Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?)

This song is really catchy and has a punk pop sound. Some times a title is so good that you listen to the song regardless of who it is. This title fits that description and unlike some…it lives up to it.

The song title came from a line Marlon Brando spoke in the 1955 movie, ‘Guys And Dolls’ which Pete Shelley watched in a hotel room while on tour.

The Buzzcocks formed in Bolton, England in 1976 by singer-songwriter-guitarist Pete Shelley and singer-songwriter Howard Devoto.  The 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 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 of a heart attack in 2018. The band still continues to tour.

The song peaked at #12 in the UK in 1978.

Songwriter Pete Shelley: “The song dates back to November 1977. We were on a roll. It was only six months since we’d finished the first album. Up in Manchester this was what we used to dream of… a whirlwind of tours, interviews, TV. We were living the life. One night in Edinburgh we were in a guest house TV lounge watching the musical Guys and Dolls. This line leaped out – ‘Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have?’ The next day the van stopped outside a post office and I wrote the lyrics there. I did have a certain person in mind, but I’ll save that for my kiss’n’tell. The music just seemed to follow, fully formed.”

“The opening line was originally ‘You piss on my natural emotions,’ but because ‘Orgasm Addict’ hadn’t been getting radio play because of it’s title, I needed something a bit subtler. So I came up with ‘spurn.’ It had the same sort of disregard, but wasn’t so likely to offend!”

The Fine Young Cannibals had a no. 9 UK hit with their cover version, recorded for the soundtrack of the 1986 film Something Wild.

From Songfacts

.In 1987 when Fine Young Cannibals covered this, their more laid back, soulful version peaked at #9 in the UK. They recorded the song after being asked by the director Jonathan Demme to provide him with a song for his upcoming film Something Wild. It is featured on the film’s soundtrack released as “Ever Fallen in Love.”

In the same Uncut interview the song’s producer Martin Rushent recalled: “Pete played me ‘Ever Fallen In Love…’ for the first time and my jaw hit the floor. I felt it was the strongest song that they had written-clever, witty lyrics, great hooklines. I suggested backing vocals-to highlight the chorus and make it even more powerful. No one could hit the high part-so I did it. I’d sung in bands in my youth and I also worked as a backing singer.”

The story of how The Buzzcocks came up with their name: In February 1976 Shelley and guitarist Howard Devoto read an article about a band called the Sex Pistols who had just played in London. “It was a realization of someone else doing what we already wanted to do,” Shelley told Reuters. The pair borrowed a car and drove from Manchester down to London to seek out the Sex Pistols. “We bought a copy of Time Out, which had no mention of them at all,” recalled Shelley. “But in the magazine was a preview for a TV series called Rock Follies. The headline was, ‘It’s the buzz, cock.” And that’s how we got the name.”

Thea Gilmore, Pete Yorn, Will Young, Billy Talent and Anti-Flag are among the acts to cover this song. The New York City band SUSU released their version in 2020 in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. They explained: “A good cover is hard to find. Turns out this one was a telling tale, a perfect sonic and energetic fit. We were a brand new band, consummated on Valentine’s Day, in the pink of our five-week European honeymoon. We found ourselves leaving behind the tour we had just fallen in love with due to circumstances beyond our control – a pandemic. Proper heartbreak. But we all know the first breakup never sticks.”

Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)

You spurn my natural emotions
You make me feel I’m dirt and I’m hurt
And if I start a commotion
I run the risk of losing you and that’s worse

Ever fallen in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
You shouldn’t have fallen in love with?

I can’t see much of a future
Unless we find out what’s to blame, what a shame
And we won’t be together much longer
Unless we realize that we are the same

Ever fallen in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
You shouldn’t have fallen in love with

You disturb my natural emotions
You make me feel I’m dirt and I’m hurt
And if I start a commotion
I’ll only end up losing you and that’s worse

Ever fallen in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
You shouldn’t have fallen in love with?

Ever fallen in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
You shouldn’t have fallen in love with?

Ever fallen in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
Ever fallen in love, in love with someone
You shouldn’t have fallen in love with?

Fallen in love with
Ever fallen in love with someone
You shouldn’t have fallen in love with?

Tommy Hoehn – Blow Yourself Up… Power Pop Friday

I’ve been reading about the early to mid-seventies Memphis scene and have found out that we missed out on some great power pop that was never heard by the general public. To my readers I have to pass all of this along. I do appreciate of you reading about these more unknown artists…but if one person listens to some of these posts and likes one…it makes it worth it…it also feels good living up to my WP power pop name.

Tommy Hoehn is another in a long line of musicians  who should have been heard but it just didn’t happen. I would have never thought of Memphis as a power pop location but a generation of local musicians were heavily influenced by the Beatles, Who, and the Kinks. They took mid-sixties pop… along with Badfinger and the Raspberries and put a different spin on it.

The most known band from that period from Memphis is Big Star…you won’t hear that sentence a lot. Tommy Hoehn played with Big Star’s Chris Bell and Alex Chilton as well as helping out on Big Star’s 3rd album. “Blow Yourself Up” is full of hooks and his voice is perfect for power pop.

All of these musicians at the time hung out a lot at Ardent Studios. The owner John Fry would let them record and gave many keys to come in when they could and no one took advantage of it for a long time. That is one reason many of these artists sounded really good…they had time to get a sound they wanted.

This song was released in 1977 on Power Play Records, a local Memphis label and it was a regional hit. That same year, Power Play Records released Hoehn’s first solo album Spacebreak, which contained two of the songs Hoehn had recorded with Prix as well as the Blow Yourself Up single.

Blow Yourself Up was featured on Rhino’s D.I.Y.: Come Out and Play: American Power Pop (1975-78) compilation that was released in 1993.

He continued to release albums in the 80s, 90s, and 2000’s. In late 2009, Hoehn began work on a solo album tentatively titled Pi. However, in December 2009, he was diagnosed with cancer, and became too ill to sing lead vocals on the album. He died on June 24, 2010, at the age of 55.

Blow Yourself Up

She lie / in a cool repose / She breathing
Tries to believe I don’t know it
I’m not dull, I show it
She shies away:
Shaken / and I push her just a little
Even enough to fool just her
Ooo I really mussed her
Cutchya’ I’ll blow yourself up

She-vades / Such a crude contempt
I invade
She gets away and I feel it
Then I just can’t hide it
She shies away
Thinkin’ / There’s a full moon, I’m not thinkin’
Stupid as nails she keeps askin’
“Who just opened my door?”
Come in and blow yourself up

Stop! We don’t care!
Step above, I could stare –
In your eyes, for a week
Maybe two
They’re so blue…

She lie! / In a room she made to wonder
Tries to believe in a reason
Frets inside her feelings
Comin’ so close – solo!
And the overcast is breathing
Even the leaves gonna shudder
I see stars and colors
Something to blow yourself up 

Scruffs – Break The Ice —-Power Pop Friday

Memphis in the early 1970s was more than Big Star. Many power pop bands and artists were coming out of there at that time. Not many made it huge but many were recognized later. They formed in 1974 and released their first album Wanna Meet The Scruffs? in 1977. Like the others around this period. Many of the power pop musicians worked with each other. The Scruffs worked with Alex Chilton, Tommy Hoehn, and Jim Dickinson. Break the Ice was the first single off of the album. It reminds me of the Raspberries.

Wanna Meet the Scruffs? - Wikipedia

To show what some rock critics thought of the band…here is Robert Christgau (rock critic):

Only a sucker for rock and roll could love this record, and I am that sucker. A middle-period Beatles extrapolation in the manner of Big Star (another out-of-step Memphis power-pop group on a small, out-of-step Memphis label), it bursts with off harmonies, left hooks, and jolts of random energy. The trouble is, these serve a shamelessly and perhaps permanently post-adolescent vision of life’s pain, most of which would appear to involve gurls. To which objection the rockin’ formalist in me responds, “I wanna hear ‘Revenge’ again.”

Pretty good endorsement right? That is just one of many but again they just couldn’t break through. They did not have the influence like Big Star did but they were a great power pop band. I listened to all of this album and that jangle of the guitar is infectious. The song was a regional hit but was not played outside of Memphis too much. They did move to New York in 1978 had some high profile gigs at  CBGB and Max’s Kansas City.

The Band broke up in 1981 but Stephen Burns the singer, guitar player, and songwriter  would continue recording albums under the Scruffs name into the 2010’s…with Peter Buck from REM guesting on the 2011 Kill! Kill! album .

Sorry I could not find the lyrics.

Van Duren – Chemical Fire —-Power Pop Friday

Van Duren is a power pop musician in Memphis and was managed by Andrew Loog Oldham. He made his first album called Are You Serious in 1978. He is another power pop rocker from the early seventies in Memphis. He was in a band with Big Star’s Chris Bell and drummer Jody Stephens called The Baker Street Regulars. He auditioned as the 2nd guitar player for Big Star just before the band’s demise.

Chemical Fire is an excellent power pop song. It could have very well been played on late seventies radio. It still sounds fresh today.

His style has been compared to Paul McCartney and Todd Rundgren. Personally I hear Marshall Crenshaw also. Big Star wasn’t noticed until over a decade after they recorded their last album. Van Duren waited 30 years before he was properly found.

His second album Idiot Optimism was recorded in 1979 and because of record company problems its wasn’t released until twenty years later. Memphis power artists could not catch a break. There is a documentary about Van Duren that was released in 2019 and his two first albums were re-released also.

According to a documentary, the record label had Scientology connections, which meant they attempted to convert all the acts on their roster. Duren, already in debt, just wanted to finish his record, which he correctly thought was his one shot at stardom. It flopped, and by the mid-80s, after another near-miss with another band, Good Question, his musical career was as good as over.

He is still known in the Memphis area.

Sorry I could not find the lyrics

Big Star – Jesus Christ

A Christmas power pop song that I wish I heard more of than some of the others. It has a strange 20 second intro but after that the guitar starts and then it’s pure Alex Chilton.

The song is on the Third/Sister Lovers album. The album was recorded in 1974-1975 but wasn’t released until 1978. The album has no theme…it’s all over the map with different style of songs. This song…considered a Christmas song didn’t really stand out on the non-Christmas album because it’s so eclectic. 

Guitarist Alex Chilton and drummer Jody Stephens were the only original two left during this album but they had musicians to fill in. This song was written by Alex Chilton.

Today I will be posting some Christmas shows throughout the day…from here until Christmas…powerpop will be completely Christmas programming.

Jesus Christ

Angels from the realms of glory
Stars shone bright above
Royal David’s city
Was bathed in light of love

Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born
Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born

Lo, they did rejoice
Fine and pure of voice
And the wrong shall fail
And the right prevail

Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born
Jesus Christ was born today
Jesus Christ was born
And we’re gonna get born now

The Clarks – Better Off Without You ….Power Pop Friday

This band keeps popping back up in my playlist. Lately in power pop I’ve been listening to Sloan and The Clarks. They complement each other well.

This is a local band out of Pittsburgh that formed in  the mid 80s at  Indiana University of Pennsylvania where most of them were enrolled. They started out as a cover band and soon began playing original songs.

The song was on Let It Go, the fifth studio album by The Clarks, released on June 20, 2000. The album outsold many major national releases in the Pittsburgh area and generated huge local radio hits.

The band still has all of the original members and are going strong.

Better Off Without You

You are sultry, dirty, soft and hard
You are close to me and you’re so far
And I’m thinking of the time we spent together
Now I’ll bury this in my backyard
Sometimes I sit and wonder
But I’ll never dial your number ’cause

I’m having fun looking out for number one
And I’m doing all the things I like to do
I’m having fun ’cause I knew it all along
I’d be better off without you

You are guilty, pretty, high and low
You’re a place to stay and a time to go
And I’m searching through the things you left behind here
Now it’s time for me to let it go
Sometimes I sit and wonder
But I’ll never dial that number ’cause

I’m having fun looking out for number one
And I’m doing all the things I like to do
I’m having fun ’cause I knew it all along
I’d be better off without you

Late at night you pick up the telephone
Call me up and cry ’cause you’re all alone I don’t care
Apologize for taking my cigarettes
Now it’s time to feel all the side effects
Missing the life you had

The Records – Teenarama…. Power Pop Friday

When I started Power pop Friday I started with The Records song Starry Eyes back in July of last year.

I really like this song…you have a crunchy brit sound guitar open it up with another great rhythm guitar intertwining with it.

Mutt Lange produced 4 songs on this album (Shades in Bed) including this one when he had to leave the album for prior commitments. the rest of the album was produced by Tim Friese-Greene. The last song recorded, “The Phone,” was a late addition to the album and was produced by Huw Gower.

Music City Mike reviewed this album here.

The Records were an English powerpop band formed in 1978. Teenarama was off their debut album Shades in Bed. The band included John Wicks – rhythm guitar, vocals, Huw Gower – lead guitar, vocals, Phil Brown – bass guitar, vocals, and Will Birch – drums, vocals.

AllMusic called the album “a pure pop masterpiece”

Teenarama

I wanted a holiday
You sure had a lot
To say every night
I thought that a younger girl
Could show me the world
That was right
Co-co-co-cola
Is all you ever drink
The way you smile
The way you wink

Teenarama
Is what you’re givin’ me
(What you’re givin’ me)
Teenarama
Injections in the knee
(Injections in the knee)
Teenarama
All that mellow drama
Gimme gimme gimme gimme
Gimme gimme
Teenarama

I wanted a change of style
To be with a juvenile
For a week
So I rented an apartment
Then you went and lost the key

Sugar candy
Is all you ever eat
You’re so skinny
You’re so sweet

Repeat Chorus

Monday
School day
You wait
Weeks late
Dirty star
Coffee bar
First bra
Too far
Ahhhh
Co-co-co-cola
Is all you ever drink
The way you smile
The way you wink

Repeat Chorus

Gimme 15x

Teenarama 

Big Star – O My Soul ….Power Pop Friday

This song is from their second album Radio City. Their other guitarist Chris Bell had left the band leaving Alex Chilton as the only guitarist. In this song Chilton’s guitar is pushed to the front and after about a 46 second intro the song is on it’s way.

It’s a bluesy, funky,  rocky, and soulful riff all built into one. Alex just takes off on the guitar with this one all through the song. The guitar has a tone that you don’t hear everyday. Whenever I’m playing guitar I go back to their albums to try to emulate a tone that Chilton found.

Alex Chilton was not the only one writing songs on the album. Bassist Andy Hummel wrote or co-wrote five of the albums’s 12 tracks. Jody Stephens pitched in and co-wrote one song with Chilton and Hummel.

Chilton remained the constant variable that made the band’s music soar. His September Gurls is among the band’s finest songs and one of the prototypical power pop songs.

Radio City is not as polished as their debut album but it’s just as good and many say better.

O My Soul

O my soul mama
I lose control
Go ahead and shake if you wanna
And I’ll never know
Wull come on
You know it’s alright
We’ve got all night
You’re driving me mad
And you shouldn’t do that
We’re going to get on up
And drink till we drop.
You’re really a nice girl
And I think you’re the most
And when we’re together
I feel like a boss

Trying to see you
I’d know off your doors
dying to see you
I’m down on the floor.

I can’t get a license
To drive my car
But I don’t really need it
If I’m a big star.
Never you mind
Go on and have a good time.

The Scruffs – She Say Yea —-Power Pop Friday

Introducing the Scruffs. I love that name for a band. They have been around since the  70s and have released an album in 2011.

Big Star wasn’t the only power pop band in Memphis in the 70s. This band formed in Memphis in 1974. It was started by writer/guitarist/vocalist Stephen Burns along with guitarist David Branyan, bassist Rick Branyan, and drummer Zeph Paulson.

“She Say Yea” was influenced by the Beatles and Byrds but also early 70s American power pop greats like the Raspberries and Big Star.

They used Big Star’s same studio (Ardent) and their producer Jim Dickinson who along with Big Star worked with the Rolling Stones,  Carmen McRae, Delaney & Bonnie, Jerry Jeff Walker, Dee Dee Warwick, Ronnie Hawkins, Sam & Dave, Dion, Brook Benton, Lulu, Sam the Sham and others.

I have heard some great power pop in the last 10 years but for me the golden era of Power Pop was in the 70s and 80s…I do believe in the last ten years it has made a comeback with newer bands…but I love these seventies bands that with a little more luck could have had major success.

The Scruffs  released their debut album in 1977 named Wanna Meet the Scruffs? The single from the album was Break the Ice  with  She Say Yea as the B side. Another single off the album was Shakin’ / Teenage Girls…we will go over that one in a few weeks.

All 13 tracks were written by guitarist Stephen Burns though lead guitarist Dave Branyan gets partial credit for three numbers.

(Sorry… could not find the lyrics)