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Sandon left the band in late  to join The Remo Four in February Like many similar acts they would do as many as three shows at different venues in one night. They negotiated a contract with the Star-Club in the St. Pauli district Hamburg for days, with three one-hour performances a night, starting in July The band returned to a residency at the Iron Door Club and it was there that they tape-recorded the sessions that led to a Pye Records recording contract with Tony Hatch as producer.
The first single, " Sweets for My Sweet ", featuring Tony Jackson as main vocalist supported by Pender and Curtis, shot to number one in the UK infirmly establishing the band as a major spearhead of the "Merseybeat" boom, just behind The Beatles and alongside Gerry and the Pacemakers. Their first album, sung mostly by Jackson and Pender Meet The Searchers was released in August and reached number 2 on the British album charts the next month.
In the US their first single was issued on Mercury and the second on Libertyboth without success; then a deal was arranged with US-based Kapp Records to distribute their records in America. Philips Records then rush-released in the UK an earlier recording they held of a cover of Brenda Lee's hit 'Sweet Nuthins', which dismayed the group. It made the lower end of the UK chart, but this did not disturb their momentum.
Hatch played piano on some recordings and wrote " Sugar and Spice ", the band's UK 2 hit record, under the pseudonym Fred Nightingale, a secret he kept from the band at the time. Apparently Curtis disliked this song largely a revamp of the key aspects of first hits and refused to sing on it.
Jackson again took lead vocal, though Curtis later agreed to sing the distinctive high-harmony vocal links between verses. However, live footage of these songs, as performed on The Ed Sullivan Show and NME Poll Winners concert respectively, show Pender and Jackson singing the lead vocal together in close harmony, with vocal support from Curtis.
That suggests some differences existed between the live band and the studio version at that time. Jackson was then signed to Pye as a solo act and, backed by The Vibrations, issued a few singles of which the first, "Bye Bye Baby", charted in the UK in He also re-cut "Love Potion No.
Pye rather "rush-released" LP product by the group in andas the cobbled-together "Sugar And Spice" LP was quickly issued inconsisting of tracks not used on the first album and others, plus the second single. This album charted while the first was still in the charts, possibly diluting sales. As late asMarble Arch issued an edited version of It's the Searchersthe group's third album, originally released in Although Curtis's involvement in the project was short-lived, Roundabout evolved into Deep Purple the following year.
Chris Curtis's choice of Bobby Darin 's "When I Get Home", despite a strong band performance, was a relative chart failure by their standards. This to an extent undermined Curtis's position as song selector for the band, and some internal disagreements resurfaced over musical policy and direction that had been evident earlier when Tony Jackson had left, and likely played a part in Curtis leaving as well after the Australian tour.
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