1. Leslie Anne
MARTIN MURRAY formed THE HONEYCOMBS back in 1963 and they achieved in 1964 a multimillion selling worldwide single “Have I The Right” (UK number 1, USA number 5) as well as other hit singles including “That’s The Way” which made UK number 12 in 1965. The band was produced by legendary producer JOE MEEK at his now famous studio at 304 Holloway Road, London.
Recording the new album during 2015 Martin said “I loved working with new technology-not the tape cutting etc. we used to do. Glitches show up on the computer screen which can be corrected. To revisit Joe Meek’s production in this way was thrilling. The great songs on this new album (the majority of which were written by Ken Howard/Alan Blaikley or Joe Meek) have stood up well to the new arrangements and ideas that the band and myself created for them”.
MARTIN MURRAY, MIK WEST, ZAK SKJERDAL, ANT ATKINS, ALLAN GIFFORD, LINDA HALL
Written, as was a bulk of this CD - including that hit, given a flamenco finish now - by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, it's a vigorous upgrade of the collective's classic pieces, although, as far as embracing modern technology goes, the new versions have a deliberately patinated audio veneer, sticking to the '70 MOR patterns. The scintillating charm of Murray's "Leslie Anne" - whose punchy groove and twang come kissed by glittery keyboard chords and wrapped in lush strings - is undeniable, yet such trimmings haven't been applied to the Angelo Deacon-delivered "Without You It's Night" which delicately bares the band's depth. Also emotional, cosmic exploration might be well hidden in the boisterous, bass-propelled "Bring Your Heart With You" but it's manifested in the arrangements of Meek-penned cuts - in the echoing strum of "Totem Pole 9" and the lap steel modulations of "Please Don't Pretend Again" - while the folk harmonies turn "It's So Hard To Love You" on its head.
DMME.net (May 2016)
Highlights include the irresistible and acoustically driven "It's Crazy But I Can't Stop", the feel good '60s flavoured sheen on the upbeat "Leslie Anne" and "Mary Joe" and of course the reworked "Have I The Right?" with its slow building guitar arpeggios and beautiful melody. The sound is quite lush and the vocal harmonies are spot on as they are throughout the album as is the exceptional guitar work. The catchy keyboard melody and head sticking arrangement in "Love In Tokyo" is another highly listenable earworm as is the heartwarming ballad "Without You It's Night" supplemented with lovely acoustic guitar and violin...You won't find anything progressive here, just fourteen well written pop songs that drip with 60's nostalgia rearranged for the modern era.
Sea Of Tranquility (April 2016)
...a triumph both artistically, aesthetically and musically. A truly wonderful CD packed full of superb performances and arrangements. It can be recommended without hesitation to all music fans and collectors. Also, a fitting tribute to Joe Meek / RGM. It is also a very joyous CD to listen to...
Joe Meek Newsletter (April 2016)
Martin Murray wanted to utilise the technology now available to re-imagine, rework and re-arrange The Honeycombs songs and keep to the spirit of Holloway Road...So do these reworkings work? Yes in the main they do and I get Martins desire to put a new take on things.
HITR becomes a slower tempo orchestral country tinged affair as opposed to the Dave Clark style stomper it was back in the day. Opening tracks 'Leslie Anne' and 'Mary Jo' both uptempo numbers sound fresh and 'retro' at the same time and there is no doubting the musical ability on display. Totem Pole 9 (theme from Howards Way) yes. you read that right! manages to come away sounding like a homage to the Tornados 'Telstar' Deliberate? don't know but brought a smile to my face...overall as aforementioned Martin has made a refreshing, enjoyable and engaging album.
ninebattles (March 2016)
Founder member Martin Murray - guitar and supporting vocals - has been recalling the group's brief time in the mid-Sixties spotlight with some newly arranged recordings made by a present-day line-up of Honeycombs. The 14 tracks obviously include a rendition of the stomping 'Have I the Right?' - and a return to 'That's The Way', another song written by the hot team of Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, and which reached number 12 in 1965.
The Beat (March 2016)
Now well into his seventies, Murray still sounds good vocally and there was never any doubt about his proficiency as a guitar player. Get this album as a birthday pressie for your granddad - but give it a go first and put your troubles aside for a brief while.
Music-News (March 2016)
The album's piece de resistance is a brand-new arrangement of "Have I The Right?" which is like no other version you have ever heard! The majority over the years have all leant towards The Honeycombs original, and it would have been easy enough for yet another one to have been included on 304 Holloway Road Revisited. There is a slow build up to "Have I the right to touch you...", a gentle acoustic-style guitar solo, and then "come right back" fading to an echo at the end. Brilliant!
"Colour Slide" is belted out and is not too dissimilar to the opening track on The Honeycombs LP. "Without You It's Night" starts off with bird song over a guitar intro, and guest vocalist Angelo Deacon sensitively handling this as a ballad reminiscent of those by Justin Hayward. "It's So Hard To Love You" turns into an unique barbershop-cum-country number. Linda, sounding somewhat like Glenda Collins, does sterling work on "Something I've Got To Tell You Baby". "Totem Pole" is a fairly straightforward instrumental, the original being by Peter Jay and The Jaywalkers (1963); and, finally, "Too Way Out" winds everything up with its familiar boisterousness.
What a treat is in store for everyone who buys a copy!
The Honeycombs Newsletter (March 2016)