The Searchers were without a record contract for one year but fortunately Liberty Europe was founded and they were looking for artists to sign.

The first single came out in November 1968:

Umbrella Man b/w Over The Weekend

While Umbrella Man was written by their new producer Kenny Lynch, the B-Side was a Frank Allen composition which once again showed his ability to write nice and catchy songs

 
England Liberty LBF 15159 Nov 68
USA World Pacific 77908 1969
Germany Liberty 15159 15159A 1969
Sweden Liberty LBF 15159 1969
France Liberty LIF 528 1969
Portugal Liberty Alvorada N-32-17 1969
South Africa Liberty LYS   1969
Australia Liberty     1969
New Zealand Liberty     1969

above: UK single

above: French cover and label A-Side, below: B-Side and back side of the cover

The Searchers perform Umbrella Man on German TV show Beat Club
 

far above: rare single from Portugal, above: The US release

On the left: advertisement for the New Musical Express, Melody Maker and Disc. But it didnít help, there was hardly no airplay and it didnít sale Ė the single sank without a trace although the sound was up to date Ė a pop song like many of that time.

 The Searchers themselves werenít too proud of their new single they didnít  played it live very often.

The single didnít chart in any country . But they tried it again on Liberty

 

Why didnít the Searchers play their instruments on the Liberty recordings. Hereís Frank Allenís answer (thanks to Wendy Burton) 

We discussed it with the producer, Kenny Young, and he thought it might give a better 'feel' and be more efficient.  He could pre-arrange things the way he envisaged them and it would take less time as there wouldn`t be the need to rehearse the routines for days and days.  In the end it wasn`t really a good idea.

Frank

 

On the left you can see the German record, Liberty 15159 listing Pussy Willow Dream as  B-Side. But actually the song is the same as the on the UK-version: Over The Weekend.

Liberty in Munich made two mistakes: they used the title of an upcoming single instead of the correct title and they failed again by writing DREAM instead of DRAGON.

Liberty Sweden printed Kinky Kathy Abernathy on the label and the cover - but the song was Over The Weekend.

Well done, Liberty!