Recorded in 1972 and released in 1976, actually released after Jonathan Richman’s second album, the confusingly named Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. This album could have been released last week, talk about fresh. This is easily my favourite Johnny Richman album, although, worryingly, I have spent many sleepless nights wondering if Pablo Picasso was indeed ever referred to as an arsehole (I’m sorry, the US vernacular never sounds right, and I must default to the UK word, even though I think arse is more offensive than ass).
Roadrunner, his Bostonized version of Sister Ray, which was, in turn, their New Yorkized version of Chuck Berry, is fantastic.
Micro review; If the Velvets had been from Boston…
Micro review two; Seminal, I just wanted to use that word, but it really is.
Hidden gem; Astral Plane, listen to Jerry Harrison’s one handed organ playing, it is happening, man.
I decided to listen to this after remembering a classic Legs and Co. moment on Top of The Pops. The ladies were dressed as ancient Egyptians, well of course they were, and flounced around the stage with a dancing pantomime camel. Google it if you dare, you may die laughing or choke on your own vomit, it depends where you sit on the rock music seriousness index. Actually watching it now, it could be a curious bit of intentional TOTP surrealism, but I doubt it. It is almost as inappropriate as a covers band doing the Velvets Heroin in a club of middle-aged ladies, which I witnessed at a friend’s mother’s birthday party. I spoke to the singer afterwards and said they should have renamed it Valium, they would have been right on the money.
If you listened to the first album by the Modern lovers you would be forgiven if you thought that this was a different band with the same name. I really don’t like this much and I think the first album beckons.
Micro review; The difficult third album (aren’t all third albums difficult)