20/20 [1979]

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Classic eponymus debut album for this power pop legends from Hollywood, California. First heard ’em on ”Giving It All” single included on ”From L.A. With Love” comp. recorded for Greg Shaw’s Bomp! Records in 1978. Apart from a couple of filler tracks, the first 20/20 LP was brilliant through and through — one of the top ten “powerpop” releases ever. That’s the best reason to get this. Songs like “Yellow Pills,” “Cheri,” “She’s An Obsession,” “Tell Me Why and most assuredly the album’s buried treasure “Jet Lag” will quickly turn your heart to ashes. ”Oh Cheri open up the door”… Dig!!!

 

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v.a. FROM L.A. WITH LOVE [Vinyl]

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This is one of my favorite compilation lp’s I bought in the early 90’s. It’s a collection of singles issued by famous BOMP records in 70’s & 80’s featuring classic Power Pop & Punk acts as Plimsouls, 20-20, Flamin’ Groovies, Shoes, Surf Trio, Barracudas, Stiv Bators, Jeff Dahl, DMZ, Sky Saxon & SS-20, Zeros and Iggy & The Stooges. The concept is: first side power pop, the other side – garage punk, just simple as that and pressed on blue translucent vinyl. Already have posted it on my old blog and here it comes again. Some KILLER STUFF indeed. Dig!!!

 

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SHOES – Black Vinyl Shoes / Present Tense

 

Most bands start out trying to bang their songs together in someone’s living room, but Shoes certainly made more of that experience than most people. Jeff Murphy, Gary Klebe, and John Murphy were three pop obsessives from Zion, IL, who bought a four-track, found a drummer (Skip Meyer), and started putting songs on tape in Murphy’s living room with all the care their primitive circumstances would allow. While the results were intended to be used only as a demo, Black Vinyl Shoes eventually attracted the attention of PVC Records, who gave the homemade set a nationwide release; the album’s positive press eventually earned the band a major-label deal. Like their contemporaries and kindred spirits the Scruffs, Shoes were one of the few interesting pop bands to emerge in the mid- to late ’70s who were very obviously not new wave; Shoes were pop classicists in the manner of the Beatles and the Raspberries, and if their low-tech recording setup dictated a leaner and more basic approach than the Fab Four, the thick guitar lines, smooth backing harmonies, and trickier-than-they-sound melodic structures made it clear their back-to-basic style was a nod to past rock glories as much as a call to jangly arms. But Shoes also had their own set of quirks to bring to the table (again like the Scruffs, Shoes had an unusual perspective on the male/female relationship), and there’s an understated, off-kilter wit to songs like “Tragedy,” “Do You Wanna Get Lucky?,” and “Capital Gains” that’s as delicious as the band’s rich, satisfying songcraft. Black Vinyl Shoes is an album whose somewhat primitive production actually works in its favor; with 15 tunes to record and only four tracks on hand, Shoes made a record that was about melodies, hooks, and harmonies, and the result was an album that helped kick start the ’80s pop revival — and still sounds fine almost a quarter of a century later. [Mark Deming]

 

 

The first of Shoes’ three Elektra albums, Present Tense is almost a happy accident in ways not that the band hadn’t already shown its particular approach beautifully with earlier efforts, but at a time when major labels were trying to figure out what punk and new wave could provide, Shoes just found a perfect balance. Recorded in England and co-produced by the band, Present Tense didn’t end up sounding like a Cheap Trick clone, had a winsome, cool air thanks to the brilliant harmonies that distinguished the group from the Knack, and in the end traded off power and wistfulness in equal measure. The harmonies in particular are just lovely — as distinct and band-defining as those of the Beach Boys — on songs like “Too Late,” “Three Times,” and “Your Very Eyes.” Gary Klebe and Jeff Murphy have enough crunch and sting in their guitars to add some downright swagger to things — check out the glammish kick of “Hangin’ Around With You” and the combination soar and snarl of “Now and Then” while keeping an eye on economy throughout. The fragile acoustic lead on “Every Girl” provides an especially striking dimension to the song. The punch of Skip Meyer’s drums adds further heft, John Murphy’s bass also can cut through the mix — the introduction to “In My Arms Again” and “I Don’t Miss You” in particular showcases both nicely. Much of the sound of the album finds a sound that could easily be called timeless — it’s inspired by the past but sets a template that so many groups would follow in the future. [Ned Raggett]

First two and best albums of american power pop icons the Shoes. It’s a power pop wet dream, a must for new wave popsters!

 

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FLAMIN’ GROOVIES – Groovies’ Greatest Grooves

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“Groovies’ Greatest Grooves is a 1989 compilation album by U.S. rock band the Flamin’ Groovies, originally released by Sire Records. The tracks were selected by Rolling Stone Senior Writer Michael Goldberg and freelance rock critic Michael Snyder, who also co-wrote the liner notes. Goldberg and Snyder wanted to emphasize the Groovies’ original material, and so 18 of the album’s 24 songs are Groovies originals. It also collected tracks from throughout the group’s career, and showcased their versatility and changing styles throughout the years. Having said that, it draws heavily from their three Sire Records albums, with 20 of the 24 songs from those records. (The exceptions are “Teenage Head”, from the 1971 album of the same name, the two 1972 UA singles “Slow Death” and “Tallahassee Lassie”, compiled on A Bucket of Brains, and the 1981 Gold Star Studios recording of “River Deep, Mountain High”.)” wiki

Listen up folks! If ya ain’t got any of Groovies’ three Sire rec. albums by now you just ain’t livin’.  This fine comp gathers songs mostly from their “power pop” period with Chris Wilson. 24 trax + 9 bonus cuts added for a good measure is a real cool deal, allright! Dig!!!

 

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JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS – Vive Le Revolution!!

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”Never the most prolific studio visitor, the late New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders plied his brand of bent-string dementia where it shone brightest: live, and in your face, with no premium on timing, or tuning. Such carping about those factors is wasted on Thunders fans, who cared more about their hero’s screw-you persona, than whatever physical condition he brought to each performance. This album drives that object lesson home once more, being culled from the Heartbreakers’ 1977 tour promoting their ill-fated L.A.M.F. album, which saw powerhouse drummer Jerry Nolan quit over its mixing. The set list is the same that’ll appear on future live releases, but the performance is vicious enough to overlook such considerations. All the standbys are here, including “Chinese Rocks,” one of the most graphic snapshots of heroin addiction ever written, as well as the English putdown “London Boys,” and Thunders’ laconic self-assessment “Born to Lose.” Heartbreakers fans also get an obscure, unissued original in the Bo Diddley-style swagger of “Baby Talk,” the obscure A-side “One Track Mind,” and “Take a Chance With Me,” so the recycling isn’t as shameless as the track listing seems. Second guitarist Walter Lure and bassist Billy Rath provide their usual bullish support. Former Clash refugee Terry Chimes isn’t nearly as flashy as Nolan, but keeps the beat rolling with a damaged panache. As always, Thunders’ vocals and guitar waver all over the place, but his cut ‘n’ thrust bluster gets over on sheer persistence. What frequently sounded stilted on vinyl suddenly makes sense onstage, where the band could unleash its feral fury without worrying about recording levels. For Thunders, the attitude mattered most of all, and there’s plenty for Heartbreakers fans to absorb here. You’ll either like this release or hate it…but, in punk rock, that’s often a compliment.” ~ Ralph Heibutzki, All Music Guide

Great live set recorded at Paris Bataclan in 1977.

 

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JOHNNY THUNDERS – M.I.A. (Surfadelic Collection)

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Here’s brand new Surfadelic collection dedicated to one of my alltime guitar heroes J.T. As ya know there are loads of Johnny’s collections out there, some are great, some are weak so I decided to gather his rare & lesser know studio recordings and demos from 1979, 1982 & 1990 from various sources and put ’em in one place just fer your listening pleasure. Most of these songs never found a place on the proper studio album which is shame. Some of the tunes feature colaborations with acts as The Chesterfield Kings, Jerry Nolan and Wayne Kramer and the Gang War. Who Do Voodoo, Countdown Love, Help The Homeless, Hey Thanks, King Of The Gypsies… Cool stuff indeed. Don’t miss it, dig!!!

 

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JOHNNY THUNDERS – So Alonesome [1978. Unreleased studio recordings]

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Between January and June 1978 Johnny enrolled producer Steve Lillywhite and recorded a wealth of material which contributed to his first solo album ‘So Alone’. To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the album Johnny self proclaimed as the best album he ever made, Remarquable Records is releasing a special companion to add further insight to that creative period and showcase a bedevilled artist supported by an unrepeatable cast of friends and musicians which allowed Johnny more time and more control in the studio than he ever had in his truncated life. Consisting of previously unreleased studio recordings ‘So Alonesome’ is an essential sibling to ‘So Alone’. Featured msuicians include Steve Jones & Paul Cook (Sex Pistols); Peter Perrett & Mike Kellie (The Only Ones); Paul Gray & Steve Nicol (Eddie & The Hot Rods); Walter Lure & Billy Rath (Heartbreakers); Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy); Steve Marriott (Small Faces/Humble Pie); John ‘Irish’ Earle (Thin Lizzy); Chris Wood (Traffic); Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders) & Patti Palladin (Snatch).

Pressed on 180 gram limited edition vinyl, these are alternate mixes of legendary ’78. “So Alone” LP with pretty superior sound to orginal mixes. THIS IS A MUST !!! Vinyl Rip, Dig!!!

 

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JOHNNY THUNDERS & THE HEARTBREAKERS – Down To Kill

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Yooo punkerz! It’s pretty hot these days and it’s gonna be hotter with this set of The Hearbreakers ’76 demos & live recordings. You’re already familiar with the L.A.M.F. ‘never ending story’, so disc 1 ‘Raw & Rare’ brings you Staten Island unreleased studio recordings of some of your favorite Heartbreakers tunes and rare stuff featuring Walter Lure and Richard Hell. Disc 2 contains the complete remixed “Speakeasy” live recordings. The Speakeasy show was recorded while L.A.M.F. was being recorded (March 1977) and really captures the Heartbreakers at their peak. This stuff is essential for every Thunders/Heartbreakers fan. So punks… say… dig!!!

 

Box 2

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