Let’s Active – Every Word Means No…. Power Pop Friday

This is great 1980s college radio power pop. Everything is there you want…the jangle and the jangly hook.

Let’s Active was formed in 1981 by Mitch Easter, a guitarist and songwriter best known as a record producer, with Faye Hunter on bass. Drummer Sara Romweber, then 17 years old, joined to form the original trio two weeks before their first live performance. Their first performance was opening for R.E.M. in Atlanta, Georgia in 1981.

Let’s Active was critically praised but like their peers did not sell a ton a records. This song was on the 1983 EP Afoot and they would go on to release three more LPs in all before breaking up in 1990.

Mitch produced REM on their Chronic Town EP, Murmur, and Reckoning. Easter also produced Marshall Crenshaw, Suzanne Vega, and bunches of indie acts. He also took a trip to Memphis in 1978 with members of the dB’s to meet two members of Big Star.

Romweber quit the band in 1984 after the release of the Afoot EP and their debut full-length, Cypress. Later, she co-founded the group Snatches of Pink and performed with her brother as the Dex Romweber Duo. In 2014, she reunited with Mitch Easter as Let’s Active for a benefit show. She would die of a brain tumor in 2019. Bassist Faye Hunter died in 2013.

Mitch Easter:

“I could not imagine myself singing in a Johnny Winter-style voice about ‘I just wanna make love to you,’ but the new goofball lyrics were something I could pull off,’ “I read an article with Andy Partridge of XTC back then where he was saying at no other time in history would he have been allowed to be the singer in a band. And I felt just like that, you know.

“I had this weird voice, but now maybe I could be allowed to sing without suffering some hopeless comparison to Gregg Allman.’

Every Word Means No

Watching for a sound to lead me to where ever you are
I can’t help it I will always love you

It used to be no words could come between us
Any time was right for secret meetings
It’s different now and when you speak
Every word means no
Every word means no

I’m thinking, of things that never come to life
You’re going through some things so shallow
There’s nothing to fight

It used to be no words could come between us
Any time was right for secret meetings
It’s different now and when you speak and
Every word means no
Every word means no

And it’s just anathema
I haven’t lost my way
I’m looking around in directions
‘Cause all I ever thought about was you
I never noticed anything but you
Predicting, puts me down on shaky ground
I keep on thinking your looking at me
Do you want me around

It used to be no words could come between us
Any time was right for secret meetings
Now and then I forget the rules have changed
You always remind me
That every word means no, every word means no

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

31 thoughts on “Let’s Active – Every Word Means No…. Power Pop Friday”

    1. Speaking of them they are coming up also of course…in the next few weeks. I didn’t get into XTC until late.

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    1. Well we played with one that was WAY down…that had a glimpse of stardom way back…you wouldn’t guess them in a million years… The Royal Guardsmen.
      The only claim to fame I have would be that I played a little guitar with 5 or 6 others with Billy Cox…it was an informal jam that I joined in on at the end…hey it’s not much but I enjoyed it.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. This is pretty ace – really like the bass in this tune… there’s a jaunty skip in this one… perfect when you’ve just wrapped up work for the week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. that’s good! I might have to soon get their record or CD sight unseen (or sound unheard?)… this one sounds good and you seemingly can’t get an REM guy to talk more than a few minutes about the 80s without them bringing up ‘Let’s Active’. They were in the right place, had the right connections… it is unfortunate it wasn’t the right time somehow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like them also. The two ladies were a really good rhythm section to his jangly guitar…they had it going on…just too bad not many people know.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m pretty sure BErtis (REM manager) mentioned them when I spoke to him, can’t remember exact context but something about them being contemporaries they liked back then. Add to that list Pylon, yet another Athens band of the era that REM liked but got next to no exposure.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve heard of them but never heard any of their stuff – liking what I hear! Will definitely check out more by them. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve heard of Let’s Active. Winston-Salem… I like this and may hunt for others.

    FYI…shouldn’t your last sentence say “Bassist Faye Hunter died in 2013” (of suicide, no less)? Romweber was the drummer…and only two years older than I am. Wow…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I didn’t put that about Hunter but I knew…I saw the article about her…I probably should have… Romweber died of cancer…

      I do like their sound a lot. I liked it at first listen. I knew Easters name from somewhere… and it was from my own article lol.

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    1. If you are I am also. I could sit around on a Rick and play things like this all day…even my 12 string Danelectro does the trick.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m afraid I never owned a Danelectro, not to mention a Rickenbacker. I also have to reiterate my electric guitar skills were always limited, to put it diplomatically.

        I still would love to own a Rick. Just looking at the guitar and holding it would make me happy. Of course, I could say the same about a Hammond B-3 and a million other instruments. I guess I’m a bit of a nutcase! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh I would be happy with a Rick hanging on my wall! Yes a B-3 I couldn’t play at all but I would push the keys just to hear the sound.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes they do sound like them. Thanks Graham I appreciate it. I had some comments from people wanting to check more of them out.

      Liked by 1 person

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