UNFINISHED AND ABANDONED: Pop Compilation CD’s

Unfinished And Abandoned digs deeeeep into my unpublished archives, and exhumes projects that I started (sometimes barely started) but abandoned, unfinished. I am such a quitter.

Some years back, after I’d written the liner notes to Rhino’s compilation Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The ’90s (a compilation which I did not assemble), an independent record label contacted me about putting together some pop compilation CDs.  The intent was to create compilations that would be commercial, aesthetically viable, and economical (i.e., the tracks could be licensed cheaply, ideally avoiding major labels).  Nothing ever came of any of this; I did my part, so I guess it’s not exactly something that I abandoned.  Here are the notes I submitted for these proposed compilation CDs.

POP SAMPLER (which is in dire need of a catchier title).  The vague parameters I had in mind were mid-to-late ’70s/early ’80s pop and power pop, though I fudged it on several tracks.

1.  DWIGHT TWILLEY:  “I’m On Fire [unreleased live version]”  This is an unconfirmed possibility, but Twilley’s office has indicated that such a track might be available.  (Tracks by the original Dwight Twilley Band, featuring the late, great Phil Seymour, would apparently not be available due to the usual legal yada yada yada.)  This is certainly worth further investigation.  

2.  BIG STAR:  “In The Streets” (aka “That ’70s Song”)  Cheap Trick is covering this as the new theme song for TV’s That ’70s Show.  We might be able to use Big Star’s studio rehearsal version, found on Norton’s recent Nobody Can Dance CD.  Failing that, perhaps we could use the live version from Big Star’s Live CD on Rykodisc (though the Norton track is far better).

3.  BADFINGER:  “Baby Blue”  Live version from Rykodisc’s Day After Day CD.

4.  THE ROMANTICS:  “Little White Lies”  The Romantics’ debut indie single from 1978, still owned by the band and never reissued.  It kicks, too.  (The single’s B-side, “I Can’t Tell You Anything,” is also worth considering.)

5.  THE PLIMSOULS:  “A Million Miles Away”  Single on the Shaky City label, originally distributed by Bomp!  This could probably be licensed from Plimsouls guitarist Eddie Munoz or perhaps through Bomp!

6.  THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES:  “Shake Some Action [U.K. single version, 1976]”  This is a completely different version of the song, recorded a year later than the familiar title track of the group’s first LP for Sire.  This has never been issued in the U.S., and it may or may not belong to Sire–it was originally a demo for Capitol, actually, but Capitol passed on it, and Sire did eventually release it as a single.  I’m listing it here in hope that it’s available for us, but I’m resigned to the probability that we ain’t gonna get it. 

                                    –OR–

            “Shake Some Action” (live version from Live at the Whiskey A-Go-Go ’79 album, issued by Lolita in France, 1985)

                                    –OR–

            “You Tore Me Down”  The first single released by Bomp!

7.  THE FLASHCUBES:  “No Promise”  My favorite power pop band (so their inclusion on this CD would basically be my tip, I guess), with their best-ever recreation of the Raspberries sound.  There are two versions of this available, one of which was included on the group’s Bright Lights CD.  I’d opt for the earlier version instead, but either one’s great.

8.  THE RAMONES:  “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”  Pre-Sire demo side, presumably available from Marty Thau.

9.  BLOTTO:  “I Wanna See The Monkees (I Wanna Be A Lifeguard)” Alternate version of the group’s best-known tune, with different lyrics, done for NYC radio (WNEW, I think?).  I wouldn’t place any firm wager on a clean copy of this still existing, but it’s worth a shot.  Could also use “I Wanna Be A Lifeguard” and/or “When The Second Feature Starts,” though I see both of them as better choices for a New Wave Summer CD.

10.  THE NERVES:  “Hanging On The Telephone” (indie EP track, 1977).  Song later covered by Blondie, written by The Nerves’ Jack Lee.  The other Nerves were Peter Case (later of The Plimsouls) and Paul Collins (later of Paul Collins’ Beat).  Rhino licensed this from Jack Lee for the Come Out And Play power pop anthology in 1993.

11.  SHOES:  “Tomorrow Night”  1978 Bomp! single.

12.  MARSHALL CRENSHAW:  “Something’s Gonna Happen”  1981 12″ single for Alan Betrock’s Shake label.

13.  20/20:  “Giving It All”  Bomp! single.

14.  THE SMITHEREENS:  “Got Me A Girl” (from Girls About Town EP, 1980).  From the group’s self-released debut EP.

15.  THE dB’S:  “Black And White”  This was originally a 1980 single on Shake, and was subsequently used on the group’s first album–not sure if the single and LP tracks are identical. 

16.  THE BARRACUDAS:  “I Wish It Could Be 1965 Again” From the 1981 Voxx LP Drop Out With The Barracudas.

17.  THE MOSQUITOS:  “That Was Then, This Is Now”  Title track from the Mosquitos’ 1985 Valhalla EP, and the original version of the tune redone to Top 20 success by the reunited Monkees in 1986. 

18.  PAUL COLLINS:  “Walking Out On Love”  This was credited to The Breakaways (which also featured Peter Case, Collins’ ex-partner in The Nerves who went on to form The Plimsouls) when Bomp! exhumed it for its Roots Of Powerpop CD.  It was credited to Paul Collins solo when first issued in ’79 on Bomp!’s Waves, Volume One anthology, and was subsequently redone by Collins’ next group, The Beat, for their debut LP.  And that’s probably more information than you actually need. 

19.  PEZBAND:  “Stop!  Wait A Minute”  (from 1978 Laughing In The Dark LP on Passport).  Rhino licensed this from band member Mike Gorman for Come Out And Play.  Gorman is currently a member of Off Broadway, who recently released a live album on the NMG label outta Phoenix.

20.  THE REAL KIDS:  “All Kindsa Gir” (Sponge single, 1977; re-recorded for Red Star LP, 1978).  Either version’s cool.

21.  THE SCRUFFS:  “Teenage Girls” .  Originally a 1978 single on the Power Play label, this was more recently the title track of a Scruffs CD issued by Northern Heights.  

22.  ROY LONEY AND THE PHANTOM MOVERS:  “Steppiní Around”  Former Flamin’ Groovies frontman, from his 1989 The Scientific Bombs Away!! LP on Norton.

23.  THE POPPEES:  “If She Cries”  1975 Bomp! single.

24.  THE SPONGETONES:  “(My Girl) Maryanne” (from 1984 Torn Apart EP on Ripete).  This was reissued by Shoes’ label Black Vinyl on the Beat And Torn CD just a few years back

25.  THE RAVES:  “Every Little Bit Hurts” Recorded early ’80s, eventually released on the Past Perfect Tense CD.  Very Beatley! 

OTHER POSSIBILITIES:

CHEAP TRICK.  I suppose this is # 1 on our wish list, but they spent the bulk of their career on Epic, so there might not be much that’s suitable for our needs.  They’re basically independent now, though, and they’re still a killer live group, so perhaps there’s a recent live version of “Surrender,” “I Want You To Want Me,” or “Dream Police” that we could snag.  Ken Sharp might know….THE KNACK.  I’ve been e-mailing some folks regarding the possibility of a live “Good Girls Don’t” or (if we must) “My Sharona,” but have gotten no response.  

THE RASPBERRIES  The group’s pre-Capitol demos exist, and are said to be pretty good (though they don’t include any of the group’s best-known tunes).  I’ve gotten nowhere in my attempts to find out more about these; again, maybe Ken Sharp has some ideas.THE BAY CITY ROLLERS Real long-shot, especially since the recently-reunited group is getting set to wage legal war on Arista and their former manager.  However, there was a Japanese-only release in the mid-’80s called Live In Japan, and that may be available from the band itself. 

THE RUBINOOS  I think Disney owns Beserkley now, so we’ll probably forget about licensing studio tracks.  Live tracks, maybe?  I can contact Tommy Dunbar’s wife for further inquiries.

NEW WAVE SUMMER 

1. BLOTTO:  “I Wanna Be A Lifeguard”  From 1980 indie EP. 

2. BLOTTO:  “When The Second Feature Starts”  1981 single.

3. THE B-52’s:  “Rock Lobster”  Original 45 version, though I haven’t heard it in years and don’t remember the label.  Yeah, a fat lotta help I am….

4. DAVE EDMUNDS:  “London’s A Lonely Town” You may know the story on this Tradewinds cover better than I do–I’ve never actually heard it, only heard of it.  I think this surfaced on one of the original Pebbles albums, and never elsewhere. 

5. CHRIS STAMEY AND THE dB’S:  “The Summer Sun”  Rhino licensed this from Stamey for the Come Out And Play sampler.

6. KYLE VINCENT AND TOMMY DUNBAR, FEATURING SCOTT McCARL:  “On The Beach”  Stretching things a bit to call this “new wave,” but I’ll settle for pop guy Vincent joining forces with The Rubinoos’ Tommy Dunbar and The Raspberries’ Scott McCarl on a Raspberries cover.  Originally recorded for a Raspberries tribute (and, incredibly, not used on that trib), this has only appeared on Pop Under The Surface, Volume Two, a pop sampler from Sweden’s Yesterday Girl label.  Kyle’s fans are vocal and loyal, and their support would be A Good Thing.

7. THE ROMANTICS:  “Let’s Swing”  Originally issued on a Bomp! sampler album called Waves, reissued by Bomp! on a cash-in Romantics mini-LP or something shortly after the group’s first album was released.  It hasn’t been heard from since.

8. THE BARRACUDAS:  “Surfers Are Back”  From the Bomp! album Drop Out With The Barracudas.  Alternate track:  “Summer Fun,” a British hit single from the same album.

9. THE BARRACUDAS:  “His Last Summer”  Also from Drop Out With The Barracudas.

10. THE B-GIRLS:  “Fun At The Beach”  Bomp! single.

11. THE TEARJERKERS:  “Syracuse Summer”  Terrific application of the Brian Wilson treatment in tribute to the mercurial climate of Central New York.  Written by The Flashcubes’ Gary Frenay. 

12. EUCLID BEACH BAND:  “There’s No Surf In Cleveland”  Eric Carmen-produced gem, released on the Cleveland International label.  I have a feeling Sony owns this, but it’s not definite.

13. THE RAMONES:  “Surfin’ Safari”  Released only on the Japanese version of their Acid Eatersalbum.  Available?  Well…I’d bet not.  It’d be a shame to do a New Wave Summer set without including The Ramones–“Rockaway Beach” and “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” are obvious choices here–but it may be beyond practical control. 

14. THE LAST:  “Every Summer Day” From their debut LP on Bomp!

15. THE FLASHCUBES:  “Muscle Beach”  From the group’s Bright Lights anthology.  Actually not one of their best numbers, but still energetic as hell and good for our purposes.

16. THE SMITHEREENS:  “Girl Don’t Tell Me”  Beach Boys cover from The Smithereens’ debut indie EP, Girls About Town.  Never reissued.

17. RODNEY AND THE BRUNETTES:  “Little GTO”  Bomp! single, with L.A. DJ Rodney Bingenheimer backed by Blondie.

18. THE SEX PISTOLS:  “Holidays In The Sun” (demo)

19. BLONDIE:  “In The Sun” Is there a pre-Private Stock/Chrysalis version of this?!

20. THE FLESHTONES:  “B.Y.O.B.”  From ROIR/Red Starí’ Blast Off! album.

21. THE DICTATORS:  “I Live For Cars And Girls”  If the studio take can’t be had, is there a live version available?  (“California Sun” would also be good.)

22. THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES:  “Sealed With A Kiss” (from 1992 Rock Juice album on Michael Goldberg’s National Records label, which was affiliated with Heyday

23. THE RATTLERS (WITH JOEY RAMONE):  “On The Beach”  Hey, a Ramone makes it in!  1979 single on the Ratso label–Rattlers frontman Mickey Leigh is Joey’s brother.  This was re-recorded (without Joey) for the group’s 1985 Rattled LP, and the subsequent CD reissue includes the single’s B-side but not the original version of the A-side.  There might even have been a legal problem with using Joey’s vocals–which would, of course, suck.  

2016 POSTSCRIPT: As noted, nothing ever came of any of this.  I was also hired by BMG to compile a Buddah Records bubblegum compilation, a project which was also stillborn (though at least I got paid for that one).  Ultimately, it turned out that if I wanted to put together a pop compilation CD, I’d have to take more direct action.  The first This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio compilation was issued commercially in 2004.

COME ON LET’S GO!

In 2019, the British label Ace Records (via its Big Beat imprint) released a compilation CD called Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s. I was so enthused about the set that not only did I buy it (of course!), but I also imagined a series of sequels that should have been. 

Those four hypothetical sequels–It’s Cold Outside!Kids Just Wanna Dance!Gotta Have Pop!, and the UK-centric Do Anything You Wanna Do!–never really existed, but Big Beat did eventually release two real-world sequels, Girls Go Power Pop! and Rockets Of Love!, and the latter disc did indeed fulfill my wish of including a track from Syracuse’s own power pop power house the Flashcubes.

But I don’t think Big Beat has yet used many of the tracks I suggested in my own individual flights of fancy; maybe just the Producers‘ “What’s He Got?,” the Go-Go’s‘ “We Got The Beat,” and Candy‘s “Whatever Happened To Fun…”. To avoid duplication with the real-life Big Beat CDs, we’ve subbed out those two tracks in favor of selections by the CynicsRonnie Spector (with Marshall Crenshaw), and Shoes. Otherwise: for posterity, and mostly just for whatever-happened-to fun, today’s post collects my 2019 ramblings about Come On Let’s Go! and the subsequent power pop collections I thought Big Beat oughtta do next. I tell ya, the ideas are still pretty good. Somebody get Big Beat on the phone! 

For now, though: are ya ready? Come on. Let’s GO!!!

COME ON LET’S GO! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s

The British label Big Beat is set to release a new power pop compilation next month. Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s collects 24 tracks, mixing familiar favorites by the Raspberriesthe RomanticsShoes, the Flamin’ Groovies, and Big Star with lesser-known treats of the same vintage. Cover boys the Rubinoos are represented by “Rock And Roll Is Dead,” the single most rockin’ track on that group’s rockin’ debut album. Here’s the compilation’s complete track listing:

THE PALEY BROTHERS & THE RAMONES: Come On Let’s Go
THE RASPBERRIES: I Wanna Be With You
THE ROMANTICS: What I Like About You
DIRTY LOOKS: Let Go
DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND: Looking For The Magic
THE TWEEDS: I Need That Record
THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES: Shake Some Action [first version]
THE SPONGETONES: (My Girl) Maryanne
THE SECRETS: Radio Heart
ROBERT JOHNSON: Kerri
NASHVILLE RAMBLERS: The Trains
20/20: Nuclear Boy
THE TOMS: Better Than Anyone Else
BILL LLOYD: Nothing Comes Close
THE BOYS: (Baby) It’s You
WIRE TRAIN: It’s Only Dark
VAN DUREN & JODY STEPHENS: Andy, Please [first version]
THE ROOKS: Glitter Best
THE SHIVVERS: Teen Line
BIG STAR: September Gurls
GARY CHARLSON: Not The Way It Seems
SHOES: Tomorrow Night [first version]
THE RUBINOOS: Rock And Roll Is Dead
UTOPIA: One World


Looks like a nice set, and kudos for including the Spongetones‘ fabulous “(My Girl) Maryanne” and Dirty Looks‘ pumpin’, peerless “Let Go,” and more kudos for saluting the Shivvers (even though I would have gone with “Please Stand By” instead of “Teen Line”). As always, I wish there were something by the Flashcubes on here, but I gotta give credit to the Big Beat brigade for putting together a ’70s/’80s power pop sampler that has hits for the dilettante and buried treasure for the faithful. Sure, I already have most of these, but there are a few I don’t own yet, and getting the Dirty Looks and Paley Brothers/Ramones cuts on CD seals the deal for me. Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s is due out on July 26th.

IN THE MEAN TIME, though, I think I’ll see what I would slap together if I were in charge of a sequel. SPOILER ALERT: it would include a track by the Flashcubes. Stay tuned.

IT’S COLD OUTSIDE! More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s

Yesterday, we talked a little about Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s, a promising little pop compilation due out in July from the good folks at England’s Big Beat label. Today, we move on to AN ENTIRELY FICTIONAL sequel to that disc.

(Well…maybe not entirely fictional. The songs themselves are all real tracks recorded in the appropriate time frame. The compilation is itself a fabrication, but I could slap it together as a real-life playlist and listen on my iPod right now. It would make a great CD.)

It’s Cold Outside! More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s

1. STIV BATORS: It’s Cold Outside
2. THE MOSQUITOS: That Was Then, This Is Now
3. THE FLASHCUBES: No Promise
4. THE KNACK: Good Girls Don’t [single version]
5. THE REAL KIDS: Now You Know
6. DOLENZ, JONES, BOYCE & HART: You Didn’t Feel That Way Last Night (Don’t You Remember)
7. THE LAUGHING DOGS: Get ‘Im Outa Town
8. FOTOMAKER: Come Back
9. HOLLY & THE ITALIANS: Do You Say Love
10. PAGLIARO: Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy
11. APRIL WINE: Tonight Is A Wonderful Time (To Fall In Love)
12. RAY PAUL & RPM: How Do You Know
13. THE SHIVVERS: Please Stand By
14. VAN DUREN: Oh Babe
15. FOOLS FACE: Even Angels Fall
16. SORROWS: Teenage Heartbreak
17. THE RESTLESS: I Wanna Know
18. EMITT RHODES: Fresh As A Daisy
19. THE DWIGHT TWILLEY BAND: You Were So Warm
20. GARY CHARLSON: Burning In You
21. THE SCRUFFS: Teenage Girls
22. TUFF DARTS: Who’s Been Sleeping Here
23. THE NOW: He’s Takin’ You To The Movies
24. THE ROMANTICS: Little White Lies [first version]
I’d buy that! We lead off with former Dead Boys singer Stiv Bators‘ incredible cover of the Choir‘s 1966 pop classic “It’s Cold Outside” (featuring Blue Ash guitarist Frank Secich), and we close with the Romantics‘ debut indie single (one of the best tracks they ever did, and it’s never been given any legit reissue). In between we have a mix of simply stellar pop cuts made by North American acts in the ’70s and ’80s. This make-believe set would be the first-ever CD appearance of anything from the original lifespan of Springfield, Missouri’s phenomenal pop combo Fools Face, and the first time the Restless (great ’80s Buffalo group whose one album for Mercury Records is in dire need of reissue), the Mosquitos (original version of a song covered by the Monkees), the Flashcubes‘ “No Promise” (my all-time favorite power pop track), or Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart‘s fabulous “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” rewrite “You Didn’t Feel That Way Last Night (Don’t You Remember)” has appeared on a various-artists pop CD.

And it cries out for another sequel! And I have just the thing in mind. In the mean time: Hey, Big Beat Records! Get to work! And send my finder’s fee here.

KIDS JUST WANNA DANCE! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s

Can’t stop the pop!

We’ve already followed the announcement of the British Big Beat Records label’s forthcoming (and cool) real-world ’70s and ’80s power pop compilation Come On Let’s Go! with my own fictitious sequel It’s Cold Outside! That was fun! Let’s do another!

Kids Just Wanna Dance! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s imagines another 24-track collection of North American cuts from that area. The title tune is an effervescent, Who-influenced 1977 B-Side by the Fast (and we’re definitely using the single version here; the group’s subsequent Ric Ocasek-produced version sounds less like power pop and more like the Cars). The rest? The rest rocks! To overstate the obvious: THIS COMPILATION IS FICTIONAL! It doesn’t exist. But it should! As always, I invite Big Beat Records to just send me my finder’s fee and take it from there. 

Kids Just Wanna Dance! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s
1. THE FAST: Kids Just Wanna Dance [first version]
2. PHIL SEYMOUR: Let Her Dance
3. PEZBAND: Love Goes Underground
4. THE MOSQUITOS: I Know A Secret5. BLUE ASH: Abracadabra (Have You Seen Her)
6. THE RASPBERRIES: I’m A Rocker [single version]
7. RONNIE SPECTOR WITH MARSHALL CRENSHAW: Something’s Gonna Happen
8. BULLET: White Lies, Blue Eyes
9. THE RAMONES: Babysitter
10. PIPER: Drop By And Stay
11. NEW MATH: Die Trying
12. FOOLS FACE: Nothing To Say
13. GREG KIHN: Hurt So Bad
14. SCREEN TEST: Sound Of The Radio
15. THE MARSHALLS: AM
16. NIKKI & THE CORVETTES: Just What I Need
17. ARTFUL DODGER: Follow Me
18. QUINCY: Turn The Other Way Around
19. THE DIODES: Tired Of Waking Up Tired
20. VANCE OR TOWERS: Do Whatever We Want
21. THE SCRUFFS: Revenge
22. THE POPPEES: Jealousy
23. THE NERVES: Hanging On The Telephone
24. SHOES: The Things You Do

Power pop compilations! One real, two fake. AND IT’S NOT ENOUGH! Let’s do one more North American set, and then…well, rule Britannia!

GOTTA HAVE POP! Still More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s

One more time!

We’ve discussed the new compilation CD Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s, due in July from Britain’s way fab Big Beat Records label. We’ve already added two imaginary sequels, It’s Cold Outside! More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s and Kids Just Wanna Dance! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s. Let’s slap together one more faux collection of vintage North American pop (with one UK ringer) before we finally finish up this exercise with a set of jangle ‘n’ buzz from the British Isles.

Our final set of American and Canadian pop from the ’70s and ’80s commences with ex-pat American (and current Canadian resident) Bob Segarini, who was a member of the Wackers before going solo. Segarini’s call-to-arms “Gotta Have Pop” serves as the kickoff for yet another stunning array of pop music from this classic era. We wish this compilation really existed, but alas, it does not. Nonetheless: pretty good for a fabrication, I say!
Gotta Have Pop! Even More Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s

1. SEGARINI: Gotta Have Pop
2. THE SMITHEREENS: Strangers When We Meet
3. PAUL COLLINS: Walking Out On Love
4. STANLEY FRANK: S’cool Days
5. THE NATIVES: Tell Me A Story
6. THE VERTEBRATS: Diamonds In The Rough
7. THE PLIMSOULS: A Million Miles Away
8. COLOR ME GONE: Lose Control
9. LET’S ACTIVE: Blue Line
10. THE MOD FRAMES: I Don’t Want To Cry
11. THE NUMBERS: Can’t Sleep At Night
12. DAVID WERNER: Too Late To Try
13. TEENAGE HEADS: Tornado
14. THE EUCLID BEACH BAND: There’s No Surf In Cleveland
15. THE TEARJERKERS: Syracuse Summer
16. THE VIPERS: Tears (Only Dry)
17. THE SPONGETONES: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?
18. THE CYNICS: Girl, You’re On My Mind
19. THE CICHLIDS: Did You Ever
20. THE ROMANTICS: I Can’t Tell You Anything [first version]
21. THE BANGLES: Silent Treatment
22. THE OHMS: Chain Letter
23. GREEN: She’s Not A Little Girl 
24. TODD RUNDGREN: Couldn’t I Just Tell You

While we could certainly continue to concoct irresistible collections of ’70s and ’80s North American power pop for, oh, forever or so, we’ll conclude the week with just one more set, hopping across the pond for a compilation of ace pop tracks from the British Isles.

DO ANYTHING YOU WANNA DO! 70s & 80s Power Pop Gems From The United Kingdom

At last, we reach the end of our short series of fabricated power pop compilations inspired by the real-world Come On Let’s Go! Power Pop Gems From The 70s & 80s, due out in July from England’s Big Beat RecordsBoppin’ (Like The Hip Folks Do) responded with three fictional sequels–It’s Cold Outside!Kids Just Wanna Dance!, and Gotta Have Pop!–each offering 24 more tracks of fab North American pop from the ’70s and ’80s.

We close with one final disc, moving our spotlight across the water to the British Isles. Eddie and the Hot Rods‘ “Do Anything You Wanna Do” is one of the defining singles of power pop, so of course it opens this set of primo pop from England, Scotland, and Ireland. There are old wave names (the Searchers, plus former Herman’s Hermits leader Peter Noone fronting the Tremblers), international teen stars (the Bay City Rollers, represented by a post-mania track, originally credited to the truncated name the Rollers), and a variety of other pop, punk, and new wave acts of the era.

Do Anything You Wanna Do! 70s & 80s Power Pop Gems From The United Kingdom
1. EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS: Do Anything You Wanna Do
2. THE JAM: I Need You (For Someone) [single version]
3. THE KEYS: I Don’t Wanna Cry
4. BLUE: Danger Sign
5. ADVERTISING: Ich Liebe Dich
6. THE SEARCHERS: Hearts In Her Eyes
7. THE BUZZCOCKS: Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)
8. THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Who’ll Be My Keeper
9. THE PLEASERS: The Kids Are Alright
10. THE TIMES: Whatever Happened To Thamesbeat?
11. CHICORY TIP: Good Grief Christina
12. THE ZONES: New Life
13. THE LAMBRETTAS: Da-a-a-ance
14. GENERATION X: Ready Steady Go
15. THE RECORDS: Starry Eyes [album version]
16. SQUIRE: The Life
17. THE TREMBLERS: I’ll Be Taking Her Out Tonight
18. THE RICH KIDS: Rich Kids
19. STARRY EYED AND LAUGHING: Chimes Of Freedom
20. DOLLY MIXTURE: Everything And More
21. KIRSTY MacCOLL: Terry
22. THE BARRACUDAS: Summer Fun
23. SQUEEZE: Pulling Mussels (From The Shell)
24. THE UNDERTONES: Get Over You
I don’t wanna get over this! And I don’t have to. Music has no expiration date, no limit, even when it’s cold outside. Kids just wanna dance. Do anything you wanna do. Gotta have pop. Come on, let’s GO!

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This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.

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50th Anniversary Tribute To Todd Rundgren, Someone / Anyone?

Various Artists

50 Anniversary Tribute To Todd Rundgren

https://toddtribute.bandcamp.com/album/someone-anyone-the-50th-anniversary-tribute-to-something-anything

To commemorate the half century anniversary of Todd Rundgren’s revolutionary double album – Something/Anything? – noted multi-diversified musician Fernando Permado rounded up a circle of talented friends to assist in the celebration. Cleverly dubbed Someone/Anyone?, the two-disc collection will be released February 1, 2022, which marks fifty years to the day Something/Anything? was issued. 

Not only does the record feature inspired versions of the songs we know and love so well, but the project is for a good cause, as all net profits will go to Todd’s Spirit Of Harmony Foundation, a charity that supports musical education.

A genre-bending masterstroke, Something/Anything? awarded Todd major league status, whose far-reaching influence resonates decades on. The twenty-five tracks on Someone/Anyone? are sequenced in the exact same order as the original album. 

Fernando joins forces with Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater on Breathless, an enchanting instrumental rife with compelling synthesizer lines and snagging riffs. High on energy and imagination, the cut keenly slips into jazz fusion territory at times. 

Kasim Sulton from Todd’s Utopia band reprises The Night The Carousel Burned Down, which is pronounced by majestic piano arrangements and  spiked with a swell of sweeping guitars and crashing drums, where Louise Goffin turns in a superb performance via I Saw The Light that spangles and sparkles with blissful melodies. 

A pinch of soul, compounded by sprinklings of a frilly falsetto, frame Ken Sharp’s excellent and impassioned cover of It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference, while the sounds of soul, backed by honey-scented harmonies, are further amplified on the rich and robust Saving Grace from Victor Wainwright and the Wildroots

On the funky front, there’s John Powhida International Airport’s take of Slut, and Marshall Crenshaw’s rendition of Couldn’t I Just Tell You serves as a sweetened slice of gold standard power pop. 

Brent Bourgeois checks in with the shimmery top five hit  Hello It’s Me, and Van Duren’s Torch Song is a sparsely-structured piano-led ballad illuminated by ringing chords and emotionally-gripping vocals. Other select entries include You Left Me Sore by the Intoxicats, Secret Society’s Dust In The Wind and Black Maria from the star-studded trio of Stan Lynch (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Rob Bonfiglio (Wanderlust, solo artist) and Stephen Dees (Todd Rundgren, Hall & Oates, Novo Combo, the Bandeees). 

A spellbinding sprawl of styles and moods, Someone/Anyone? may be a lot to inhale, but that’s the beauty and magic of album, which has been revamped with utmost dignity and respect. Todd himself approved of the package, so that alone tells you how great these tunes are. 

What’s In My Bag?

One of our favorite YouTube shows here at Pop-A-Looza HQ, comes direct from the legendary record store, Amoeba Records, in sunny California, USA.

When celebrities are spotted at one of Amoeba’s three locations, the viewers actually get to see just what’s in their bag. It’s an interested fly-on-the-wall show, which gives us a peek into the lives of the rich and famous, without being obnoxiously intrusive.

Marshall Crenshaw Miracle Of Science

Marshall Crenshaw

Miracle of Science (Shiny-Tone)

http://www.marshallcrenshaw.com

With the release of 1996’s Miracle of Science, alt-pop favorite Marshall Crenshaw had a bit of a career renaissance. Comparisons were immediately drawn between this new record and his stellar 1982 self-titled debut. Much to the delight of guitar-pop fans everywhere, he seemed to have rediscovered his muse, and in a big way.

Here, Miracle of Science gets the reissue treatment from Crenshaw’s own Shiny-Tone Records label. In edition, Shiny-Tone will give another go ‘round to 1996’s #447, 2003’s What’s In The Bag? And 1998’s The 9 Volt Years. All will be welcome to this writer.

“What Do You Dream Of” and “Who Stole The Train” are two of Crenshaw’s best, indeed, he almost sings them with the energy he had in ’82. “Twenty-Five Forty-One” is a great warning song about the downside of getting a place with your girl. The cover of Billy Page’s “The “In” Crowd” is peppy and fun, as is the imaginary TV theme song, “Theme From Flaregun.”

For Crenshaw’s collecting fans, Shiny-Tone adds three additional unreleased tracks; “Rouh Na Selim Nevers (Seven Miles An Hour backwards)”, and demos of “What The Hell I Got” and “Misty Dreamer.” Even without the extra added tracks, Miracle of Science is one of his absolute best, and well worth another listen.

D.P.