are an English beat group founded in 1958 in Dagenham, East London, and
still active today. They were formed as Brian Poole and the Tremoloes
(the spelling of "Tremoloes" was soon changed because of a spelling
mistake in an East London newspaper) influenced by Buddy Holly and the
Crickets. On New Year's Day, 1962, Decca, looking for a Beat group,
auditioned two promising young bands: Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and a
somewhat similar combo (also heavily influenced by Buddy Holly) from
Liverpool called the Beatles.
Decca chose Brian Poole and the Tremeloes over the Beatles, reportedly
based on location – the Tremeloes were from the London area, making them
more accessible than the Liverpool-based Beatles. The Tremeloes proved
to be a very talented band in their own right and had a successful
career. Like the Beatles, the band seamlessly combined rock and roll
with a variety of other genres.
The original quintet consisted of lead vocalist Brian Poole, lead guitarist Rick West (born Richard Westwood), rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Alan Blakley, bassist Alan Howard and drummer Dave Munden.
Brian Poole and the Tremeloes first charted in the UK in July 1963 with a
version of "Twist and Shout", a song previously popularised in America
by the Isley Brothers, and already released by the Beatles in the UK in
March 1963 on their first British LP, Please Please Me. Brian Poole and
the Tremeloes followed "Twist and Shout" with a chart topping cover of
the Contours' US million-seller "Do You Love Me" in the same year. The
group also had success in the UK in 1964 with covers of Roy Orbison's
B-side, "Candy Man" and a previously obscure Crickets' B-side ballad,
"Someone, Someone"; both entered the UK Singles Chart Top Ten, with the
latter peaking at No.2.
With Poole leaving to attempt a solo career (which proved unsuccessful)
in 1966, the Tremeloes continued as a four-piece band with a revised
line-up (Howard left the band in 1966) and new leadership (Alan
Blakley). Len "Chip" Hawkes, father of 1990s hitmaker Chesney Hawkes,
After switching from Decca to CBS Records, the Tremeloes started a
successful hit run from 1967 onwards with Cat Stevens' "Here Comes My
Baby"; "Hello World"; three Italian hits translated into English
("Suddenly You Love Me", which is Riccardo Del Turco's "Uno tranquillo"
("One quiet man"), "I'm Gonna Try", which is Riccardo Del Turco's 1967
hit "Luglio" ("July"), and "My Little Lady", based on Orietta Berti's
"Non illuderti mai" ("Never deceive yourself")); and their Number one
recording of an old Four Seasons' B-side "Silence is Golden". Both this
last single and "Here Comes My Baby" also entered the Top Twenty of the
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on CBS' co-owned Epic Records.
All members shared vocals, though most of the songs featured either
Hawkes or drummer Dave Munden as the lead singer. Guitarist Rick West
sang lead vocal on "Silence is Golden". Their regular hits were
accompanied by frequent appearances on BBC's Top of the Pops TV
programme. Their songs were popular with younger music fans and parents
rather than rock music fans. Altogether, without Poole the group had
nine UK Top Twenty hits.
"Me and My Life" was a hit in 1970, but the group did itself no favours
while it was in the charts when an interview in the weekly paper Melody
Maker quoted them as calling the fans who had bought their earlier
singles "silly suckers". Their album Master which they released a few
weeks later failed to sell well, and they had no British hits after
"Hello Buddy" in 1971. Nevertheless they recorded several more singles
throughout the decade, including "Blue Suede Tie", "Ride On", "It's OK
(Say Ole If You Love Me)", and "Do I Love You", some of which received
heavy airplay, particularly on Radio Luxembourg. "I Like It That Way"
even made the Dutch Top 10 after the Dutch service of Radio Northsea
International promoted it as its weekly Treiterschijf. They also
released another three albums of original material, Shiner (1974), Don't
Let The Music Die (1975), with some copies being credited to a group
Space although the Tremeloes' pictures were on the sleeve, and All For
One and One For All (1992).
Their music is still available on CD, and they quite often play concerts
and are part of the pop-revival shows that constantly tour the UK.
Their line-up changed several times from 1972 onwards, the first new
entrants being Bob Benham and Aaron Woolley (replacing Blakley and
Hawkes, both of whom would later return to the band), effectively a
merger with a Tremeloes-managed group called Jumbo. Munden remained the
only constant member. Hawkes pursued a solo career for a while producing
two albums for RCA Records in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1979 he returned
to England and rejoined the Tremeloes where he remained until 1988.
Chip left the Tremeloes to focus on managing his son, Chesney, who had a
number one hit record entitled "The One and Only". By 1992 Hawkes was
touring once again as a solo artist. Blakley produced records for other
acts, including the Rubettes, Bilbo and Mungo Jerry. In 1983 the
original quartet reformed and made the lower reaches of the UK Top 100
with their cover version of the Europop hit "Words", losing out to a
reactivation of the original by F. R. David.
As a soloist, Poole failed to chart with subsequent records, but pursued
a successful cabaret career. His daughters, Karen and Shelly, hit the
charts in 1996 as Alisha's Attic. Blakley died from cancer in June 1996,
leaving Munden and West to continue in concert with newer recruits Dave
Fryer (bass) and Joe Gillingham (keyboards). Jeff Brown, former bass
player and lead vocals for Andy Scott's Sweet, replaced Fryer in 2005.
Dave Fryer retired to live in Germany after leaving the band, and
continues to write music and play occasionally.
Brian Poole, Chip Hawkes and the Tremeloes toured the UK as part of
their 40th anniversary reunion in September 2006. The Tremeloes are
still together today: West and Munden perform their old material in
concert throughout Europe with musicians from other 1960s and 1970s
bands. Hawkes is also still an active performer and leads his own band
Class of '64. Brian Poole still tours with his band the Electrix. Rick
Westwood retired from the Tremeloes at the end of 2012.
In April 2004, at the request of the Animals, who were about to do their
40th anniversary tour, Hawkes was asked to form a band to tour with the
Animals. This he did, bringing together a supergroup including Mick
Avory (ex-the Kinks), Eric Haydock (ex-the Hollies), who teamed up to
perform as the Class of '64, also featuring guitarists, Telecaster Ted
Tomlin and Graham Pollock. The band toured around the world and recorded
an album of past band hits and a new single called "She's Not My
In 2007 Haydock, Tomlin, Pollock and Avory left to form a new band
called Legends of the Sixties before changing their name to the Hitmen.