Del shannon little town flirt vinyl wall, from the album
But after the similar "Stranger in Town" number 30,he wouldn't enter the Top 40 again for nearly a couple of decades. Shannon was a perennially popular artist on the oldies circuit particularly in Europe, where he had an especially devoted audienceand was always up for a comeback attempt on record.
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Shannon, impressed by what he heard, would become the first American artist to cover a Beatles song when he recorded "From Me to You" for a single although it would give him only a very small hit. By the late '60s, Shannon was devoting much of his energy to producing other artists, most notably Smith and Brian Hyland.
Much to Shannon's frustration, Liberty decided not to release the album that resulted from the collaboration some of the material appeared on singles, and much of the rest of the sessions would eventually be issued for the collector market.
Part of the problem was that some of these were a bit too eager to recycle some of his stock minor-keyed riffs, as good as his prototype was.
Sessions with Jeff Lynne and Dave Edmunds in the '70s didn't amount to much, but an early-'80s album produced by Tom Petty and featuring members of the Heartbreakers as backing musicians got him into the Top 40 again with a cover of "Sea of Love.
Shannon had intermittent minor hits over the next couple of years "Little Town Flirt" was the biggestbut was even more successful in England, where he was huge.
On one of his European tours inhe played some shows with the Beatles, who had just scored their first big British hits. In some respects he looked forward to the British Invasion with his frequent use of minor chords and his ability to write most of his own material.
The chords would form the basis for his debut single, "Runaway," one of the greatest hits of the early '60s, with its unforgettable riffs, Shannon's amazing vocal range which often glided off into a powerful falsettoand the creepy, futuristic organ solo in the middle.
Although classified at times as a teen idol, he favored brooding themes of abandonment, loss, and rejection. In fact, Shannon was able to keep going strong for a year or two into the British Invasion, and never stopped trying to play original music, though his commercial prospects pretty much died after the mid-'60s.
Del got into the Top Ten with a late single, "Keep Searchin'," that was one of his best and hardest-rocking outings. A switch to a bigger label Liberty didn't bring the expected commercial results, although he was continuing to release quality singles.
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