The Herd: From the Underworld (1967)

 |   |  1 min read

The Herd: From the Underworld (1967)

It's not often Greek mythology cracks the top 10, but the Herd managed to do it with song from the autumn of love (September '67) which is based on the Orpheus and Eurydice story.

After the death of Eurydice, Orpheus travels to the underworld and by using music he melts the hearts of the gods down there who agree to let the missus come back into life. The deal however is that she must walk behind Orpheus on their journey out and he is not to look back.

But you can guess what happened.

Actually you don't need to, the lyrics tell you that.

Oddly enough this hit for the Herd -- their first -- was written by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley who had previously been responsible for a series of almost novelty hits for Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch (Hold Tight, Zabadack and The Legend of Xanadu among them) as well as the terrific chart topper Have I the Right? by the Honeycombs.

They later wrote for Elvis (the great I've Lost You) and knocked out a musical based on the book The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole.

Versatile writers indeed.

Of just as much note in this rather gloomy song was the 17-year old singer: Peter Frampton whose good looks got him dubbed The Face of '68.

The Herd has les success with their follow-up Paradise Lost a couple of months later but then with Frampton on Rave magazine's cover they soared again with the relentlessly poppy I Don't Want Our Lovin' to Die.

Too poppy for Frampton who quit at the end of the year -- the band had already dumped managers Howard and Blaikely -- and went on to form Humble Pie with former Small Faces singer Steve Marriott.

His massive Frampton Comes Alive double album was still some way in the future and, unlike Orpheus, he was smart enough to not look back. 

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Steve Hillage: Hurdy Gurdy Man (1979)

Steve Hillage: Hurdy Gurdy Man (1979)

True story of my first experience with this track off Steve Hillage's double live album Live Herald which appeared at the peak of punk/New Wave era when men with long hair, beards, bell bottoms and... > Read more

The Nu Page: When the Brothers Come Marching Home (1973)

The Nu Page: When the Brothers Come Marching Home (1973)

The Nu Page were a one-single group signed to the Motown subsidiary label MoWest which released songs by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, Thelma Houston and Tom Clay (whose version of Abraham... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TOMMY QUICKLY: The career that couldn't be created

WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . TOMMY QUICKLY: The career that couldn't be created

At the end of '63 the fresh and freckle-faced 18-year old Tommy Quickly was standing at the door of his dreams: he'd been signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein (who had changed his name from... > Read more

Anoushka Shankar: Traces of You (Universal)

Anoushka Shankar: Traces of You (Universal)

Although nominally here under "World Music in Elsewhere", this emotionally charged album by the daughter of the late Pandit Ravi Shankar is her most cohesively interesting and engaging... > Read more