Looking for an echo is a continual search for all self-respecting doo woppers. Check out the tiling in the bathroom. Hear that sound come back at you! Crowd the band into that tiny space and Digital Surround Sound just doesn't compare. Check out subway tunnels or failing all of those, stick your head in a bucket and sing. The title track on this CD tells a tale of the search for that perfect echo that began in Brighton way back in 1972 as Rocky Sharpe & the Razors. The Razors' experience and producer Mike Vernon's sympathetic ear mixed the Replays a sound that brings vitality to doo wop, rock'n'roll classics and some rockin' new songs.
Can it really be 20 years since Rocky Sharpe and the Replays' Rama Lama Ding Dong was in the UK charts? If it was an oldie then it must be a classic by now. In a short career Rocky, Johnny Stud, Helen Highwater and Eric Rondo put together four albums, seven charting singles and a Christmas EP all inspired by doo wop and 50s rock'n'roll. Whether covers or original songs, the sound and feel can best be described as authentic. Alongside genuine 50s artists at revival concerts, you could be forgiven for believing, as many did and some still do, that the Replays were "originals" from the rock'n'roll years instead of revivalists from the early 80s.
Seven listings in the Guinness Book of Hit Singles, including two Top 20 hits ensures the Replays a place in UK pop history but there were more hits abroad. Spain, Germany, Austria, Holland and Australia had places for the Replays in their charts. Top 5 in Spain and Australia were the high spots in the national charts but The Canary Islands, Catalunia and Bavaria all presented the #1 spot to Rama Lama Ding Dong.
Chasing that echo was always full of incident. On live TV (Remember Chris Tarrant's OTT) the routine called for Rocky to sing a verse of Shout! Shout! Knock Yourself Out! while standing on Johnny's shoulders. No problem until the dismount! On landing Rocky hit a patch of uncleared OTT gunge. Full marks to the camera man for expert focus pulling as Rocky skidded towards him at the speed of light, abruptly halting only inches from the lens and not a hair, or note, out of place.
The Replays' search for that echo could have ended back in 1984 when the band went separate ways but the sound lives on and the echo with it. When you play this CD listen carefully with the volume up loud and enjoy looking for your own echo.
By Jan Podsiadly