Billy Nicholls was just 18 when he took up work as a songwriter for Andrew Oldham’s newly formed Immediate Records in 1967. Nicholls wrote the minor hit “Led Along” for fellow Immediate act Del Shannon before starting his own career as a performer, recording the twelve-track album Would You Believe at the famous Olympic Studios in London. Oldham, who had managed and produced the Rolling Stones between 1963 and 1967, intended the record as the British response to The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. While that’s a high bar to set, the record is a success on its own terms, with huge productions by Oldham and instrumentation by The Small Faces’ Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane as well as a host of now-legendary session musicians including Nicky Hopkins and Big Jim Sullivan, not to mention arrangements by John Paul Jones and Arthur Greenslade.

“Daytime Girl” first saw release as the b-side to the album’s single “Would You Believe?” and was put out in January 1968, a release that failed to live up to Oldham’s commercial expectations. The album was due for release in April of that year, but Immediate’s financial problems limited its initial run to only 100 promotional copies. In 1974, Nicholls released the album Love Songs and in 1977 the White Horse self-titled record, which included songs that would later be hits for Leo Sayer and Roger Daltry, but Nicholls’ own recording career never really took off. Would You Believe was eventually reissued in 1999 along with Snapshot, a collection of demos from this period.

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