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Peter & Gordon (60s)

In June 1964, Peter & Gordon became the very first British Invasion act after the Beatles to take the number one spot on the American charts with "A World Without Love." That hit, and their subsequent successes, were due as much or more to their important connections as to their talent. Peter Asher was the older brother of Jane Asher, Paul McCartney's girlfriend for much of the 1960s. This no doubt gave Asher and Gordon Waller access to Lennon-McCartney compositions that were unrecorded by the Beatles, such as "A World Without Love" and three of their other biggest hits, "Nobody I Know," "I Don't Want to See You Again," and "Woman" (the last of which was written by McCartney under a pseudonym). But Peter & Gordon were significant talents in their own right, a sort of Everly Brothers-styled duo for the British Invasion that faintly prefigured the folk-rock of the mid-'60s. In fact, when Gene Clark first approached Jim McGuinn in 1964 about working together in a group that would eventually evolve into the Byrds, he suggested that they could form a Peter & Gordon-styled act.

Asher and Waller had been singing together since their days at Westminster School for Boys, a private school in London. "A World Without Love" was their biggest and best hit, one that sounded very much like the Beatles' more pop-oriented originals. Their other two 1964 hits, "Nobody I Know" and "I Don't Want to See You Again," were pleasant but less distinguished. Sounding like McCartney-dominated Beatle rejects (which, in fact, they were), the production employed a softer, more acoustic feel than the hits by the Beatles and other early British Invasion guitar bands. "I Don't Want to See You Again" used strings, as would several of the duo's subsequent hits, which became increasingly middle-of-the-road in their pop orientation.

Some scattered folky B-sides showed that Asher and Waller may have been capable of developing into decent songwriters, but like many of the less talented British Invaders, their lack of songwriting acumen and ability to move with the times would eventually work against them. They did continue to hit the charts for a couple of years, with updates of the oldies "True Love Ways" (Buddy Holly) and "To Know You Is to Love You" (a variation of the Teddy Bears' "To Know Her Is to Love Her"). There was also a Top Ten cover of Del Shannon's "I Go to Pieces," and the brassy, McCartney-penned "Woman." The overtly cute and British novelty "Lady Godiva," though, became their last big hit in late 1966.

After Peter & Gordon broke up in 1968, Asher became an enormously successful producer, first as the director of A&R at the Beatles' Apple Records (where he worked on James Taylor's first album). Relocating to Los Angeles, in the 1970s he was one of the principal architects of mellow Californian rock, producing Taylor and Linda Ronstadt. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Comments

Love you guys
Always a top class act
Oh my teen years, it there a chance to go back in time?, definitely I would.
Music now a days is %#&*(#.Sorry for the bad language.
Long live the 60s
Play1980 song
I saw Peter Asher last night in Chicago - he played with his band and did almost a 3 hour show, a lot of back stories and songs mixed in - fascinating stories of his life in the music industry -nice guy too
wonderful to hear the songs that made us the boomer generation. I never realized that the 60's was truly a decade of incredible change. Look at what happened that decade. Invasions, assasination s and men on the moon. Woodstock, Kent State, and real muscle cars. A war in a country we never heard of for a cause still unclear. Many of us went just to come home to an angry nation that hated us. Many of us grew up in the 60's and some never had the chance to.
I love these guys! What beautiful voices! It brings back memories of the sixties, when life was better and music was great.
gthom10199
The background, and in many cases, foreground of our growing up...great stuff
dlowther
Just saw Peter Asher in SF and he was amazing! Two + hours of music and stories from the begining of the British Invasion. If you get the chance to see him, don't miss it. One of the best musical evenings I've have ever had the opportunity of enjoying.
I like the oldies because you can understand the words they are singing----a n d forget RAP- that is not music- I call it noise
larryr0
I hear you Ray Cisneros.... i t was good times
273997748
I'm with you Nancy! Most of today's songs seem so shallow in comparison.. . l o n g live folk music.
Long live the oldies!!!!!! :)
carols215
no comment
growing up in the 60's i love thier music.My band covered many of thier songs.I liked "woman"
suzie, I agree
fantastic
rock on
culpsamueld
Where did this picture come from
Super Harmony great music
lpdudas
"Where have all the flowers gone ....?"
rayraybann
If just for a moment , I'm 12 years young again. Thank You Peter and Gordon
RIP Gordon
suzi315
I love the beautiful voices of Peter and Gordon. Loved them in the 60's and even more now. Love their version of "True Love Ways" written by Buddy Holly.
rwood84
"500 miles" has a haunting quality that places it among the best of its genre. I always think of the "Grapes of Wrath" whenever I hear it - regardles of the artist.
One of the saddest songs ever written; it used to be one of my "themes" back when I was a tortured poet. I have to admit, though, that I like PPM's rendition better; the three-part harmony with Mary Travers gives it a richness that a two-part male harmony can't.
I go to pieces when I hear great music like this...It makes me relive my youth, when life was easier.
THESE TWO SINGERS WERE VERY GOOD,"500 MILES" WAS A STRONG SONG FOR THEM..NICE SOUND..
Great British Invasion duo of the sixties! Their songs are still played on Lite Rock stations today. Good music never dies.

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