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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THE PLIMSOULS – One Night In America / Beach Town Confidential

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”At a time when rock music was shifting gears, the Plimsouls threw British Invasion into the new wave mix and permanently altered the genre. Fun was the operative word, and bar bands everywhere joined the fray. But the Plimsouls were exceptional because they boasted the talents of singer/songwriter Peter Case.

The band formed in Los Angeles in 1978 and merged roots, retro and guitar rock with a ramshackle punk aesthetic. Case had already collaborated with Jack Lee and Paul Collins in the Nerves, who had some success in 1976 with the single “Hangin’ on the Telephone,” later recorded by Blondie. In 1978, Case met L.A. locals guitarist Eddie Munoz, drummer Lou Ramirez and bassist Dave Pahoa. After one EP, Zero Hour in 1980, and an album in 1981 that contained some stellar power-pop in songs like “Zero Hour” and “Hush, Hush,” it looked like the band were a new wave one-off until a single from the soundtrack to Valley Girl, “A Million Miles Away,” lifted them from new wave obscurity and cemented their reputation. The song remains a timeless classic. An album for Geffen, Everywhere At Once, followed in 1983 with a re-recorded version of the song, but ultimately, the liaison with the label was not a lasting one; the Plimsouls broke up shortly after its release. A testament to their strength as a live band was captured on One Night in America and released in 1988.” [Denise Sullivan]

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“LA’s short-lived but glorious run of The Plimsouls is documented by this loud and proud, high energy concert recording, made in 1981 and left in a bag in guitarist Eddie Munoz’s closet. It runs through 13 songs, mainly from the band’s Planet Records’ debut album, four covers and an early version of The Plimsoul’s signature “A Million Miles Away.”

“One Night In America” captures the band’s unique mix of progressive punk and power pop in a tight, sometimes messy, energetic performance. Featuring classic tunes such as ‘A Million Miles Away’ and ‘How Long Will It Take’, the band also included a few covers such as The Kinks’ ‘Come On Now’ and The Outsiders’ ‘Time Won’t Let Me’, here in all their raw, live glory.”

 

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“Beach Town Confidential” captures a stunning live performance by power-pop purveyors The Plimsouls at the band’s pinnacle, during the summer of 1983. Recorded at the now-defunct Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, Calif., the incendiary 17-song set finds the foursome charging through a particularly inspired set of hook-filled originals and some smartly-chosen covers.

Led by the passionately soulful vocals of Peter Case and the slashing, melodic guitar work of Eddie Munoz (complemented by a tight rhythm section in bassist Dave Pahoa and drummer Lou Ramirez), “Beach City Confidential” offers the best sound of any Plimsouls live recording that has surfaced to date. (It was produced and mixed by Case from the 24-track masters.) In addition, the set list provides a fine overview of the band’s best-known originals from their two full-length albums (including the alternative radio biggie “A Million Miles Away,” “Zero Hour,” “Now” and “Oldest Story in the World”), alongside some rarities (such as the smoldering surf instrumental “Hobo,” which was originally released as a B-side).

As powerful as the originals are here – and the readings of “Oldest Story in the World” and “How Long Will it Take” positively smolder – the band’s choice of covers is where Beach City Confidential really shines. Many of these have never appeared on any Plimsouls release until now; Moby Grape’s “Fall On You” and the Creation’s “Making Time” are particularly well-suited to the Plimsouls’ sound, and the band amps ‘em up a bit, throws ‘em into overdrive and makes them their own. Versions of the Everly Brothers’ “Price of Love” (with guest vocals by the Williams Brothers) and the Flamin’ Groovies’ “Jumpin’ in the Night” (with Keith Streng of the Fleshtones sitting in on guitar) are also quite fine, and showcase the Plimsouls’ love of ‘60s pop and classic power pop,respectively.” [Goldmine]

 

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Squire – Get Ready To Go! / Big Smashes [80’s Mod Revival]

 

Though they never received the recognition they deserved, Squire was undoubtedly one of the earliest and finest Mod Revival bands of the late 70s. Squire were able to transcend the limits of the genre with their high quality pop which drew equal parts from punk spirit and the 1960s.
Named because they rehearsed above a shop called Squires, this lot went to school with Paul Weller in Woking, Surrey and formed in Guildford not long after JAM as a covers band consisting of Enzo Esposito (vocals/bass), Steve Baker (guitar) and Ross Di’Landa (drums).
In June 1978, songwriter/guitarist Anthony Meynell joined just prior to a high profile gig opening for The Jam. The addition of Meynell changed the band’s focus to producing original material, and by 1979, they had released their first single for ROK Records, Get Ready to Go.

‘Get Ready’ focuses on the early work of the original lineup from their mod days. This release supplants Hits from 3000 Years Ago by picking the highlights (most of the album) and combining their first single, the brilliant “Get Ready Go,” with B-sides, previously unreleased material, a track from the Odd Bods, Mods and Sods compilation, and a track from a fan club release.

 

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Somewhere between the delicate power pop of Shoes and the classy British pop of mid-period Jam sits the wonderful world of Squire. No, not Billy “The Stroke” Squier. This is Squire, the groovy mod trio fronted by Anthony Meynell, one of pop music’s unsung heroes. Spanning the years 1980-1984, this exceptional compilation concentrates on the latter half of the band’s career, and contains almost their entire Get Smart album. By this point in the band’s career, Meynell had tired of the musical restrictions that the mod scene had thrust upon him. Adding more overdubs in the studio (including a horn section), Meynell created some of the brightest, most exhilarating, guitar-based pop music of the early ’80s. Sidestepping such influences as the Who and the Kinks, and embracing Lennon’s edge from the Beatles (“No Time Tomorrow”), and the bright, sunny vibe from the Monkees (“Standing In The Rain”), Squire did not create disposable pop, they created timeless pop. Many of these tracks could have been released in the mid-’60s or even in the early ’90s at the height of Brit-pop. “Every Trick In The Book Of Love,” “You’re the One,” “My Mind Goes Round In Circles,” “Girl On A Train,” “Stop That Girl,” and “Take A Look” are nothing less than perfect pop songs. When Meynell puts down his pen and records a cover version (including Shoes’ “Boys Don’t Lie” and Big Star’s “September Gurls”), the results are nothing less than Squire-like. Mod and power pop fans should keep their eyes peeled for this gem of a CDs. It’s worth the hype![Stephen SPAZ Schnee]

 

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R@M0#E$ – Pleasant Dreams [1981] / Subterranean Jungle [1983] ViNyL RiPs!!!

 
“I’m gonna brag about it
I’m not gonna stay in school
I’m gonna rob and steal
Gonna break every rule
I’m a time bomb, baby
Yeah, Yeah!”
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Another pair of my favorite Ramones slabs. “Pleasant Dreams” their 6th studio album produced by Graham Gouldman [member of 10CC, man who wrote “For Your Love”, “Heart Full Of Soul” and “Evil Hearted You” for The Yardbirds] is a 60’s influenced power pop gem with handfull of classics as ”We Want The Airwaves”, ”All’s Quiet On The Eastern Front”, ”The KKK Took My Baby Away”, ”Don’t Go”, ”You Sound Like You’re Sick”, ”She’s A Sensation”, ”7-11”, ”Sitting In My Room”… From my point of view one of their best, better than ”End Of The Centery”.  On ”Subterranean Jungle” their 7th Lp, Ramones turned back to their punk rock roots and sound from “Rocket To Russia” era. Interesting is that on this album Walter Lure played most of guitars so the style on some tunes as ‘Somebody Like Me” or ”Time Bomb” reminds on The Heartbreakers. Album feature fine covers of ”Little Bit O’ Soul” [The Music Explosion], ”Time Has Come Today” [The Chambers Brothers] and ”I Need Your Love”[The Boyfriends], plus killer originals as “Outsider”, ”Somebody Like Me”, “Psycho Therapy”, “Time Bomb”, “Everytime I Eat Vegetables…”. Vinyl rips by Mr.Eliminator, in <360> binaural Surfadelic sound!

“Sitting in my room
Record player on
Sitting in my room
Humming a sickening tune
Sitting in my room
Something to do soon”

 

THE REAL KIDS – No Place Fast [1981/82]/ Hit You Hard [1983]

 

More ace power pop/punk by these Boston rockers. “No Place Fast” is actually “Outta Place” 1982.lp on Star Club records + “Taxi Boys” mini lp issued on Bomp rec in 1981. With slightly different lineup John Felice put out some pretty solid power popsters as ‘Can’t Talk To That Girl’, ‘No Place Fast’, ‘Senselass’, ‘ Outta Place’, ‘What’s It To You’, ‘ Bad To Worse’, ‘Everybody’s Girl’

”Hit You Hard” is 1983. lp on New Rose records, featuring another version of ‘She’ and superfine slices of power pop like ‘Hit You Hard’, ‘Now You Know’, ‘Where I Wanna Be’, ‘Right When It’s Right’, ‘She’s A Mess’… produced by Andy Paley [of Paley Brothers].

 

 

THE REAL KIDS – st [1977] + ’74/’77 Demos!

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American punk/power pop rock’n’roll band from Boston, Massachusetts formed as The Kids in 1972 by John Felice after he left The Modern Lovers. They played 50’s & 60’s/Groovies/ Stooges/ VU/ Dolls influenced raw garage pop punk. In 1977. Red Star Records issued The Real Kids classic debut slab with twelve raw rockin’ tunes, 9 originals as ‘All Kindsa Girls’, ‘Solid Gold (Thru And Thru)’,,’Better Be Good’, ‘She’s Alright’, ‘My Baby’s Book’, ‘Do The Boob’, ‘Raggae Raggae’… and fine covers of Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran and Huey “Piano” Smith songs. This here is a vinyl rip of their debut lp plus newly found rippin’ proto-punk 1974/’77 demo tapes of their first recordings. ‘Like their name, these guys were for real’. Dig!!!

 

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THE BOYS – st [1977]

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“Although they were swiftly overtaken by the emergence of a custom-crafted power pop movement, for much of 1977-1978 the Boys reigned supreme in the bright and breezy bubble punk stakes, simply churning out a succession of two-to-three-minute gems that flooded not only their albums and singles, but also the realms of the alter-ego Yobs. Patently influenced by the Ramones but readily avoiding the most obvious traps by virtue of their own understanding of what made a pop song tick, the Boys’ first two singles, “I Don’t Care” and “The First Time,” remain period classics, while their debut album, September 1977’s The Boys, went on to nibble the U.K. Top 50 at a time when such glories were still a rare achievement. Tightly scything guitars, sharply embroidered keyboards, and Kid Reid’s contagiously imploring vocals dominate the proceedings, a relentlessly crisp buzzsaw whine that is as melodic as it is fast and as irresistibly singalong as it is either. Time, the enemy of so many punk-era artifacts, hasn’t dented the album’s pleasures; indeed, it might even have heightened them, as a direct line of descent to the modern likes of Green Day is revealed in living neon.” [Dave Thompson]

 

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”The Boys debut album is one of the great overlooked records of the UK punk scene. Fourteen tracks of exciting, high-energy rock ‘n’ roll, in a touch over 28 minutes, of a rare quality that rivals even the mighty Ramones early albums. Punk Rock heaven.”

”Track after track bear witness to the amazing energy, sense of melody and creativeness of The Boys, arguably the best melodic punk band alongside The Buzzcocks.”

“What to buy after you got the SEX PISTOLS, CLASH, RAMONES, BUZZCOCKS, DAMNED & GENERATION X albums? THE BOYS, baby!!!!!  You only need to know 2 chords to make a killer riff and the BOYS prove that left and right on their debut. Super cool ’77 punk. Don’t miss out.”

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(((o)))

 

LIVERPOOL ECHO – s/t [1973]

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”Power pop has never sounded so powerful! When former Mandrake Paddlesteamer mainstays Brian Engel and Martin Briley convened as Liverpool Echo in 1973, the Beatles had been in the grave for just three years, and the world still desperately wanted them back — so desperately that, with a band name borrowed bodily from an old Merseybeat-era newspaper, what could any record company do, but lift a “Fabs”-headlined copy of the paper for an album cover? But “Beatles Come Home So Quietly” really wasn’t the most appropriate banner for an LP jacket, all the more so since, once you hit the vinyl, the spirit of the “Moptops” hung so heavily over the music that it screamed out for attention. Of course, it was true that any early-’70s band that was capable of melding melody with studio-borne creativity would inevitably be tarred “the new Beatles” (as Badfinger and 10cc would readily testify); it is also true that all such comparisons were then hopelessly devalued by the arrival of the Rutles. But still Liverpool Echo have an uncanny grasp of the Merseybeat sound circa 1963 and 64, spliced with a healthy hint of the Hollies, and that was more than enough to raise high hopes for the album. Unfortunately, hope was all that the record label (Spark) could do. They certainly had no promotion or distribution muscle to speak of, and both band and LP sank within seconds, to lie forgotten until Revola revived it (with excellent Mark A Johnston liner notes) in 2005.” [Dave Thompson]

Beatlesque ”Hard days’ night” era style power pop/beat. Dig!!!

 

BARRACUDAS – Through The Mysts Of Time [Surf-Punk/Power Pop]

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”This London-based Anglo-American band was formed in 1979 and scored a U.K. chart hit in 1980 with the neo-surf song “Summer Fun.” Their punkish attitude comes from a red-hot, enthusiastic amateurism. The band melded together the sounds of pop surfers like Jan & Dean with hip urban post-garage rockers like Flamin’ Groovies and song-oriented ’60s ensembles like the Byrds. The result of this formula is infectious, unexpected, and raw. This collection comprises demos, outtakes, and alternate versions from the same era as the Drop Out and Meantime LPs.”

“Rougher and rawer than this old English power pop quartet’s otherwise fun singles and LPs, this 71-minute, 25-track collection of earlier demos, outtakes, and other rarities replaces such works as 1981’s Drop Out and 1983’s Mean Time as the definitive statement on a truly underrated ’60s-infested band. The Barracudas were looking back in the midst of a punk revolution — covering Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Little Red Book” just like Love or the Standells — and succeeding just the same, probably because, like the unrelated but not totally dissimilar mod revival bands of the time, they brought a purely modern crunch and crackle to the thick guitars underneath the songs about girls. This is boy/girl punkish pop before it became an ’80s/’90s staple”[Jack Rabid]

 

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THE ROOTS OF POWERPOP! [1979-1981]

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This compilation chronicles the style that happened right after punk rock, when some of the bands learned how to play their instruments a little better and started borrowing melodies and harmonies from old ’60s pop records. This marriage of melody and energy spawned a couple years’ worth of exciting music and a lot of it happened on Bomp during the years 1979-1981.

Fine overview of late 70’s US power pop scene supported by famous Bomp! records, including bands like The Romantics, The Real Kids, The Flamin’ Groovies, Shoes, 20/20, The Nerves, The Zeros, The Last, The Plimsouls and some lesser known acts as M&Ms, Mystery Machine, Nashville Rumblers or Wombats. Dig The Pop!

 

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