Sunday, August 26, 2018

The Fortunes - Seasons In The Sun - Best (1993 UK)

The Fortunes are an English harmony beat group. Formed in Birmingham, the Fortunes first came to prominence and international acclaim in 1965, when "You've Got Your Troubles" broke into the US and UK Top 10s. Afterwards, they had a succession of hits including "Here It Comes Again" and "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"; continuing into the 1970s with more globally successful releases such as "Storm in a Teacup" and "Freedom Come, Freedom Go".
The Fortunes were formed as a vocal trio (Rod Allen, Glen Dale and Barry Pritchard) - all three had been the Merrie Men backing Robbie Hood (A.K.A Mike West, previously co-singer with Fred Heath in Johnny Kidd & The Pirates). The Fortunes were originally backed by an instrumental group known as the Cliftones, and the band placed an instrumental track on a compilation album, Brumbeat, issued by the local Dial record label. "Cygnet Twitch" was a working of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake", and they subsequently signed to British Decca in 1963. Their first single, "Summertime, Summertime", was credited to the Fortunes and the Cliftones. However, the vocalists picked up guitars, jettisoned the Cliftones, and added Andy Brown on drums, and Dave Carr on keyboards. The follow-up disc "Caroline", co-written by the singer-songwriter and future Ivy League member Perry Ford and songwriter Tony Hiller, was used as the signature tune for the pirate radio station, Radio Caroline. The group's next two singles, Gordon Mills's co-composition "I Like the Look of You" and a revival of "Look Homeward Angel" - like the initial brace of releases overseen by the American record producer Shel Talmy - also failed to chart. Their fifth release, the Roger Greenaway/Roger Cook number, "You've Got Your Troubles" (1965), reached Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and was a worldwide hit, including reaching Number 1 in Canada and the American Top 10. Their next two singles were "Here It Comes Again", a UK Number 4, and "This Golden Ring" a UK Number 14. These sold well, but each less than the previous release. When Glen Dale left in 1966 he was replaced by Shel McCrae. Three more singles ("You Gave Me Somebody to Love", "Is It Really Worth Your While?" and "Our Love has Gone") all failed to chart. At this point in 1967, the Fortunes left Decca for United Artists. They reunited with Talmy for their next release, "The Idol", a song they had written themselves, and although it did get some airplay in the UK, it did not become a hit.
Founding member and lead vocalist Allen continued fronting an ever changing version of the Fortunes from 1963 up to his death in 2008. During 2008, the band regrouped, recorded a new album Play On, and appeared in Las Vegas, the Netherlands and Belgium as well as the UK. They toured Canada, the Netherlands, and Sweden, in addition to the UK during 2009. The band had a busy schedule in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, and Italy during 2010 and 2011, appearing in Belgium at the Vostertfeesten Festival in August 2010. Since 2011, the Fortunes have continued continue to appear on various 1960s theatre package shows with other artists of the era. Additionally, they have appeared in their own Past and Present theatre show and in 2015 released the accompanying "Past and Present" live album.


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