The group plays like a cross between the Searchers and Gerry & the Pacemakers on amphetamines on most of their self-titled album, which includes both "I'm Gonna Love You Too" and "Did You Ever." Enjoyable despite itself, and "I'll Show You How to Love" is actually a pretty and tuneful beat ballad worthy of a more skilled group.
So named because they hailed from Hull, England, the Hullaballoos were arguably the most exploitative act of the first wave of the British Invasion. With their wig-like helmets of bleach-blond hair that vied with the Pretty Things and the Stones in length, they had an immediately striking visual presence. Musically it was another matter, for the Hullaballoos were actually not even stars in their homeland, but packaged for U.S. consumption by Hugo Peretti and Luigi Creatore, notorious vice presidents and A&R directors of Roulette Records. Most of their music was written by hack Brill Building songwriters, who were apparently intent on making the band sound as much like Buddy Holly as possible. Indeed, one of their small U.S. hits was a cover of Holly's "I'm Gonna Love You Too" (the other, "Did You Ever," was Holly-esque down to the hiccuping vocal). New York hacks may have devised their Buddy Holly-cum-Merseybeat sound -- dominated by driving simple guitar chords and drums -- in a superficial manner, but it's catchy and considerably forceful. the Hullaballoos faded almost immediately after a tiny splash in 1965, but that was probably built into the plan from the beginning.
Members & Other Bands:
Andrew Woonton - Guitar, Vox (Ricky Knight and The Crusaders)
Harold Dunn - Drum, Vox (Ricky Knight and The Crusaders)
Geoffrey Mortimer - Bass, Vox (Ricky Knight and The Crusaders)
Ricky Knight (Ron Mitchell) - Vox, Guitar (Ricky Knight and The Crusaders, The Astronauts)
Hugo Peretti - Producer
Luigi Creatore - Producer
“Beware” begins with a fun rock and roll dance beat that would bring the kids out to a sock hop floor. Harmonized vocals roll along like the Beatles. There are really only two sections to the song, the verse, and the bridge that functions as the chorus.
“I Couldn't Get Along Without You” is a little slower and more mysterious, with harmonized vocals with a bit of an echo that could pass as psychedelic.
“Did You Ever” feels like a rocking and rolling Buddy Holly song, down to the hiccupping style at the end of the verse. It also features a keyboard melody that reminds me of a prototype ? & The Mysterians song.
“If You Don't Know Me by Now” takes the sound back to a smooth Beatles style of melodic pop song. There are a couple of instances of the B.H. vocal hiccup, but it is not as herky-jerky.
“Can't You Tell” starts with an odd drum beat and surf guitar, and the song progresses past the two eccentricities, and smoothes itself out, too much, actually. It borders on the male vocalist style, rather than pop, with a little faster beat.
“Party Doll” sounds like a Buddy Holly again (minus the hiccup vocals), with the jittery nervous singing and fast driving bass and train-like drum tempo.
“I'll Show You How” is another mysterious song, deeper vocals, and it sounds like it is trying to set a sexy mood. There is a lot of echo on the lead guitar, giving it the feel of being sung in a basement.
“Every Night” is a straightforward Buddy Holly style song. This is like an answer to his song “Everyday” and it even uses a similar singing structure. The recording has echo and reverb, which gives it an embellished surf guitar sound.
“Why Do Fools Fall in Love” begins with an instrumental breakdown of “tell me why” then the song launches into a cute little pop song that is reminiscent of the early Beatles again.
“Wouldn't You Like to Know” is darker thanks to the mysterious bass. It is a nice set up, because as the verse asks the question, the chorus lifts the mystery, and the vocalist answers that “it’s because I love you” in a bold, excited fashion.
“Who Do You Think You're Fooling” has a nice back and forth melody, and it is sung, again, in the Holly style. It has a nice breakdown/chorus, which flows enjoyably back into the verse. It is a bare bones pop song that is perfect in its simplicity and repetitive rolling melodies.
“I'm Gonna Love You Too” is actually a Buddy Holly song. And it is a little faster than the previous song, but it oddly feels like it is just the previous song played backwards. It has all the same elements of verse and chorus flowing together smoothly.
The Hullaballoos' second LP stuck to much the same format as their first. A few Buddy Holly covers were stuck amidst new songs, supplied to the band, that aimed to combine Buddy Holly with the Merseybeat sound, in a simple and exploitative way. Like the debut, it's not bad in spite of all that, though the material is a little weaker this time around. "I Won't Turn Away Now" is about the best of the batch, with something of a melodramatic New York pop influence in the songwriting; it wouldn't be too hard to imagine the Shangri-Las doing it with a totally different arrangement, for instance. This album and The Hullaballoos' first LP, England's Newest Singing Sensations, have been combined onto one CD by Collectables.
The Hullaballoos On Hullabaloo 1965
The Hullaballoos 1965