Wishful Thinking

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1965-66)

- Brian Allen (aka Brian Allender) (RIP 2012) -- drums, percussion

- Roger Charles -- vocals, bass

- Roy Daniels (aka Roy Spreadborough) -- vocals

- Terry New -- lead guitar


  line up 2 (1966-67)

- Brian Allen (aka Brian Allender) (RIP 2012) -- drums, percussion

- Roger Charles -- vocals, bass

- Terry New -- lead guitar

NEW - Kevin Scott (aka Danny Finn and Kevin Finn) (RIP 2016) --

   vocals, drums (replaced Roy Daniels)


  line up 3 (1967-71)

- Brian Allen (aka Brian Allender) (RIP 2012) -- drums, percussion

- Roger Charles -- vocals, bass 

NEW - Tony Collier -- vocals, bass (replaced Roger Charles)

- John Franklin -- lead guitar

- Kevin Scott (aka Danny Finn and Kevin Finn) (RIP 2016) -- vocals


  line up 4 (1971-72)

NEW - Ray Davis -- bass

- John Franklin -- lead guitar

NEW - Peter Ridley -- drums, percussion

- Kevin Scott (aka Danny Finn and Kevin Finn) (RIP 2106) -- vocals


  line up 5 (1976-79)

- John Franklin -- lead guitar

- Tony Collier -- vocals, bass

NEW - John Redpath -- drums, percussion

- Kevin Scott (aka Danny Finn and Kevin Finn) (RIP 2106) -- vocals


  line up 6 (1979-80)

- John Franklin -- lead guitar

- Tony Collier -- vocals, bass

- Kevin Scott (aka Danny Finn and Kevin Finn) (RIP 2106) -- vocals







- Brian Allen Band (Brian Allen)

- Roger Charles (solo efforts)

- The Emeralds (Brian Allen, Roger Charles)

- Emergency (John Redpath)

- Eve Graham and Danny Finn

- The Lively Set (Terry New)

- Marty, Paul and Denny

- Ken Scott and the Kinsmen

- Maniax (John Franklin)

- Marty, Paul and Danny (Danny Finn)

- The Motives (John Redpath)

- The New Seekers (Kevin Finn and John Redpath)

- Prima Donna (Kevin Finn)

- The Strangers (Tony Collier)

- The Time (Ken Scott)

- Viva (Danny Finn)





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  The Wishful Thinking Live Vol. 1

Company: Decca

Catalog: SKL 4900

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: Belgian pressing; '39' in blue magic marker on back cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5417

Price: $80.00


I stumbled across a couple of on-line references indicating this mid-1960s quartet were Belgian (including the person who sold me this album).  They were actually British, but apparently spent a substantial amount of their career working in the Benelux which might explain the confusion.   Drummer Brian Allen, bassist Roger Charles, singer Roy Daniels, and lead guitarist Richard Taylor started their partnership working as The Emeralds.  Signed by the HMV label, the band debuted with the 1963 single 'The Kerry Dances' b/w 'Little White Lies' (HMV catalog number POP 1157).  In 1965 Taylor was replaced by former The Lively Set guitarist Terry New. The new line-up quickly released a pair of singles for Decca:


- 1965's 'Don't Listen To Your Friends' b/w 'Say You're Mine' (Decca catalog number F 12096)

- 1965's 'King Lonely the Blue' b/w 'Someone Else's Fool' (Decca catalog number F 12304)


1965 saw Daniels replaced by Kevin Scott and the following year lead guitarist New was replaced by John Franklin.  The revamped group apparently decided the time had come to update their name and image, dropping the 1950s-styled Emeralds for the more happening' The Wishful Thinking.



Under the new moniker the band released as series of three singles for Decca:



- 1966's 'Turning Round' b/w 'V.I.P.' (Decca catalog number F 12348)

- 1966's 'Step By Step' b/w 'Looking Around' (Decca catalog number F 12499)

- 1967's 'Count To Ten' b/w 'Hang Around Girl' (Decca catalog number F 12598)

- 1967's 'Cherry Cherry' b/w 'Hang Around Girls' (Decca catalog F 12627)


Released by Decca, their 1967 album "The Wishful Thinking Live Vol 1" was produced by former Shadows drummer/A&R man Tony Meehan.  While the collection offered up no performance credits, it featured the Allen - Charles - Franklin - New - Scott lineup.  As the title indicated, this was a live set probably recorded in the Benelux where they seem to have set up shop (think along the lines of The Red Squares).  While there may have been considerable post-production work, the overall performances were surprisingly good, serving to showcase a number of their earlier singles and some new material.  For those interested in sound quality, technically the sound was a little flat with the band occasionally sounding like they were at the end of a long distances phone call.  With the exception of the summer of love threads on the cover, there wasn't anything remotely psychedelic here.   Musically the collection offered up a mixture of popular pop and soul hits with a couple of apparent originals thrown in.  Covers like The Beach Boys 'California Girls', The Four Tops' 'Reach Out (I'll Be There)', and The Left Banke's 'Walk Away Renee' were professional, but seldom strayed from the original arrangements making them of marginal interest.  In spite of the sappy between song patter, these guys certainly weren't bad, turning in some decent vocal harmonies and showing an ear for commercial arrangements on tracks like The Turtles 'Happy Together' and the original Is She a Woman Now'.  The exception to the rule was when they switched into their Four Seasons mode.  At least to my ears drummer Allen's shrill falsetto was a major source of irritation (check out 'Turn Around' and 'Hang Around Girls).  Certainly nothing spectacular, but not half bad !


"The Wishful Thinking Love: Vol 1" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Step By Step   (Flett - Hill) - 

2.) Big Girls Don't Cry   (Bob Crewe - Bob Gaudio) - 

3.) Papa - Oom - Mow - Mow   (Frazier - White - Harris - Wilson Jr.) - 

4.) Turning Around    (Flett - Hill) - 

5.) Hang Around Girls

6.) California Girls   (Brian Wilson) - 

7.) Reach Out (I'll Be There)   (Brian Holland - Lamont Dozier - Eddie Holland) - 


(side 2)
1.) Walk Away Renee   (Brown - Galilli - Sansone) - 

2.) Happy Together   (Bonner - Gordon) - 

3.) Is She a Woman Now   (Roger Charles - Bailey) - 

4.) Que Sera   (Evans - Livingstone) - 

5.) Peanuts   (Roger Cook) - 

6.) The Exodus Song   (Cold - Boone) - 

7.) Cherry Cherry   (Neil Diamond) - 


Over the next three years with  a 1969 personnel change that saw bassist Charles replaced by Tony Collier, the band continued to record sporadic singles and tour.  They even opened for Pink Floyd at a 1970 Danish concert.



- 1967's 'Meet the Sun' b/w 'Easier Said Than Loving You' (Decca catalog number F 12673)

- 1968's 'It's So Easy' b/w 'I Want You' (Decca catalog number F 12760)

- 1968's 'Alone' b/w 'Vegetables' (Decca catalog number F 22742

- 'Without a Place To Go' b/w 'Waterfalls' (Metronome catalog number M 25 210)




Genre: pop

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Hiroshima

Company: AMPEX

Catalog: A-10123

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: white label promotional copy; sticker on front cover

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $40.00



Produced by Lou Reizner, 1971's "Hiroshima" was an odd sophomore release for The Wishful Thinking.  The album again featured a line-up of singer/bassist Tony Collier, guitarist John Franklin, vocalist Kevin Scott and drummer Brian Allen.  Whereas the band's debut album featured a set of then-popular pop and soul hit covers, the second LP featured eleven tracks penned by former-Uglys, singer/multi-instrumentalist David Morgan. Curiously Morgan was not a member of the band.  Speculation on my part, but perhaps unhappy with the band's lack of original material, producer Reizner hired Morgan to provide an album's worth or material.  I've also wondered if this was basically a Morgan solo album dressed up as a Wishful Thinking collection.  Probably nothing more than coincidence, but Morgan was also signed to Ampex Records.  


Ignoring the title track for a moment, the album offered up a sparkling collection of early-'70s English pop-rock. This was prime top-40 material that should have attracted the attention of radio stations and anyone who enjoyed the likes of melody-rich groups like Badfinger, Christie, PIckettywitch, Vanity Faire, etc.  Exemplified by material like 'This Time Tomorrow,' 'Mary Goodbye' and 'She Belongs To The Night', Morgan had a knack for crafting sweet, radio-friendly pop-rock melodies.  With Collier and Scott splitting lead vocals most of these tunes had commercial potential.  With the exception of the mildly country-tinged 'I Wrote a Song' and Goodbye Lover' the rest of the album was top-notch.  There were a couple of quirkier performances, but they were also worth checking out.  '1984' found the band taking a stab at a "futuristic" sound. Today it sounds hopelessly out of date, but still worth a spin.  The pretty ballad 'Now' sounded like a mash-up of Marc Bolan and Focus.  Released as a US promotional single, 'United States Of Europe '79' sounded like a Beach Boys outtake.  Surround by all of the glistening pop material, naturally the atypical sounding anti-war title track was the effort that attracted the majority of attention.  'Hiroshima' was a startling performance and with its' progressive sound, radically different from the band's patented pop moves.  It wasn't hard to see why radio was reluctant to promote the tune.  At the same time, anyone buying the album based on the title track and expecting to hear a collection of progressive tunes was in for a major disappointment.  Yeah, it made for a strange release, but I'm a fan.



For hardcore collectors, the original UK released sported different cover art (B&C catalog number CAS 1038).


Also worth mentioning, it's funny how many people buy this collection under the impression it's an album by the Japanese soul-jazz entity Hiroshima.





"Hiroshima" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Hiroshima    (Dave Morgan) - 4:49  rating: ***** stars

With a dark, brooding feel, musically the title track has always reminded me of a good Moody Blues tune with the added bonus of a brief rocking mid-section.  Musically and lyrically 'Hiroshima' was totally unexpected: unlike anything you would have expected from a lightweight pop-rock group like Wishful Thinking.  With Collier handling lead vocals and the newsflash narrative, it wasn't hard to grasp the song's anti-war sentiments.  Hard to contemplate 80,000 people wiped away in a flash.  Given the  controversial subject matter it shouldn't have been a shock that  neither the band's English or American labels were interested in releasing the tune as a single.  In contrast, amidst growing concerns related to the potential for nuclear conflict in Europe, the track was released as a  single in Holland and Germany.  It did little commercially, but was reissued again in 1973, 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1979.  The 1978 release provided the band with a massive German hit.

- 1971's 'Hiroshima' b/w 'She Belongs To the Night' (Global Records catalog number 6004 991)

2.) This Time Tomorrow    (Dave Morgan) - 2:49  rating: **** stars

On the heels of the title track 'This Time Tomorrow' was more in keeping with the sound you'd expect fro this band - namely a sweet, polished and commercial ballad.  The transition was certainly jarring, though complete with strumming acoustic guitars, a Merseybeat flavor and Scott's forlorn voice, this would have made a dandy single.

3.) She Belongs To The Night    (Dave Morgan) - 2:52  rating: **** stars 

The fade-in was a bit abrupt, but 'She Belongs To the Night' was a nice up-tempo rocker. The vocals had a '60s feel, but for goodness sakes there was even a backwards guitar solo segment.

4.) Mary Goodbye    (Dave Morgan) - 3:05  rating: **** stars 

The title left me expecting a sappy ballad, but 'Mary Goodbye' was built on an energetic melody and nice harmony vocals,. Kicked along by some tasty Franklin lead guitar the  track was actually a nice example of '70s English pop-rock.  Imagine a band like Smokie and you'll have a feel for this one.  Always loved the brief cheesy synthesizer solos.

5.) Ever Since I Can Remember    (Dave Morgan) - 3:28   rating: **** stars

'Ever Since I Can Remember' offered up another pretty mid-tempo ballad.  Complete with sappy storyline, this was the kind of song I'm a sucker for.

6.) We're Gonna Change All This   (Dave Morgan) - 2:40   rating: **** stars

Remind me a touch of Mungo Jerry, 'We're Gonna Change All This' was another bubbly pop tune that should have swept up radio airplay. Loved the group vocals on this one.

(side 2)
1.) Now   (Dave Morgan) - 2:25
   rating: **** stars

Opening up with beautiful acoustic guitar and wordless, jazzy harmonies, 'Now' morphed into a Marc Bolan-esque ballad.  Love the combination of Franklin's Jan Akkerman-styled acoustic and treated electric guitar work on this one.

2.) United States Of Europe '79    (Dave Morgan) - 3:20    rating: **** stars

Ah mixing Beach Boys-styled harmonies with those giddy days of pre-Brexit European Common Market enthusiasm ...   The lyrics always make me laugh, though I suspect most American listeners would be left clueless.  Given the European subject matter it made for an odd choice as an American promotional single, though it would have sounded great on AM radio.  





- 1970's 'United States Of Europe '79' (mono) b/w 'United States Of Europe '79' (stereo) (AMPEX catalog number X11045)





3.) I Wrote A Song    (Dave Morgan) - 3:29  rating: ** stars

The one misstep, with Collier on lead vocals the country-tinged 'I Wrote a Song' sounded autobiographical, but was simply too cute for its own good.

4.) 1984    (Dave Morgan) - 3:36  rating: **** stars

Hard to believe it but Wishful Thinking actually opened up for Pink Floyd on a couple of dates.  That experience seemingly influenced  the band  - witness '1984.'  Complete with effects treated vocals, Mellotron washes, sped-up tapes and a slick, futuristic feel, it made for a cool pop-rock performance, though I'll readily admit it hasn't aged all that well. 

5.) Goodbye Lover   (Dave Morgan) - 1:47  rating: ** stars

'Goodbye Lover' ended the album with another forgettable country-tinged number.  I've never understood why so many English bands are fascinated with the genre.



The band also released a pair of non-LP 45s before calling it quits in 1972:


- 1971's 'Lu La Le Lu' b/w 'We're Gonna Change All This' (B&C catalog number CB 169)

- 1972's 'Clear White Light' b/w 'Hiroshima' (B&C catalog number CB 184)




On the heels of the successes stemming from the 1975 reissue of 'Hiroshima' in Germany the band decided to reform.  Franklin dropped out of his job as The New Seekers' musical director, joining Collier, Finn and former Emergency drummer John Redpath. 


A reissue of the 'Clear White Light' single flopped, but a new single found a new audience:

- 1977's 'Clear White Light' b/w 'Horizons' (Atlantic catalog number ATL 10-949)

- 1978's 'America' b/w 'You Lay Me' (Atlantic catalog number ATL 11-222)


A new band penned 45 followed in 1979:


- 1979's 'State Fair Majorette' b/w 'Crash at Honolulu' (Global Records catalog number 033.215)




Bolstered by another reissue of 'Hiroshima' in 1980 Collier, Finn and Franklin released what would be their final new music:


- 1980's 'Tightrope Man' b/w '(It's All About) Loving You' (Global Records catalog number 0033.228)






After a twenty-five year break, in April 2005 Allen Collier, Finn and Franklin reunited for a one shot performance on German television.


Living in Salignac, France original drummer Allen suffered a fatal heart attack in May, 2012.


Following a short illness, Finn died in February, 2016