My record collection
#036: Dean & Britta - The Carnival is Over
The only surprise about Dean Wareham covering The Seekers is that it took until 2020 before he did, with this gorgeous cover of The Carnival is Over with Britta. They had originally tried to record it back in 2008 (around the same time they recorded Friday I’m in Love) but abandoned it… but come the pandemic…
… the single seemingly popped out of nowhere when Dean posted a picture of it on Instagram in May 2020 revealing the key facts: Seekers cover, mixed and mastered by Kramer, and coming out on PIAPTK.
I ordered my copy straight away managing to save a bit on the horrendous postage costs by sharing shipping on a second copy… but still came in at an eye-watering $21.64 for one track!
If we spend our whole lives trying to recapture some of the magic of childhood, then perhaps I have spent mine trying to re-create the feeling that I got from hearing [The Seekers’] “Georgy Girl” - beauty and sadness and ecstasy all together.
I spent my earliest years in Wellington, New Zealand, where the Seekers were as big as the Beatles—really, they (and the Beatles) are the first things I remember hearing on the radio. I was two in 1965, when they released their biggest hit, “The Carnival is Over.” Years later we moved to America, where this Australian folk-pop quartet was not a big deal at all. To this day, it’s hard to explain the Seekers to Americans. They did chart in the US with “Georgy Girl” and “I’ll Never Find Another You” but I have never heard them played on American oldies stations. They pre-date full-blown folk rock by a couple of years and are sometimes compared to Chad & Jeremy or Peter, Paul & Mary, and recorded a number of the same songs—as was the habit for folk groups—but I would argue that the Seekers reach a level of ecstasy that Peter, Paul & Mary do not.
Dean sent me a (kind of Christmas card) postcard of The Seekers way, way back!
- Catalogue Number: AHFOW 11/0077
- Artist: Dean & Britta
- Title: The Carnival is Over
- Notes: One-sided, square, clear, lathe-cut single
- Packaging: plastic sleeve
- Format: 7”
- Bought from Dean’s web shop for $43.28 for 2 copies.
- Buy ‘The Carnival is Over’ on Bandcamp