The Searchers

Old Liverpudlian Merseybeat that didn't quite make it like the Beatles, though they certainly had success, and, hey, they stuck around for quite a few years. Technically, they're still active, though they haven't released any studio recordings in well over a decade, and the last album of real note or intrigue dropped in 1981.

They had a few hits—an original called "Sugar and Spice,"a cover of the Drifters' "Sweets for My Sweet," a cover of the Orlons' "Don't Throw Your Love Away"—but it's their later tunes I dig the most.

I love groups that either nestle between generations or else find themselves stuck when attempting to segue into the proceeding ones, and the Searchers is certainly one such ensemble. They started off as very much on-trend and of-the-moment, releasing a handful of accessible albums in half as many years, and then, partially due to creative fidgetiness, partially due to frequent lineup shifts (for example, one former member, Chris Curtis, left to start Roundabout, which morphed, after his departure, into Deep Purple), pivoted towards the more adult and heavier with songs like 1971's "Desdemona."

It's their stuff from the late 70s and early 80s I'm most drawn to. For similar reasons, I'm drawn to late Kinks (e.g. Misfits, Low Budget) and, say, past-their-prime Pretty Things (e.g. Savage Eye, Cross Talk). It's fascinating to listen to what these groups were working through as they met middle age, as they sought further stability and consistency in life, as they contorted themselves a little harder to scratch their artistic itches.