The Sorrows – Take A Heart

15th September 1965 · 1960s, Music

The Sorrows had this solitary hit single in 1963 and disappeared from view. Apart from singer Don Fardon, who had a solitary hit of his own with Indian Reservation in 1970.

It’s rare for me to encounter a band I’ve never heard before; rarer still to find one I’ve never heard *of* – but I hadn’t come across The Sorrows ’til now.

I discovered this clip when I started looking into the background of Don Fardon, a one-hit wonder from Coventry. Or, as I now discover, two-hit wonder, because he was previously the singer in this fantastic underground RnB band, The Sorrows.

Take A Heart reached No.21 in what was almost certainly called The Hit Parade in 1965.

I love their garage-band sound, especially the tribal throb of the drumming (foreshadowing Don’s No.3 hit, Indian Reservation, in 1970), the fuzzy twang of the guitar, the black polo-necks – and Don’s voice in particular.

Delving further, I find that they formed in 1963, cut their teeth playing several sets a night in Germany (sounds familiar), and recorded their first single, a version of Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, in the bathroom of Joe Meek’s flat.

In those days a good-looking young man would enter 304 Holloway Road at his peril but  if he was lucky he might also emerge with a hit single produced by London’s answer to Phil Spector.

No such luck for young Don and his band, sadlym, until this excellent self-penned song, Take A Heart, in 1965, after which Fardon went solo and rose to greater fame with Indian Reservation, a condemnation of the USA’s treatment of American Indians (written by John D. Loudermilk) – covered later by Orlando Riva Sound, whose video would be unlikely to pass muster these days.

I now learn that connoisseurs of this period of British underground music have given it its own appellation – Freakbeat – which I’m assuming applies to other grungy RnB bands of the era like Them, The Creation and The Pretty Things and a whole bunch of others none of us have heard of.

There’s even a set of five English Freakbeat compilation albums for those who wish to further explore this peculiarly British sub-division of Beat music, and a separate compilation on Rhino Records called Nuggets II – Original Artyfacts From The British Empire & Beyond.