



Popular (last 30 days)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply