Album review: GERRY MARSDEN – My Home Town


Angel Air [Release date 26.06.21]

Back in 1963, the song ‘How Do You Do It’, penned by prolific UK hit writer, Mitch Murray, was offered to Gerry &The Pacemakers, manager Brian Epstein’s second signing. This was after the Beatles had turned it down. Lennon said he had a better song, ‘Please Please Me’.

So the story goes.

Both became number one UK chart hits.

After the band’s second hit single, ‘I Like it’, also written by Murray, Marsden said he took ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, a song from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s second big musical, “Carousel”, to Epstein, but they could not agree.

Eventually, Marsden won the day and it was recorded and released. It became the band’s third number one hit. And much more.

Marsden died earlier this year. My Home Town, the album, celebrates his life and career in the music business. Easy as it might be, we shouldn’t underestimate the calibre of the material recorded by this unavowed scouser in more recent times.

Much of the material was written by David Martin (Marsden had a knack for choosing outstandingly good songwriters), whose songs have been recorded, amongst others, by Elvis, Dusty Springfield and Mama Cass.

The album’s title track, ‘My Home Town, ‘Here I Go Again’ and ‘Can’t You Hear The Song’ are prime examples of a man still in great voice. It would be easy for a handful of sixties’ hits and a world famous song to obscure Marsden’s expert and emotional way with any well written piece of music.

But inevitably, all roads lead back to this album’s key track, ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. The anthem of Liverpool Football Club, burnt into the psyche of every one of the club’s supporters, wherever they are. As the club’s legendary manager, Bill Shankly once said, “Gerry, my son, I have given you a football club, and you have given us a song”.

Amen to that. ****

Review by Brian McGowan

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 12 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at for that week.

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