The Sorrows “Take A Heart”

The Sorrows’ roots can be traced back to Coventry (around 1963), where Don Fardon (vocals), Pip Whitcher (lead guitar), Terry Jukes (rhythm guitar), and Philip Packham (bass) played in various local beat groups.  While plying their trade in the local night clubs the group was discovered by John Schroeder, Picadilly’s label manager.  Their first Picadilly (owned by Pye) single, “I Don’t Want To Be Free/Come With Me,” was an excellent Kinks-like number, full of power chords and tough, soulful vocals.  Another quality single leaked out (“Baby”) but success seemed to elude the boys.

It wasn’t until “Take A Heart” that the Sorrows had their big top 20 smash.  Originally written by songwriter Miki Dallon and recorded by the Boy Blues, “Take A Heart” for my money, is one of the UK’s greatest rock n roll singles.  The song’s arrangement gradually builds up into an explosion of speedy guitar work, charging rhythms, and violent lead vocals (Fardon was a great vocalist).  Without question, this 45 is one of the true classics.  To capitalize on the single’s success Pye released the Take A Heart LP in December of 1965.  The LP is consistently good, featuring originals, a few more tracks written by Miki Dallon and some interesting R&B covers.  Standouts include their ferocious take on “Teenage Letter,” the trashy mod pop of “Come With Me,”  a couple of strange beat ballads (“How Love Used To Be” and “We Should Get Along Fine”), and a Dylan influenced folk-rocker titled “Don’t Sing No Sad Songs For Me.”  Another great cut is their cover of “Let Me In,” a track that rocks really hard and features impressive fretwork.  Take A Heart is right up there with the early Stones’ output, the Pretty Things first two LPs, and the Small Faces debut; it’s that good.

The Sorrows released a few more 45s from the lp but none of them made the charts.   At this point Fardon decided it was best that he leave the group to pursue a solo career.  The Sorrows would soldier on, releasing an excellent early psych 45 in 1967 (“Pink, Purple, Yellow, Red”) and then relocate to Italy.  It was around this time that the group cut an LP titled Old Songs, New Songs in 1968.  A respectable LP, Old Songs, New Songs was a mixture of group originals and covers of then popular tracks by Traffic, The Small Faces and Family.  Despite the LP’s fine guitar work, it was nowhere near as good (or original) as Take A Heart.

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“Take A Heart”

;) MP3 2-Album | 2006 | Sanctuary | download ]
:)  Vinyl | search ebay ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]

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  • Lynchie from Aberdeen

    Always loved “Take A Heart” – a terrific song which seemed well ahead of its’ time back in 1965.
    Can’t remember anything else by The Sorrows. They seemed to vanish after that. Amazed that it
    didn’t chart higher in the UK back then. Thanks for sharing these tracks.

  • thevandalstookmyhandle

    Great post. Your absolutely right about “Take A Heart” Great single! Any idea if this album was ever released on CD..or digitally…somewhere?

  • Jason

    Castle released a 2 disc Take A Heart set which includes the album in stereo, non-lp singles, outtakes and a few cuts by a Sorrows spinoff group. This was in 2000….copies should still be available or click Download above and you can buy the Amazon MP3’s.

  • Mark

    And what about their song ‘You got what I want’ – what a corker!!

  • Len Liechti

    The Sorrows are a prime example of what retrospectively came to be called freakbeat, probably the nearest UK equivalent to US garage R’n’B. Their guitar work was tremendous. I clearly recall “Take A Heart” being a big hit on marine pirate radio in late ’65, but sadly nothing else of theirs ever got any exposure (the pirate stations’ playlist system was fickle, to say the least). Comparisons with early Pretty Things (“Rosalyn”, “Honey I Need”) are certainly valid; unfortunately the Sorrows didn’t manage the progression into psychedelia like the Pretties. Nice post, Jason.

  • Mark from Reno

    A bit late in posting this, but thanks! These songs have been total bright spots on the ‘pod. Really want to dig in more to the band.

  • paul petraitis

    Here in Chicago we thought the band might be from Australia because we never saw anything about them in Rave…my bands have always played Take A Heart. We also combine a fast version of The Rock ‘n’Roll Trio’s “Rock Therapy” with “Teenage Letter” and did “Baby” almost like a Thin Lizzy might. All hail the Sorrows, got the Italian album. Also loved the Pretty Things (Honey I Need and of course the Kinks like Dave “Milk Cow Blues” the live German performance is cool. I also love the Pirates, “Out Of Our Skulls”.

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