Velvet Crush – Time Wraps Around You ….Power Pop Friday

I first heard this band through a song called Hold Me Up a while back. Cool hooks, guitar sound, and melodies. This band has the distorted and jangly sound well mixed together. This song came off of the 1994 album Teenage Symphonies to God which is probably their best-known album. I have listened to this album a bunch and the songs sound like classic songs that have been forgotten. 

Vocalist/bassist Paul Chastain and drummer Ric Menck are the band’s two constant members. They had previously worked together in 3 other bands…Choo Choo Train, Bag-O-Shells, and The Springfields in the 1980s. 

 Guitarist Jeffrey Underhill played with them on their first three albums. The  album was produced by Mitch Easter who would produce R.E.M among other artists. He gets such a warm sound with Velvet Crush. Matthew Sweet has also worked with this band. 

Chastain, Menck, and Underhill reunited in 2019 to tour. 

Time Wraps Around You

To the summer of love, from the winter of fearSeasons change us around, the reasons not clearSo turn the pageTheir innocence can’t be savedBeginning again

Like the motions you make, the wave of your handLike the time that it takes to know that you canStanding byTo try and make you feel alright

This time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youYou know I’ll stay

Through the summer of love, the winter so nearSeasons scatter good friends, and more every yearLooking backThen you findLearning thatIt’s time to leave the past far behind

You know it’s alrightThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youThis time wraps around youAnd I’ll wrap around youKnow I’ll stay

Rain Parade – You Are My Friend

This is a band I discovered off of the compilation album Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era, 1976–1995. It was a follow-up to the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968. That album consisted of early American psychedelic and garage rock singles.

Children of Nuggets was the second wave of garage bands that consisted of psychedelic, power pop, punk, alternative, and alt-country, and also included the Byrds-influenced Paisley Underground Scene that was going on at the time. It was a nice break from the disco and synth-driven bands that were all over the top 40 during the 80s.

The Rain Parade was part of the Paisley Underground scene in Los Angeles in the early 80s. The Paisley Underground scene contained bands such as The Bangles, Green on Red, and The Long Ryders. There was no shortage of good songs in the period. They just didn’t get the push from their record companies and they were out of step with other bands like Duran Duran.

This song peaked at #28 in the UK Indie Charts in 1985.

Their roots were in punk music but in this band…instead of the Sex Pistols and the Clash, they went for the Byrds jangly guitars. They also resemble early R.E.M. in this song.

David Roback was in this band. He is most famous for being a founding member of Mazzy Star. He was also in a band with  Susanna Hoffs before she joined the Bangles.

You Are My Friend

You are my friend
So sad this had to end
Some broken things don’t mend
They lie where they fall
You say the knife
Is twisted in your back
You don’t remember that
It wasn’t in mind
But you’re my friend
And you know
Things are not the same
You can’t hide your lies
’cause this time
there’s nothing you can change

Friend
I’m sad it had to end
You can’t bring back the dead
They’ll burn you down
You’re much too smart
To waste your mind on me
And you know too late
Don’t be a fool
If you’re my friend
My friend
You are my friend
My friend

Guided By Voices – Glad Girls ….Power Pop Friday

I liked this song on my first listen. Guided by Voices is an indie rock band formed in Dayton, Ohio, United States in 1983. The band’s lineup has changed several times throughout the band’s history, with its only constant member being singer/songwriter Bob Pollard. They are still together and touring… Bob Pollard is with the current lineup.

If this band is anything…it’s prolific. They have had 35 studio albums, 12 Compilation albums, 19 EPs, 39 singles, 2 live albums, and 2 books! On top of that they have appeared on several soundtracks including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Crime and Punishment, Scrubs, and many more. They also counted Rik Ocasek as one of their producers.

Their first EP came out in 1986 and their first LP came out in 1987. They have released 14 albums since 2016.

Isolation Drills.jpg

Glad Girls was released in 2001 on the Isolation Drills album. The album peaked at #6 on the Heat Seekers Charts, #8 in the Indie charts, and #168 on the Billboard Album charts. Here is an interesting fact… “Glad Girls” was nominated for the High Times “Pot Song of the Year” award.

Metacritic gives the album a score of 83 out of 100. Sonicnet: Ditching lo-fi aesthetics for a more radio-ready sound in the spirit of, say, the Raspberries or Badfinger, Pollard has wisely chosen not bury his songs in oblique lyrical references and muddy tape hiss.

Glad Girls

Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

Glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

There will be no coronation
There will be no flowers flowing
In the light that passes though me now
In the light that passes though me

Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

There will be no graduation
There will be no trumpets blowing
In the light that passes through me now
In the light that passes through me

With the sinking of the sun
I’ve come to greet you
Clean your hands and go to sleep
Confess the dreams

Of good and bad men all around
Some are lost and some have found
The light that passes though me now
Yeah, the light that passes though me

Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high
Hey, glad girls
Only want to get you high

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright
And they’re alright

Pinkees – Danger Games ….Power Pop Friday

Aphoristical brought this song up to me a year or so ago and I have been waiting to write about it ever since.

Danger Games is a good dose of power pop and it reminds me a little of Squeeze. This song spent a total of 9 weeks on the UK charts peaking at #8 in 1982. The Pinkees career hit the skids amid a dispute between their label Creole Records and then High Street record store giant Our Price.

Guitarist Andy Price said: “People said our record had been hyped into the charts, after that nobody would touch us, Radio One refused to play our follow-up single ‘Holding Me Tight’, and the Pinkees sort of fizzled out.”

The Pinkees have a second life now. Jay Reynolds, son of Pinkees drummer Paul Reynolds, is a Grammy Award winner mixer and he asked his dad why his old band’s songs were not on Spotify.

Creole Records has gone through many ownership changes but now they are owned by BMG’s Sanctuary Records. A deal was made…now their album has been remixed by Jay Reynolds and released again. The Pinkees are not together anymore but Andy Price and Paul Reynolds are in a band together doing cover songs. They never did any Pinkee covers but they might now since their album was released again to the world.

Danger Games

Two lovers part
It’s just the start
Before too long they’ll be at war
Nobody phones their both alone
Just like they were before
Out on a limb more more suffering
It’s just a game that lovers play
Two broken hearts when love departs
It getting worse each day

It loves who love danger game we play
It drags you down throws your heart away

Love people say can, can change the way
They feel its just to late to try
Lights up a fag calls are a drag
A tear drops from her eye
She’s out in the car he’s drunk in the bar
They lead there lives in separate ways
We’re all the same we play the game

It happens every day
Its love who love
Danger game we play It drags you down
Throws your heart away

It love who love danger game we play
It drags you down throws your heart
It love who love danger game we play
It drags you down throws your heart
It’s love who love danger game we play
It drags you down throws your heart
It’s love who love danger game we play
It drags you down throws your heart away

Chris Bell – I Don’t Know ….Power Pop Friday

This one is a rocking song by Chris Bell. Chris was one  the founding members of Big Star. Alex Chilton would get more publicity…mostly because of him singing for the successful Box Tops. In the pop world, it’s tragic that Big Star wasn’t heard by the masses. They could have become huge but it’s something that we will never know.

The sound that Big Star had largely originated from founding member Chris Bell. Alex Chilton and Chris Bell wrote most of the first album and they modeled themselves after Lennon and McCartney. Their first album was praised by practically everyone but not distributed…people wanted the album but the album was not in the stores for people to buy. Chris left the band not long after that failure.

He kept recording in Memphis with different musicians. In the late seventies, there were rumors that Big Star would reform and tour Europe where they were getting known but it never come to pass. In the fall of 1978, Bell got a call from Car Records and they wanted to release a single with a song called  I am the Cosmos with You and Your Sister as the B side.  It was the only solo release Chris would see in his lifetime. Unfortunately, Chris didn’t get to enjoy it long. He died in a car wreck on December 27, 1978. He was only 27 years old.

Big Star’s and Chris Bell’s recognition started to rise through the eighties with bands like The Replacements, REM, and more singing their praises. The first glimmer of international recognition for Chris alone came in 1992 after Rykodisc released the first edition of his I Am The Cosmos LP. It compiled not only the tracks he recorded at Ardent Studios, but also his 1974-5 sessions at Shoe Productions in Memphis, George Martin’s AIR Studios in London, and Château D’Hérouville in France.

If anyone of you are interested in Big Star I would recommend this documentary (Nothing Can Hurt Me Now) and this book about Chris Bell.

I Don’t Know

Whatever it is you’re thinking
Sit down and let’s give it a try
You know that I’ll always listen
But sometimes I’m wondering why
You don’t lie to me
And I wouldn’t lie to you, oh no
Baby I’m feeling lost
I don’t know what I’m going to do
You don’t know what you’re putting me through
I gotta get away from you
Once in a while you’re lonely
Tell me if needed a friend
I’m wondering what is the matter
But you say that you can’t explain
But you don’t lie to me
And I wouldn’t lie to you, oh no
But baby I’m feeling lost
I don’t know what I’m going through
You don’t know what you’re putting me through
I gotta get away from you
Do you want me
I want you
You don’t want me,
I want you
Don’t you know I’m losing sleep at night
Sleep at night
I don’t know what I’m going to do
You don’t know what you’re putting me through
I gotta get away from you
Whatever it is you’re thinking
Sit down and let’s give it a try
You know that I’ll always listen
But sometimes I’m wondering why
You don’t lie to me
And I wouldn’t lie to you, oh no
But baby I’m feeling lost
I don’t know what I’m going to do
You don’t know what you’re putting me through
I gotta get away from you

Stems – She’s Fine ….Powerpop Friday

The Stems have a great overall sound and it’s too bad their popularity is mostly in Australia. They range from dirty garage rock to power pop tracks like this. The amazing part to me is they pumped out these songs in the 1980s when this music was not high on charts. 

This song didn’t show up until the 2003 compilation album (Mushroom Soup: The Citadel Years)… a collection of all the band’s singles, songs from their debut EP, Love Will Grow – Rosebud Volume 1, and previously unreleased demos and alternative song versions. I can’t find out much about this song but it seems to be an outtake from the 80s. 

The Stems were a garage punk band formed in Perth, Western Australia in late 1983. They were hugely popular in Australia. The band broke up in 1987 and reunited in 2003 and are still together. They still have three of the original members. Dom Mariani, Julian Matthews, and David Shaw.

The band broke up in 1987 but reunited in 2003 and when this album was released. They went on until 2009 and broke up and reformed in 2013 and are still together. 

They are very popular to this day in Australia. Their debut single “She’s a Monster/Make you Mine” reached the top of the independent charts and also sold 500 copies in England. The single was to be the 2nd highest selling independent single for Australia in 1985, second only to the Hoodoo Gurus.

Leader Dom Mariani’s earliest influences included The Beatles, The Raspberries, Badfinger, and Big Star…and it shows. 

She’s Fine

She’s good and she got soul
She’s in trouble
And she don’t show
Profile on her head
’cause she’s not blue and she’ll never be red
She’s fine
She’s so fine
She’s fine
She’s so fine
She’s fine
She’s so fine to me

She’s good and she got soul
She’s downtown in the traffic flow
And my girl don’t you slow
She’s got a heart and a head that’s so
She’s fine
She’s so fine
She’s fine
She’s so fine
She’s fine
She’s so fine to me

She’s fine
She’s so fine
She’s fine
She’s so fine
She’s fine
She’s so fine to me

Such a good thing
To do
To do

While governments gain
All money can buy
Trash means cash
In any country
But I just want
To be with you
Our flesh feels fresh
And that`s the beauty

It`s a good thing
Such a good thing
We do
We do

It`s a good thing
Such a good thing
We do

Brinsley Schwarz – (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding ….Power Pop Friday

I think it’s fair to say most will know this song by Elvis Costello but the band Brinsley Schwarz did the 1974 original version which I like a lot…in fact, I favor this version. I’m a huge Nick Lowe fan so that helps. The song was written by Nick Lowe and originally recorded by his band Brinsley Schwarz in 1974. The band was named after their guitar player.

The song has a little of The Who mixed with Beach Boys-flavored harmonies. A wonderful mix of power pop. Many artists have covered this like Bruce Springsteen, Susannah Hoffs and Matthew Sweet, Chris Cornell, Midnight Oil, and many more.

Brinsley Schwarz never had a big hit but they did influence artists like Elvis Costello and The Clash. They were known as a pub rock band and were active between 1969 through 1975. The band released 6 albums in that time. Their members included Nick Lowe, Bob Andrews, Brinsley Schwarz, and Billy Rankin…they were later augmented by Ian Gomm on guitar and vocals.

One thing that did not help their cause was an incident in the US. They had an ambitious management company named Famepushers who hit on the idea of booking the band to play a high-profile gig in New York in April 1970. They were going to be the opening band for Van Morrison at the Fillmore East. The band had planned to arrive in the US a few days before the gig to rehearse for the show. Visa delays prevented this and they entered the US via Canada, arriving a few hours before their performance and having to perform with borrowed equipment they were not familiar with. The journalists were loaded onto a plane but were also delayed. They had used the downtime to take full advantage of the free bar laid on for them and, therefore, arrived drunk or hung over.

Famepushers also sent 22 limos to the Fillmore to make Brinsley Schwarz look important…they thought people would see this and ask…who is this? The limos didn’t get there until after dark so they were never seen by many.

The bad press kept rolling following the disastrous concert. The band received a flood of negative reviews for their first album, Brinsley Schwarz, which was released shortly after their return to the United Kingdom. The incident became known as the Brinsley Schwarz Hype

Dave Robinson was one of the founders of Famepushers. Robinson was the man who would go on to form Stiff Records with Jake Riviera, who would, in time, become Nick Lowe’s manager.

It’s a crying shame they weren’t heard more…they had some really good music.

Nick Lowe: “I wrote the song in 1973, and the hippie thing was going out, and everyone was starting to take harder drugs and rediscover drink. Alcohol was coming back, and everyone sort of slipped out of the hippie dream and into a more cynical and more unpleasant frame of mind. And this song was supposed to be an old hippie, laughed at by the new thinking, saying to these new smarty-pants types, ‘Look, you think you got it all going on. You can laugh at me, but all I’m saying is, ‘What’s so funny about peace, love, and understanding?’ And that was the idea of the song. But I think as I started writing it, something told me it was too good idea to make it into a joke. It was originally supposed to be a joke song, but something told me there was a little grain of wisdom in this thing, and not to mess it up.”

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding

As I walk
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity
Oh yeah
I ask myself:
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain, hatred and misery?
Oh yeah

And each time I feel like this inside
There’s one thing I wanna know:
Oh, what’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?
Oh, what’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?

And as I walk on
Through troubled times
My spirit gets so downhearted
Sometimes, sometimes
So where are the strong?
Who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

‘Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away
It just makes me wanna cry
So, what’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?
Oh, what’s so funny ’bout peace and love?
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

“We must have peace
More peace and love
It’s just for the children
Of a new generation”

So where are the strong?
And who are the trusted?
And where is the harmony?
Sweet harmony

‘Cause each time I feel it slippin’ away
It just makes me wanna cry
So, what’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?
Oh, what’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding?
Oh, what’s so funny ’bout a little peace and love?
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

Marshall Crenshaw – Whenever You’re On My Mind ….Power Pop Friday

Marshall Crenshaw wrote this song during the making of his debut album but was saved for his second album release. I had his first two albums in the 80s and I thought the guy would be huge. He could come up with some sophisticated, unexpected chord changes in a song yet maintain the feel of the song.

This song has a wonderful guitar intro that sets up the song. As the old phrase goes…it’s got more hooks than a tackle box.

He got his first break playing John Lennon in the off-Broadway touring company of the musical Beatlemania between 1978-1980. Crenshaw said: “In the beginning, I was bothered by it, as an egotistical young person, maybe because I had just gotten out of Beatlemania, and I was sick of any kind of heavy association with some other figure.”

He later played Buddy Holly in La Bamba in 1987. “I’ve been a Buddy Holly fan all my life. The joy still comes across in his music. It’s really got its own je ne sais quoi. It really stands apart from a lot of ’50s rock, because it conveys a sense of intimacy. I think it’s because it was made in this little building on the side of a highway late at night with this isolated group of people.”

“I always say the guys from the ’50s who invented ’60s rock were Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. When you watch documentaries about Holly, you see people like Keith Richards, and he still gets broken up talking about him. The English guys, they just loved Buddy Holly.”

He released his self-titled debut album in 1982 and it was nearly perfect. This song was on Field Day his second album that was released in 1983. The album peaked at #52 in the Billboard 100 in 1983. This song peaked at #103 in the Billboard 100 and #23 in the Main Rock tracks in 1983.

He also performed as a guest vocalist for the Smithereens since the 2017 death of their lead singer Pat DiNizio.

Ronnie Spector recorded a cover of this song in 2003.

When Ever You’re On My Mind

I think about you and forget what I’ve tried to be
Everything is foggy and hard to see
It seems to be, but can it be, a fantasy?
Whenever I think about you, strangers eyes in the crowd flash past
I go on and think of the fate you’ve cast
It seems to be a reverie, you’re here with me

’cause whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

I think about you and I’m weak though I’m in my prime
Set my watch and still lose the track of time
It seems to be, but can it be, a fantasy?
Whenever I think about you, strangers eyes in the crowd flash past
I go on and think of the fate you’ve cast
It seems to be a reverie, you’re here with me

Whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

I never thought I’d be in this situation
It seems wherever I go I’m with you
And though I never seem to find my place
At every turn I see your face
Whenever I think about you
It seems to be a reverie, you’re here with me
’cause whenever you’re on my mind
Whenever you’re on my mind
I leave the world behind
Whenever you’re on my mind

Matthew Sweet – Evangeline ….Power Pop Friday

When I heard the song”Girlfriend” for the first time on the radio I liked it right away. Matthew Sweet is a great contemporary power pop artist that doesn’t get played enough.

The album peaked at #100 on the Billboard Album Charts in 1991. The album was ranked number 61 on Paste magazine’s list of “The 90 Best Albums of the 1990s.”

He was a huge fan of R.E.M in high school and began a pen-pal correspondence with Michael Stipe that brought him to Athens, GA. He ended up meeting Stipe’s sister Lisa through that relationship. Both Sweet and Lisa were students at the University of Georgia and he formed his first band with her. Sweet and Lisa eventually married after he was divorced from his first wife.

Sweet is also known for his Under the Covers series, done in collaboration with Susanna Hoffs, lead singer of Bangles. The series features the pair covering classic songs. The first Under the Covers focuses on music from the ’60s, while the second draws from the ’70s. They also made a third entry which was comprised of ’80s music.

Evangeline is not your average boy-girl song. It’s about a girl, but not a real one. The song is set in the realm of the comic book series Evangeline, which was published from 1987 to 1989. The comic is set in the 23rd century after humans colonized space. The character Evangeline is a weapon-wielding nun out to avenge those who have been victims of religious persecution on behalf of the Vatican.

Evangeline

She’s on another planet
She’s in my dream
She’s some kind of angel
If you know what I mean
Try her on
She fits like a glove
Too bad she only thinks about
The lord above

Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

Now if I called you up
Do you think you
Could deliver my soul?
Won’t you take a drink
Little darlin’
The cup is full

And every night I bow to pray
But I’ll feel a whole lot better
Once you’re coming my way

Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

So come on down

So tell me how you want it
Come on, tell me how you want it
Just tell me how you want it

Just tell me how you want it
We won’t be seen
You can tell your father
It was all a dream
[try her on she fits like a glove]
Too bad the only man you trust
Is god above

Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

Now Evangeline Evangeline
I think I love you
But Evangeline Evangeline
I want you

She’s some kind of angel
If you know what I mean
Evangeline

Sweet – Fox On The Run

The Sweet had the ability to sound like a different band on many of their hit singles. Little Willy, Ballroom Blitz, Love Is Like Oxygen, Blockbuster!, and Fox On The Run. My first introduction to this band was a bubblegum single that my sister bought called Little Willy.

There were two different versions of this song. The first one appeared on the European version of the 1974 RCA album Desolation Boulevard album.

The band was stuck with a perception of them being puppets of their songwriters Mike Chapman and Nicky Chin and producer Phil Wainman. They had to battle to play on their own singles at times.  Mike Chapman and Nicky Chin also were their managers. The Sweet were sometimes allowed to write their B sides but that was about it. After Desolation Boulevard was released, the band parted ways with Chapman and Chinn and produced their own material.

Their first effort was a reworking of “Fox On The Run,” which was originally produced by Chapman and Chinn but written by the band. The Sweet proved quite capable on their own, and the new version of Fox on the Run with a bright chorus became a global hit.

The re-worked Fox on the Run appeared on the American version of Desolation Boulevard. Capital Records released this version in America, Canada, and Japan. The album also contained Ballroom Blitz and peaked at #25 in the Billboard Album Charts and #5 in Canada.

The song peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #2 in the UK, and #2 in Canada in 1975. It was released in the US as the follow-up to their single Ballroom Blitz.

The song has been covered by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Girlschool, and the Scorpions to name a few. Fox on the Run was also featured in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

The original version with Mike Chapman and Nicky Chin

The hit version

“Fox On The Run”

I don’t wanna know your name
‘Cause you don’t look the same
The way you did before
O.K. you think you got a pretty face
But the rest of you is out of place
You looked alright beforeFox on the run
You scream and everybody comes a running
Take a run and hide yourself away
Foxy is on the run
F-foxy
Fox on the run and hide away

You, you talk about just every band
But the names you drop are second hand (second hand)
I’ve heard it all before
I don’t wanna know your name
‘Cause you don’t look the same
The way you did before

Fox on the run
You scream and everybody comes a running
Take a run and hide yourself away
Foxy on the run
F-foxy
Fox on the run and hide away

F-foxy
Fox on the run
You scream and everybody comes a running
Take a run and hide yourself away
Foxy on the run
F-foxy
Fox on the run and hide away
Fox on the run
Fox on the run
Fox on the run
Fox on the run
Fox on the run

Posies – Dream All Day ….Power Pop Friday

Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer started to write songs together while in High School in Bellingham, Washington in 1986. They were influenced by The Hollies, Hüsker Dü, XTC, Elvis Costello, Squeeze, and Big Star.

When they started out, a cassette of songs Stringfellow and Jon Auer traded back and forth went viral, which in the late ’80s meant copies got passed around and radio stations started playing them. The had one big problem though. They didn’t have an actual band together. Drummer Mike Musberger and bassist Rick Roberts were added as the first Posies rhythm section.

This song was on their third album released in 1993 called Frosting On The Beater. Dave Fox had replaced Rick Roberts by this time on bass. Dream All Day was released as the first single on the album.

The song peaked at #4 on the Billboard  Alternative Airplay Charts and #17 in the Billboard Mainstream Charts in 1993.

The Posies soon got signed to DGC and “Golden Blunders,” the first single from their Dear 23 debut on the label, became enough of a college radio hit that Ringo Starr recorded as part of his 1992 album Time Takes Time.

The made 8 albums altogether with the last one being in 2016.

In 1993 Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer joined Big Star’s Jody Stephens and Alex Chilton to reform Big Star. They toured and released a Big Star album in 2005 called In Space. It came to an end in 2010 with the death of Alex Chilton.

Dream All Day

I’ve got a lot of thoughts
Got a lot of plans
I lost a lot of sleep
Trying to understand

I could dream all day

In a blackened room
Staring into space
Underneath a thousand blankets
Just to find a place
Where everything is reachable
Imagining is safe
I tried to make it so
I didn’t even know

I could dream all day

I dreamt I was awake
My mouth was colored grey
As the world revolved around me
I could only say

I could dream all day

Dwight Twilley Band – I’m On Fire ….Power Pop Friday

You know…I haven’t been living up to my page’s name. I’ve had very little power pop on powerpop.blog lately. I hope to solve that coming up. Here is a song I’ve always liked from the mid-seventies. Dwight Twilley is one of those artists who had great songs but only had 2 hits in his career…and this is one of them.

This is a great power pop song from 1975. It peaked at #16 in 1975 on the Billboard 100. The band was formed by Dwight Twilley and Phil Seymour. I always thought Twilley should have been more popular.

This was his first single from the album Sincerely. The song was released in 1975 and it did quite well.  There was one big problem… the label he was on was Leon Russell’s Shelter Records and they were barely making it. Shelter Records could not release the album until a year after this single was out which killed the momentum of the single.

Shelter Records was formed by Leon Russell and Denny Cordell in 1969 and ran until 1981 but Leon Russell left in 1976 as it was falling apart. Tom Petty was also part of the label for a while. It seems like many power pop artists are accompained by a story similiar to this.

Dwight Twilley: We thought we were indestructible. And we were proven
wrong really quick! We had so many problems right from the get-go. The album
didn’t even come out until a year after “I’m On Fire,” and it would have gone
gold if it had come out then. They believed in it so much they were going to
release two more singles before it came out. They released the second single
and then the company went under. 

Dwight Twilley on knowing Leon Russell: “I learned a lot from Leon. We were a Tulsa-based band when we were originally signed, and Leon lived here. And we ended up being signed to his label. A lot of people thought that Leon was the driving force behind it. But we didn’t really meet Leon until after we’d had our hit single ‘I’m On Fire.’ And I guess the surprising thing was just what a kind man he was, and how generous he was. He invited us into his own home studio and had us recording in his 40-track studio. And for little kids who six months ago had only been in a 4-track studio, that was a big deal. He was very kind and super talented, and he really didn’t say much. Just by following and by example we could see some of the things that he did that were just amazing. And I think he’s a terrific talent. I’m really proud of the way that he has sustained, that he’s out there still doing it.”

I’m On Fire

Got your lady on the line
Got your name on the cover
Though your friends are ninety-nine
Honey you ain’t got no lover
And you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no lover
And you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no other

I remember the feelin’ that I could be free
Now I know it could never ever be me
‘Cause I’m on fire
Got myself on fire 

Got your joker on the table
You’ve been told from time to time
I’ll be willin’, I’ll be able
You could read between the lines

But you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no lover, lover, lover
And you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no other

I remember the feelin’ that I could be free
Now I know it could never ever be me
‘Cause I’m on fire
I’m-a I’m on fire

But you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no lover, lover, lover, lover
And you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no other, other, other, other
And you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no lover, lover, lover

I’m on fire
I’m on fire (and you ain’t, you ain’t, you ain’t got no lover, lover, lover)
I’m on fire (lover, lover, lover, lover)
I’m on fire (lover, lover, lover)

Buzzcocks – What Do I Get

These guys blended punk and pop about as well as anyone. Once again I had a friend with their import records in the eighties. That was the only way I could hear them.

This was their first top 40 hit in the UK and it peaked at #37 way back in 1977. The B-side was a song called “Oh Shit.” I wish they would have hit in America but their name probably didn’t help them over here.

They chose the name Buzzcocks after reading the headline, “It’s the Buzz, Cock!”, in a review of the TV series Rock Follies in Time Out magazine. The “buzz” is the excitement of playing on stage; “cock” is northern English slang meaning friend. They were formed in 1976 by Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto after seeing the Sex Pistols. They were able to blend punk’s spirit and sound with pop.

They were invited by Nirvana to open select dates on the grunge outfit’s last ever European tour, in early 1994. Steve Diggle told about a  memory he has of Kurt Cobain: “Doing two grams of coke is one of my famous stories with him.” They also opened up for Pearl Jam in 2003.

They released 3 albums and broke up in 1981 after a dispute with their record company. They reunited in 1989 and released 6 more albums. Pete Shelley continued to play with the band until his death from a heart attack in 2018. The band still continues to tour.

Steve Diggle: “Of course we partied and did drugs and had good times with the girls. Who wouldn’t? Certain things about being in a band and traveling about, people invite you to parties and clubs. Initially, it wasn’t supposed to be like that. But I realized you can’t break America, America breaks you.”

 Jane Wiedlin: Our favorite band, the band that we always tried to emulate was the Buzzcocks, who had that great pop song done in a punky style.”

Billy Joe Armstrong: “Buzzcocks pretty much invented a style that would influence multiple generations of lonesome hearts and weirdos”

What Do I Get

I just want a lover like any other, what do I get?
I only want a friend who will stay to the end, what do I get?

What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

I’m in distress, I need a caress, what do I get?
I’m not on the make, I just need a break, what do I get?

What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

I only get sleepless nights
Alone here in my half-empty bed
For you things, seem to turn out right
I wish they’d only happen to me instead

What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

Ah

I only get sleepless nights
Alone here in my half-empty bed
For you, things seem to turn out right
I wish they’d only happen to me instead

What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

I just want a lover like any other, what do I get?
I only want a friend who will love to the end, what do I get?

What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?
What do I get, oh-oh, what do I get?

Well, let me tell you now
(What do I get?)
(What do I get?) No love
(What do I get?) No sleep at nights
(What do I get?) Nothing that’s nice
(What do I get?) Nothing at all, at all, at all, at all
At all, at all, at all ’cause I don’t get you

Cheap Trick – Southern Girls ….Power Pop Friday

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Friday!

When I think of Cheap Trick, I think of a checkered pattern and the 5-neck guitar of Rick Nielson. I guess I should add power pop to that list that they carried on from bands such as Badfinger, The Raspberries, and Big Star.

I got to see Cheap Trick in 1984 at Opryland in Nashville. Opryland was a theme park that was foolishly closed in the late 90s so Nashville could have yet another mall. The concert was short…it was only an hour but they are one of the best bands I got to see. Cheap Trick has always been one of the hardest-working bands in rock. They seem to always be on tour since the 70s.

The band fits in with just about any type of band. They have shared the bill with John Mellencamp, KISS, Krokus, REO Speedwagon, The Who, Motley Crue, Kool and the Gang, Iron Maiden, The Oak Ridge Boys, and Willie Dixon. How much more variety does anyone need? When you go from the Oak Ridge Boys, Mellencamp, and Iron Maiden…you have ran the gamut.

The lyrics were inspired by women the band met in southern Canada. However, Rick Nielsen didn’t like the sound of “Southern Canadian Girls” in the hook, so he just left it as “Southern Girls.”

Rick Nielsen and Cheap Trick’s bass player Tom Petersson wrote the song.

The song was on the album In Color, you can find a review at  John’s site (2 Loud 2 Old Music) …great info. The album was released in 1977 and was produced by Tom Werman. He took their sound and produced a more power pop radio sound than their debut album.

This is the album that paved their way to stardom in Japan and later on Live at Budokan that was their breakthrough in the US. Five out of the 10 tracks on this album ended up on the live album.

Southern Girls

I’ve been north,
I’ve been east to the California beach
There’s only one place I know where to find you
And all you Southern girls got a way with your words
And you show it
You say hump and I’ll jump
You say go and I’ll know
Waste no time getting
So close to you
And you’ll never run way
When you find out why I wanted to find you

Ooh baby need some brand new shoes
Get out on the street
You got nothing to lose
You rock me and your crazy
And everyone says it, yeah yeah
Southern girls, you got nothing to lose
Southern girls, you got nothing to lose

I’ve been up I’ve been down
I’ve been weak I’ve been strong
But I never met someone like you
And you’ll never run away
When you find why I wanted to find you
You say hump and I’ll jump
You say go and I’ll know
Waste no time getting
So close to you
All you Southern girls
Got a way with your words
And you show it

Ooh baby need some brand new shoes
Get out on the street
You got nothing to lose
You rock me and your crazy
And everyone says it, yeah yeah
Southern girls, you got nothing to lose
Southern girls, you got nothing to lose

You think this boy, he loves you
Southern girls
You make it hard oh, so hard
I’ve been north, I’ve been east to the California beach
There’s only one place I know where to find you
And all you Southern girls got a way with your words
And you show it

Ooh baby need some brand new shoes
Get out on the street
You got nothing to lose
You rock me and your crazy
And everyone says it, yeah yeah

Southern girls, you got nothing to lose
Southern girls, you got nothing to lose
Southern girls
Southern girls
Southern girls

Big Star – Feel ….Power Pop Friday

Happy Friday Everyone! Hope your week is going well. Lisa from Tao Talk did me an honor by posting an article I wrote on her site about Maria McKee from Lone Justice in her Women Music March series…she has had some great artists! Check it out if you can.

When Big Star comes up, when people think of a member…it’s usually Alex Chilton. That is not a bad thing but on their debut album Chris Bell was just as prevalent as Chilton. This song was off of their debut album named #1 Record. It’s the only album to feature Chris Bell along with Alex Chilton the entire album. They complimented each other perfectly.

After writing a post for Dave’s site about Badfinger (thanks Dave)…a band that I obviously like…I thought I would post about another band that is right up there. I hold Big Star’s music up with The Who, Beatles. and Kinks…they never had the sales but they did have a giant influence. They released this album as their debut in August of 1972. Whenever I write about this band, I always have to stop myself from gushing about them. Was it the mystique of them? Was it the coolness factor of liking a band that not many people know? No and no. It’s about the music. Mystique and coolness wear off and all you are left with is the music…We are fortunate to have 3 albums by Big Star to enjoy.

“Feel” leads off the album with a bang. Feel was written by Chris Bell and Alex Chilton and Bell takes the lead vocal. There are more hooks in this song than in a tackle box. This is what power pop is all about. If I had to introduce someone to power pop, I would ask them to listen to #1 Record by Big Star and Straight Up by Badfinger.

All three are in Rolling Stone’s top 500 albums of all time. For a band that never charted a record that isn’t too bad. When their albums were finally discovered by later bands, they influenced many artists such as The Replacements, REM, The Cars, Cheap Trick, Sloan, Matthew Sweet, KISS, Wilco, Gin Blossoms, and many more. They influenced alternative rock of the 80s and 90s and continue to this day.

Drummer Jody Stephens: “All of a sudden I’m playing with these guys that can write songs that are as engaging to me as the people I’d grown up listening to, so I felt incredibly lucky.” 

Paul Westerberg:  “I never travel far, without a little Big Star,”

Alternate Mix

Feel

Wondering what are you doing?
You’re driving me to ruin
The love that you’ve been stealing

Has given me a feeling

I feel like I’m dying
I’m never gonna live again
You just ain’t been trying
It’s getting very near the end

I feel like I’m dying
I’m never gonna live again
You just ain’t been trying
It’s getting very near the end

Wondering what are you doing?
You’re driving me to ruin
The love that you’ve been stealing
Has given me the feeling

I feel like I’m dying
I’m never gonna live again
You just ain’t been trying
It’s getting very near the end

I feel like I’m dying
I feel like I’m dying