Dec 04


Popular16 comments • 2,442 views

#163, 22nd February 1964

An unwitting example of how quickly things change, the cod-country yokelry of “Diane” would have blended perfectly into 1962’s list of No.1s, but now seems quaint and entirely out of place. Innocuous enough, though, even charming if you catch it on a good day. The group’s website describes them as “the original Irish boy band”. It’s a witty and canny claim, as it’s not hard to imagine Louis Walsh running his eye over this, though no doubt his boys would have erred on the ponderous side. At least the Bachelors keep things light.



  1. 1
    bramble on 8 Sep 2006 #

    The Bachelors somehow survived in the British charts until the later sixties,with the extraordinary feat of beating Simon and Garfunkel with their rather uncomprehending version of Sound of Silence. I think, like Val Doonican, they presented the British public with a romantic picture of rural Irish charm, like leprochauns and creamy Irish butter

  2. 2
    Waldo on 15 Apr 2007 #

    Creamy Irish cheese, more like it, bramble! Woo-Hoo!

  3. 3
    Marcello Carlin on 16 Apr 2007 #

    Really they were the sixties Westlife. Didn’t one of them get arrested for not paying his TV licence?

  4. 4
    wichita lineman on 12 Jul 2008 #

    One of them (Dec?) dated Twinkle – she (allegedly) turned down a fling with George Harrison for this geezer. The Bachelors were just as light-with-lightly-ponderous moments – Sound Of Silence for starters – as Westlife, and just as deathly. Diane is horrible, a 1 for me, and I think it would’ve sounded grisly and dated in ’62, too. It wouldn’t even stand up as Pre Rock. Listen to it alongside Slim Whitman’s Rose Marie and feel that frown.

    Even Val Doonican (the lolloping Walk Tall and genuinely sweet What Would I Be) works better as condensed Irish milk.

    The Bachelors did slightly worse on average in the Irish charts (where Diane stalled at no.2) than in Britain. I’d love to say they didn’t sell a bean in their homeland, though they were still put firmly into the shade by many of the homegrown showbands.

  5. 5
    Billy Smart on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Back in the album charts at number 7! Featuring new material!

    There’s an entertaining interview with the 2 currently operating Bachelors on Monday’s ‘Front Row’ on Radio 4, where they talk about the third one’s lesser talent, sacking him, and their tussles in the courts with him to continue trading as The Bachelors.

  6. 6
    DJ Punctum on 30 Jul 2008 #

    Rather sadly they now bill themselves as “The Original Irish Boy Band.” And they’re more popular than Primal Scream (in at number 9) but then I’m arguably more popular than Primal Scream these days.

  7. 7
    Billy Smart on 30 Jul 2008 #

    Have you seen that Bobby Gillespie can STILL get on the cover of the NME in 2008? Surely Steve Sutherland can’t still be pulling strings there?

  8. 8
    DJ Punctum on 30 Jul 2008 #

    Is Stickboy still “Brand Director” over at IPC Meeja? Maybe he thinks the BG brand is enough on its own to sell magazines if not actual records (see also: “career” of Rachel Stevens).

  9. 9
    Billy Smart on 30 Jul 2008 #

    NOTHING in popular culture in 2008 has irritated me more than the willingness of middle-aged journalists to hail Primal Scream and The Verve as the last great rock & roll survivors in town. It was bad enough ten years ago!

  10. 10
    DJ Punctum on 30 Jul 2008 #

    Or the willingness of middle-aged radio stations to keep playing their murkily mucky 1974-style soft rock!

  11. 11
    Billy Smart on 12 Feb 2009 #

    TOTPWatch: The Bachelors performed Diane on Top Of The Pops on no less than five occasions;

    29 January 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Gerry & The Pacemakers, Manfred Mann, The Fourmost, The Rolling Stones and The Searchers. Jimmy Saville was the host.

    5 February 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Cilla Black, Cliff Richard, Gerry & The Pacemakers and The Merseybeats. Alan Freeman was the host.

    12 February 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, Manfred Mann and The Merseybeats. David Jacobs was the host.

    4 March 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Eden Kane, The Rolling Stones and The Hollies. Alan Freeman was the host.

    18 March 1964. Also in the studio that week were; The Swinging Blue Jeans. Pete Murray was the host.

    No copies survive for any edition.

  12. 12
    lonepilgrim on 17 Mar 2015 #

    listening to this again reminded me how much I hated the Bachelors as a kid. There was something about their harmonies that I found claustrophobic and oppressive. Technically proficient and emotionally false. I get no sense of connection, either with “Diane” or with the audience, just a preening desire to be admired.

  13. 13
    chrisew71 on 29 Mar 2018 #

    Back in the ’90s, Rhino Records released a 9CD British Invasion box set, and it’s from that that I have maybe a little more awareness than average for someone of my generation of what was going on in the UK in the ’60s.

    Anyway, I loved most everything on those CDs, barring two exceptions – the two tracks by The Bachelors. Hell, I could even listen to The Silkie without skipping, but I couldn’t stand those Bachelors songs.

  14. 14

    @10: Haha, back in the summer of 2008 I loved Can’t Go Back so much I had it as my theme tune on Myspace. Now itself so much an antique phenomenon that my sister (somehow) went to a “dead but famous” fancy dress party as it. Primal Scream are a frequently embarrassing and cliched band, especially compared to the Screamadelica heyday. Yet every now and then they’ll make a single which hits me in the sweet spot with the fact however end-of-the-pier Stoneswaddywaddy they’ve degenerated into, they really, genuinely believe 100% in the cause of this degeneracy. I hate myself for loving them, but maybe it’s no surprise as I’m a child of Britpop.

    Yeah, I’ll admit it – whisper it but – I also loved Country Girl.

  15. 15

    Though these days I prefer the one by Boy Harsher!

  16. 16
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    Not much of a fan of the Bachelors I’m sorry to say. 2/10.

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