133303-aThe rear cover of the UK version of Vigil.

First Released
28th June, 1968.

Recording Details
Recorded between June 1967 – July 1967, November 1967 – Mid 1968 at Olympic Recording Studios, Pye Studios and Central Sounds.

Credits:
Orchestral Arrangements – Alan Tew (tracks: ‘Hello, How Are You’), Bill Shepherd (tracks: ‘The Music Goes Round My Head’ and ‘Sha La La’)
Engineers – Barry Ainsworth, Freddie Packham, Glyn Johns (‘Good Times’ and ‘Land Of Make Believe’)
Harmonica [Wailing] – George Alexander
Percussion – My Dear Watson (‘I Can’t Stand It’)
Piano – Nick Hopkins
Producer – The Easybeats, Mike Vaughan (for Alberts Productions) and Glyn Johns (uncredited: ‘Good Times’ and ‘Land Of Make Believe’)

Summary

After one year, one abandoned album and three different recording studios; The Easybeats finally released their follow up to 1967’s Good Friday. The album’s title was not only an acknowledgement to the long waits their fans had endured for a new LP, but it tribute to the band’s own perseverance. After legal troubles, money troubles, touring troubles, popularity troubles and even interpersonal troubles within the band, it’s any wonder that the “vigil” held for The Easybeats sustained throughout the past 12 months. The album was first released in the band’s current place of residence in the summer of 1968. The final album that was released was really a collection of different sessions and singles that had appeared (or not) during the band’s sporadic recording timeline. That said, although the album feels more like a compilation than a whole – it doesn’t take away from the fact that some of Vanda and Young’s best song writing is showcased on this disc. The album opens with the hard rock anthem ‘Good Times’ (an outtake from the abandoned 2nd album). The famous folklore of this song is that Beatle Paul McCartney was so taken by it, after hearing it on his car radio that he pulled over, called the station and demanded the song to be replayed again (although this legend has also been retold by Stevie as the song being ‘St. Louis’). ‘Land of Make Believe’ was the single released to promote Vigil. Another causality of the 1967 scrapped album, it’s one of the great, underrated, psychedelic classics of the 1960’s – criminally robbed of a rightful release during the previous year’s summer of love. Stevie was once quoted in an interview stated that this was his all-time favourite Easybeats song. The 1967 singles ‘Falling Off The Edge Of The World’, ‘Come In You’ll Get Pneumonia’ and ‘The Music Goes Round My Head’ follow as well as the first of three R &B covers (‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’, ‘Hit The Road Jack’ and ‘I Can’t Stand It’). The ska influenced ‘Sha La La’ (or ‘Sha La La La Leah’ in Australia) was a refugee from the Bill Shepherd sessions in late 1967. ‘See Saw’ and ‘Fancy Seeing You Here’ goes back to the songs that Young and Wright used write back in Australia “for the people to dance to”. This time instead of ‘65/’66’s beat music – The Easy’s again embrace R&B music. Given that it was the last single and the band’s biggest recent hit – it’s only logical for ‘Hello, How Are You’ to make an appearance. While the final Vanda and Young number on the album is the cynical hippie satire of ‘We All Live Happily Together’, which concluded with each band member reciting the title in their native tongue.

Reception

Advert for Vigil - 1968.
Advert for Vigil published in Disc and Echo – 1968.

The reviews to the album at the time were mixed:

“They have a good habit of selecting good numbers. You’ll find many of them on this album. Sometimes their vocalizing gets a bit strained but their interesting orchestrations are strong on excitement.” – Disc and Music Echo, July 1968.

“Verging on the borders between progressive rock and a pounding sound intended to please teens, The Easybeats capture some of the better elements of both worlds.” – Billboard Magazine, November 1968.

Original Track Listing

Side A

  1. Good Times (Vanda/Young)
  2. What In The World (Vanda/Young)
  3. Falling Off The Edge Of The World (Vanda/Young)
  4. The Music Goes Round My Head (Vanda/Young)
  5. Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You (Crewe/Gaudio)
  6. Sha La La (Vanda/Young)
  7. Come In You’ll Get Pneumonia (Cahill/Vanda/Young)

Side B

  1. See Saw (Vanda/Young)
  2. Land Of Make Believe (Vanda/Young)
  3. Fancy Seeing You Here (Vanda/Young)
  4. Hello, How Are You (Vanda/Young)
  5. Hit The Road Jack (Percy Mayfield)
  6. We All Live Happily Together (Vanda/Young)
  7. I Can’t Stand It (Williams/Macpherson)

Bonus CD Tracks – Repertoire Records Edition

The Repetoire Records CD of Vigil released it in its UK form.

  • “Good Times” (Different Mix)
    The U.K single version.  This version has the lines “I feel good tonight, everything’s gonna be right, right, right” edited from the first two verses.  However, unlike the U.K. single release, this version is in stereo.
  • “Lay Me Down and Die” (Instrumental Version)
    Released as the B-side to “Good Times” single in the U.S. and U.K.  In a strange move by their Australian record label Albert Productions, this version was released as an A-side.
  • “Lay Me Down and Die” (Vocal Version)
    Originally an unreleased version until the 1975 reissue of  The Best of The Easybeats Vol 2 (Drum BALP 10264). It was later reissued on the 1980 compilation Absolute Anthology.
  • “The Music Goes Round My Head” (Fast Version)
    The fast version was released as single in Spain and, later in Italy as the B side of “Hello How Are You”.  This version was also released in Portugal on an EP. It was later made available on Absolute Anthology.
  • “Hello How Are You” (Original First Version)
    This earlier version of the song was recorded with arranger Bill Shepherd.  It would be released on the Drum reissue of The Best of The Easybeats Volume 2 in 1975.
  • “Come in You Pneumonia” (First Version)
    Found on the B-side of “The Music Goes Round My Head” and reissued on the The Best of The Easybeats Vol 2 album, both Parlophone and Drum editions. This version is easily spotted by the drumbeat and phased vocals at the opening and more orchestration. No vocal slide after the first chorus, instead the pause is marked by bells before the second verse.
  • “Falling off the Edge of World” (Second Version)
    A re-recording of the song with arranger Bill Shepherd.  This would be issued as the B-side to the U.K. single of “Hello, How Are You”.

Special thanks to Jae and Bill for their help with the various catalog numbers, releases and mixes.

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