The Pleasers/ “Breaking My Heart”

Formed in 1977 in West London, England, The Pleasers appeared as though out of nowhere—unfortunately for them, smack-dab in the middle of the punk-rock uprising—with a string of singles bearing the unmistakable stamp of British Invasion-styled pop. Though they failed to become hits, The Pleasers’ five singles remain notable for the strength of the songs themselves—all band originals save for one—and as an early clue to the melodic pop-rock resurgence that had begun brewing in both England and the U.S. in the late 1970s.

Significantly, the band’s May 1977 debut single (“You Know What I’m Thinking Girl”) was produced by Ron Richards, who was the assistant to Beatles producer and Parlophone Records’ manager George Martin at the time The Beatles were first signed to the label. As legend has it, Richards oversaw the first Parlophone recording session for The Beatles in Martin’s stead, producing the initial version of “Love Me Do.” The band later joined forces with American producer Tommy Boyce, whose work as a songwriter and producer was instrumental to the 1966 launch of The Monkees’ TV show and their subsequent success as recording artists who, for a time, rivaled The Beatles. The Pleasers were managed by Chips Chipperfield, who would later win a Grammy for his work as a filmmaker on the documentary The Beatles Anthology.

After disbanding in 1979, The Pleasers (who would reform in 2009) eventually garnered notice from avid pop collectors, who identified the group as a missing link in the Beatlesque pop chain. A full-length album, Thamesbeat, was issued in the U.K. in 1996, displaying the band’s generally above-average original material as well as its knack for creatively reinterpreting original ’60s-era hits such as The Who’s “The Kids Are Alright.”

Among The Pleasers’ most pleasingly Merseybeat-styled numbers is the song featured below, “Breaking My Heart.” For a more in-depth look at the band’s history and output, go to The Pleasers’ full-length Liverpool Genepool entry.

—Steve Morley

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