25 Albums – Lovin The Lovers #8

Hanging with the regular Thursday crowd at Record Stop always felt like an exit off the mainstream music highway I had been subjected to at Record World. There was never a shortage of new music to discover.

Going through the record bins weekly, it seemed like I was familiar with just about everything. One of the regulars was raving about this band called The Modern Lovers. He said they were a simpler version of The Velvet Underground. Having just discovered The Velvets I was ready to give The Modern Lovers a listen. Nipo thew it on the turntable and from the first song, “Roadrunner”, I was a fan. This album is one of my all-time favorites to this day. I still listen to it. I was not surprised to discover it was produced by none other than John Cale. This album came out in 1976, but remained undiscovered by just about everyone.

Jonathan Richman sings with the innocence of a 7-year-old, discovering life, love and his surroundings for the first time. It’s this suburban, anxiety ridden awkwardness, combined with the simplicity and raw energy of the Modern Lovers that make this a landmark album. It’s brilliant.

The Modern Lovers, besides Jonathan, include Jerry Harrison (before he joined Talking Heads) on keyboards and Dave Robinson (later joined The Cars) on drums.

“Roadrunner” is the opening number and is so catchy. It was later covered by a few bands, specifically The Sex Pistols and Joan Jett. Songs like “Astral Plane”, “She Cracked” and “Someone I Care About” have that typical live punk feel, but not offensive or in your face. Subtle, yet powerful. You can almost hear Jonathan giggling through the lyrics. The improvosational feel and joy in his voice is infectious.

Jonathan really shows off his writing skills in songs like “Old World”, “Girlfriend” and “Modern World”. My favorite song on this album is a slow ballad called “Hospital, about a girl Jonathan is in love with who is in the hospital after a probable drug overdose. The lyric “I go to bakeries all day long, there is a lack of sweetness in my life” is an example of the tenderness and poetry Jonathan is capable of.

Other songs cover life in Massachusetts, having a first girlfriend, being old-fashioned. Until we get to “Pablo Picasso”. Here, Jonathan takes a left turn into anger and jealousy. with lyrics “Some people try to pick up girls and get called assholes, this never happened to Pablo Picasso. He could walk down the street and girls could not resist his stare, Pablo Picasso never got called an asshole, not like you” It’s about as angry as Jonathan gets.

The Modern Lovers put only one album out. Jonathan went on to other forms of the band and a long solo career that continues today. He is still the same childish man and you can’t help but smile when you hear his songs. However, the original power of the band is gone and I still love that first album.

An under rated and underappreciated pioneer of the punk movement, Jonathan Richman enjoys only a cult following. Artists like They Might Be Giants, Barenaked Ladies, and a few others cite Jonathan as a huge influence.

If you can find this first album (Amazon?), get it. You will not be disappointed. It’s an enjoyable listen even after the 2,500th time.

Modern Lovers – Roadrunner http://youtu.be/vZUSF0Zd_Yw

25 Albums – Velvet #9

Brian Eno inspired me to explore the weird side of music. I had been a fan of Lou Reed’s solo work. Back in my rock days, I was introduced to the live “Rock n Roll Animal” album which all my school buddies loved, due to extended guitar solos and overall rock anthem quality of that album.

Lou Reed’s solo albums however were mostly an acquired taste. Dark and disturbing is probably the best way to describe Lou. “Berlin” is probably the most depressing album ever recorded.

Having already been enamored with John Cale and Lou Reed, it was time to go for the origin. The Velvet Underground. What better place to start than the immortal first album.

This album is as groundbreaking as The Stooges, but in a different vain. It’s not an easily accessible album and the furthest thing from commercial pop music. Much of this album feels like it’s recorded in a basement full of drug induced and comatose hippies.

Keeping that description in mind, it’s an amazing record. The Lou songs are diverse. “Sunday Morning” and “Pale Blue Eyes” are polar opposites of “Heroin” and “Venus in Furs.” The Nico songs are hypnotically wonderful. John Cale’s minimalist production is felt throughout the record. I understood why The Velvet Underground sparked more kids to pick up guitars. The simplicity and the honesty is unsurpassed. This is what is missing in music today.

The raw energy, attitude, innocence and flair for fashion of the Velvet Underground is felt in just about every New York punk record.

This album takes a while to get into, but once you do, it crawls into your soul. It’s a landmark album and solidifies The Velvet Underground as punk pioneers. It’s hard to imagine that this album is 45 years old. It’s still different than anything you hear today.

Lou Reed and John Cale continue to record separately. I know they reformed The Velvets a couple of times, but I don’t think it went over too well. A mix of egos and the loss of innocence leave only songs.

I saw Lou Reed once and it was the strangest concert experience of my life. It started great, but one hostile audience member kept yelling “Do Walk On The Wild Side” FInally Lou told him to shut up, then tortured the audience with a 70 minute version of the requested song. It was painful, on purpose.

I forgave him and would be happy to see him again sometime.

The Velvet Underground – Venus & Furs http://youtu.be/iLQzaLr1enE

25 Albums – Here Comes Eno #10

Back in the days of vinyl albums, there were liner notes and information on the jacket that always brought the fun of listening to a new level. Like reading a cereal box, it’s an educational experience. I was always attracted to the producer of the albums. This started back with the Beatles. George Martin was considered the fifth Beatle for a reason. The producer put it all together, made the record sound unique and it could either make or break the artist.

Todd Rundgren, John Cale and Richard Gotterher were a few of the main producers of interest in the punk days. Brian Eno entered the scene with Talking Heads and was extremely outspoken about his admiration of the punk sound. I knew Eno from Roxy Music and soon discovered he had a couple of solo albums.

I discovered an album by Eno called “Here Come The Warm Jets.” It featured mostly Eno with some other musicians, including Phil Manzenera of Roxy Music and Robert Fripp from King Crimson. King Crimson were one of the few prog-rock bands I found interesting. Fripp was an oddball. I liked the oddballs of rock, obviously. Fripp’s guitar solo on the song “Babys On Fire” is legendary. It’s so good it hurts.

“Here Come The Warm Jets” is an unusual album with some very strange sounds and hilarious lyrics. The feel of the album has some definite glam-rock overtones, some artsy punk stylings ala Talking Heads,  with layers of Roxy type synthesizers and that crazy guitar work of Fripp and Manzenera. It’s a brilliant album most of the time, but completely unlistenable in parts. But that’s okay because it’s art. You aren’t supposed to like it all. It could be offensive, obnoxious, yet colorful and brilliant. Certainly beyond the mainstream. I imagine that as a child, Brian Eno liked to color outside the lines of the coloring book, maybe outside of the book. There is a childish quality to Eno’s albums that I find most amusing. His music makes me smile.

This album is a work of art and it opened me up to another level of music. I revisited the early Roxy Music albums at this point and understood them better, started listening more to the Bowie’s  “Low” and “Heroes” albums, which I was not fond of before. Eno expanded your mind like acid, without actually taking acid.

Brian Eno has a ton of albums, mostly ambient music for films, airports and elevators, but “Here Come The Warm Jets” and a couple of others like “Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy” and “Before And After Science” are the closest he ever came to pop music.

Brian Eno is an acquired taste to say the least. I don’t like everything he does, and that’s okay. I have huge respect for him and will always be interested in whatever piques his interest.

Eno – Baby’s On Fire http://youtu.be/q_LhWyzV01c

25 Albums – Heads Off to #11

The punk explosion produced so many bands it was a challenge to keep up. It seemed that every band gave their best on the first album and many of them fell apart by the time they could release a follow-up. Some only survived a couple of singles and never even got to release an album.

One band that fell into the punk category sort of by accident was Talking Heads. They didn’t have that three chord power, in your face, angry snotty attitude. They had something different. Artsy, intelligent and odd. Led by David Byrne, a borderline psychotic geek, Tina Weymouth on bass with precision like few others and by far one of the most underrated bassists in music. Drummer Chris Franz and Jerry Harrison round out the sound of this unbelievably tight unit.

Talking Heads 77 was a brilliant collection of hyper-active pop songs that stuck in my head for most of the year. I was extremely excited when Talking Heads were playing at a new theater in NYC called The Entermedia. I was not only fortunate to get tickets, I was in the 5th row center. It was one of the most anticipated concerts in my music life at the time.

There I was in the 5th row with my sister, Diana. My sister is 5 years younger than me, but loved the same music. She was a huge Talking Heads fan and more than happy to accompany me. I remember her noticing Andy Warhol behind us, two rows back. She said “Holy crap, we have better seats than Andy Warhol”

Talking Heads took the stage and proceeded to completely blow our minds. They had just released a 2nd album, which I had not purchased yet. It just came out that day. They played the entire album.  I was hearing these songs for the first time. To this day, I remember that concert and it is surely in the top 5 of my favorite concerts of all time.

The album was “More Songs About Buildings And Food”. A funny title, since there was only one song about food and no songs about buildings. It was produced by Eno, the guy I remembered from Roxy music.

This album is so musically tight and precise it blows my mind whenever I hear it. I love how even the space in between songs are timed perfectly. It’s just an amazing album. Every song is brilliant. Not a bad song on this album.

I remember playing this album for my Record World co-workers and even the Disco/Led Zep/Billy Joel fans loved it. It was infectious. As usual, there was no getting through to the suburban sewer we called customers. They were too busy buying  Steve Miller Band and Boston to even pay attention. Idiots.

Talking Heads followed up with “Fear Of Music” and “Remain In Light”, also brilliant albums. They had an almost meteoric rise to the top, more than any other band in the punk period, although I would not categorize them as punk. They have their own sound. Their influence is evident in just about every Indy band I have heard recently (Vampire Weekend, Franz Ferdinand, etc.)  I think if Talking Heads came out today they would fit right in. Sadly, they would probably be catagorized as “hipster” and ignored by too many people, once again.

David Byrne went on to a highly artistic career in music of all kinds. He is a master and a genius and the weirdest guy at the party.

I have a feeling there is a whole cult out there of people who worship David Byrne. And rightly so.

For more about Talking Heads try the movie “Stop Making Sense”, one of the best concert films ever made and the recently released “Chronology” which is an amazing documentary of the band from the beginning to the end.

I love this band.

Talking Heads – Thank You For Sending Me An Angel http://youtu.be/W888EzZ0lrk

Job Of A Lifetime

Sometime in the latter part of 1977, I was wandering through the South Shore Mall in Bayshore. I saw a sign at Record World. They were hiring. How cool would it be to work at a record store? I certainly wouldn’t need any training.

I applied and got the job.

Record World was the biggest record chain store on Long Island in those days and I was thrilled to be around music all day. Part of the job was actually playing records. Insane.

However, it was on a sharing system so I had to compete with some of the worst music I had ever heard. Specifically, DISCO. Disco was making a huge impact on the pop music scene. I hated it with a passion. I wanted it to die. I even joined in on the “Death To Disco” movement that seemed to be gaining momentum.

Nipo, wrapped up in the punk movement, started his own record label called Death Records. It was a very exciting venture. The first single released was Jimi Lalumia & The Psychotic Frogs “Death To Disco” And we were waving our punk flags high aimed at the destruction of this horrible music.

Since Disco only lasted about three years at best, I am taking personal responsibility, along with my punk rock revolutionaries, for the killing of this abomination. Recently, I have grown fond of some the music of that era. I was a young angry rebel back then. Now I’m old and couldn’t care less. Life.

Being a rebel at Record World, I wanted to convert the huddled, suburban masses to punk rockers. Mostly, I failed miserably. Customers were set on buying Billy Joel. Meatloaf, Donna Summer and The Village People. I felt powerless. I was at least able to convert the co-workers. One story that comes to mind is a young Rich Dolan started Record World at 17 yrs old. My first question was “what kind of music do you listen to”, he replied with his voice cracking “Kansas”. After wincing, I replied “I can fix that”. With in a week, little Richie Dolan was listening to The Clash.

However, my co-workers for the most part were music geeks and aficionados. I learned a lot about music from those folks. We existed in a bubble, apart from the mainstream.

I can talk forver about specific life-changing moments that occurred at Record World. The obvious one is meeting Margie, my future wife. We just passed our 30 year mark, so I guess it’s working out.

Musically, I can point to some specifics.

Russell was a co-worker, who looked like Peter Frampton (70’s) Russell was a Robert Plant wannabe. He loved Zeppelin, and all the usual bands that fall into that category. I had already passed that stage, but he was a good guy so I was forgiving. The cool thing about working here was we got the first shot at any new releases that came in. We were the first line of fire in the recording industry, or so we thought. Russ was unpacking a box of new releases when he called me over. “Look at this, some new band I never heard of called Van Heflin” (Van Halen). Getting a good feeling about it, he snuck it on the turntable. At this point in time, heavy metal or hard rock was pretty much dead. When we heard the opening track “Running With The Devil”, we both looked at each other and knew immediately this band was going to bring back that hard rock sound that had been missing. Obviously we were right.

That was the beauty about working there. Discovering the next big thing and sharing our personal favorites with eachother.

Ron Tedesco was an assistant manager and an avid Kinks fan. I had lost track of The Kinks. Ron got me back into them. I eventually became quite a Kinks collector, completing the catalog of albums and singles.

Ken Cassidy was a great guy and introduced me to the genius of The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan and other great songwriters. My mind was pretty open back then, as long as it wasn’t disco, Billy Joel or Meatloaf.

Steve Matteo and I shared the same musical tastes. Steve was a huge fan of The Who. I will never forget the day he chatted with a customer and she was so impressed with his knowledge of The Who, she revealed that she worked for Pete Townshend and hired him to also work for Pete. PETE TOWNSHEND. I hated him for that. Lucky bastard.

I will never forget all my Record World friends. Bill Cowan, Rita Randall, Karen in 45’s, Don Neckameyer (the boss), Alan Tesman (RIP), Patti Wrobleski, Steve Gravano, Lou ( the heroin addict), Cowboy Al, Marion, Nancy, all the Christmas temps that wanted to hear Meatloaf and Billy Joel while I wanted to hear The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones and Blondie.

Those were the days.

Record World Commercial 1978 http://youtu.be/sAJjU2My4Bw

Jimi Lalumia & The Psychotic Fogs – Death To Disco  http://youtu.be/ezbudorragA

25 Albums – Punk Priestess #12

By this time, I had more than familiarized myself with the origins of punk. Caught up on Iggy & The Stooges, The Velvet Underground and explored the 60’s garage rock of The Seeds, The Electric Prunes, 13th Floor Elevators, MC5, etc.

One album I hadn’t purchased yet which I heard a lot about was Patti Smith “Horses.” I noticed John Cale of The Velvet Underground produced it. Cale produced The Stooges first album, brilliantly, and I already had respect for his work with The Velvets. It was time to get this album I had heard so much about.

My first listen to Patti Smith was a shock to my system. This was off the wall. It had a familiar sound that I heard out of Television, but this chick was crazy. She was rambling poetry, shrieking and stuttering. It had amazing energy, but I wasn’t really sure if I liked it. In fact I found her disturbing. Up to this point I had an immediate reaction to the punk stuff. It hardly took any additional listening. Patti didn’t hit me the first time.

By this time, her next album “Radio Ethiopia” came out. I bought it right away. I thought, maybe it’s a bit easier to get into. I was wrong. It was even more bizarre than Horses. I felt compelled to keep giving her a chance, but I still wasn’t invested in Patti.

I was encouraged by fellow punk fans to keep trying “Horses” After the fourth or fifth listen, it started to click. This was such a deep, interesting album. Eventually it became another album I could not get off my turntable.

Patti Smith played NYC a lot. I finally went to see her. After her live show, I was not a fan. I was in love. Her live performance was phenomenal. She played for over 3 hours and her ability to connect with her audience was on the level of Jim Morrison and Mick Jagger. That good. I have been a huge fan ever since. Seen Patti Smith about 7 or 8 times. She is an emotional artist, so if she is in the mood, she will be amazing, but sometimes she gives less than her best. This always bothered me, but at least she is honest.

I remember when her third album, “Easter” hit. She did a cover of a Bruce Springsteen song called “Because the Night”. By this time, WNEW radio in New York had been one of the few stations playing punk. Vin Scelsa, one of my all time favorite DJ’s, (still on WFUV, Saturday nights at 9pm – Idiot’s Delight) was raving about this new song by Patti Smith. I remember this very specifically. He played “Because The Night” It blew me away and Vin was so taken by it, he played the song at least 5 times in a row. Something that was never done on radio, and still would never happen today. Vin was floored. So was I. “Easter” cemented my love for Patti Smith.

“Horses” is by far her greatest accomplishment and over the years I realized how brilliant that album is and why it belongs in the top 50 of all time by many. I would recommend it to anyone, but buckle your seatbelts and give it a few listens before you run away.

Highlights are “Gloria”, “Free Money”, “Land”, “Horses”, “Redondo Beach”. Oh Hell, the entire album is amazing.

Patti Smith -Horses http://youtu.be/6xjkxYaUD9E

British Invasion 2

The New York punk scene may have only achieved a cult following in the New York area, but it managed to find its way overseas to the UK. England welcomed the punks with open arms. The Ramones toured England and were treated like the new Beatles. Local kids were picking up guitars and forming bands by the hour.

The Clash, The Jam, The Vibrators, The Stranglers, Buzzcocks are some of the UK bands inspired by The Ramones.

One band that got an early buzz in the states were a bunch of lowlife, snotty punks who called themselves Sex Pistols. Managed by Malcolm McLaren, the marketing machine behind the New York Dolls. He discovered them and started his publicity machine to promote the Pistols as the next big thing.

I remember hearing about them before actually hearing them. There was a buzz about the single being released in the states any day. It was supposed to be the angriest music ever recorded and they were due to explode into instant stardom.

Finally, Nipo got the first single. “Anarchy In The UK” was an anthemic, growly, snarly, pissy song over loud searing guitars and a shrieking voice form a guy named Johnny Rotten. I thought, come on, this is a bit ridiculous. But I loved the song. Sure, these guys were pissed, but can they keep it up? Where is the album?

Not signed yet, The Sex Pistols released a second single. “God Save The Queen”. Now this is real. What an amazing record. Politically charged, angry rebellious rock at its best. I was sold. These guys were the real thing. But where is the album?

The Sex Pistols created more self-inflicted harm to their careers early on than any band in the history of music. All on purpose. At first it seemed like a marketing ploy, but it was real. They were real. Johnny Rotten hated the business. He hated rock n roll. He was often quoted as stating the Sex Pistols weren’t here to play rock n roll, they were here to destroy it. (For more on the story behind the Sex Pistols shenanigans, see the movie “The Filth And The Fury”. Required viewing. Excellent movie.)

The album finally came out and did not disappoint. It was one assaulting song after another. Loud, angry, pissy, snotty, smart and fun rock n roll. Some of the best ever recorded. One of my favorite albums.

The Sex Pistols weren’t just some loud rock n roll band. Buy the album and listen to the lyrics. Some brilliant stuff here.

“We’re the flowers in your dustbin. We’re the poison in your human machine. We’re the future, your future. No future for you”(God Save the Queen)

They meant it maaaaan.

They hated everything about established rock n roll. They hated anything corporate. True revolutionaries and rebels. It was James Dean with a vomit stain.

You couldn’t help but join the cause. I hated established rock at this point. I was almost tempted to burn all my hard rock records. Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, etc. were suddenly irrelevant to me. I hated them with a passion now. Mad Jim was confused by the whole thing.

They succeeded to destroy rock n roll. then they quit. The best thing they could have ever done.

The Pistols may have died, but never lost their edge even years later. When invited to join the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, they declined the invite and Johnny Rotten wrote a letter calling their organization a “piss stain“. How can you not love this guy.

Johnny Rotten went on to become Johnny Lydon and formed Public Image Ltd., which he described as the anti-rock band that refused to conform to any kind of labeling.

I saw PIL on their first tour. They performed most of their set behind a white blank screen, unseen. People threw bottles and bayed at them. Finally, Johnny came out for one or two songs, spit beer on people, snarled. and half heartedly sang a few songs. It was exactly what I expected and it was worth every penny.

Other “British Invasion 2″ bands from the punk scene emerged. The Clash were intelligent, politcally charged, angry and very talented. Musically and lyrically better than any other band of that era. The Clash debut was probably the best album that came out of the British punk scene. Joe Strummer is a genius in the category of John Lennon and Bob Marley. And that is not just me talking. Many agree.

The Jam had a Who-based sensibility only faster, louder and angrier than the Who ever were. Paul Weller at just 17 years old was as worldly as any veteran rock musician.

The Stranglers debut album had some excellent keyboard treatments to go with the growling snarl of Hugh Cornwell on vocals.

I loved most of the British punk bands. As ususal, I bought it all.

 Like, the American bands, the Brits were also having a hard time getting any acceptance in the US. Radio airplay was practically non-existant, wtih the exception of a couple of NY stations like WNEW and WPIX.

They eventually became more about fashion than music, so in a way it suffered. WIth the exception of The Clash, the British punk scene faded quickly. Within a year, it was almost dead, but the mark it left resonates even to this day. An amazing period in British music.

Sex Pistols – God Save The Queen http://youtu.be/8z2M_hpoPwk

25 Albums – Turn on that Television #13

With the sudden flow of interest in the New York punk rock scene, record companies seemed to be forming overnight to sign new bands. Hoping for some airplay on the radio and the possibility of building a fan base, albums by bands like The Dead Boys, Talking Heads, The Shirts, Richard Hell & The Void Oids were being released almost daily. I bought them all because I was hooked on this new sound. Every album by these bands offered something new and exciting.

The suburban rock fans absolutely hated the whole punk scene. It was like poison to them. They not only hated it, they wanted to kill every artist and hated everyone who listened to it,  or so it seemed. It was impossible to turn anyone into a fan. you either got it or you didn’t. Mad Jim stayed away from it. He never caught the bug.

Punk concerts were a danger. Many of these new bands would try to open for the mainstream rock bands, only to get booed and have bottles thrown at them. They had a home in a place in the Bowery called CBGB. A dingy little bar on the lower east side of Manhattan. It was a piss stained, sticky floored, smelly disgusting place that felt like a fire hazard. Wonderful. The other venue that welcomed the punks was Max’s Kansas City. An upscale version of CBGB but just as grungy, in a good way.

Nipo and the gang of punks at Record Stop were as puzzled as I was as to why this wasn’t catching on.

Another Thursday night and Nipo is excited, once again, about a new NYC band that have been around the scene since it’s inception and finally released their first album. The band was Television. The album was  “Marquee Moon”

This album was so good it had to break the scene wide open. Or so we were convinced. It had guitar solos, technique and long songs. Something that was clearly missing in just about every punk release. It had to be the bridge that would bring NY punk to the masses, right?

Nope. It failed, just like all the others. To this day I don’t know why.

Nowadays, Television are considered visionaries. Bands like The Strokes hail them as their biggest influence.

Tom Verlaine’s vocals and strange lyrics were the center of the band. Verlaine and Richard Lloyd shared the guitar work that was so unusual compared to the typical guitarists of the era. It had a street feel and a raw energy that hadn’t been explored. Television had a certain sound that the other bands lacked. The only one that came close was Patti Smith, who I plan on discussing at length later.

The Ramones and The Dead Boys were the dumb side of punk (on purpose), but Television, Talking Heads and Patti Smith supplied the sophisticated side. Smart, poetic, with an artistry that expanded the horizons of the whole movement.

“Marquee Moon” is an amazing album and should be in every rock fan’s collection. It’s interesting, musically innovative and one of the finest albums to come out in the 70’s.  They followed it up with a mediocre album called “Adventure” and sadly broke up shortly after.

Tom Verlaine came out with some solo albums but none matched that triumphant debut.

Television – Marquee Moon http://youtu.be/jlbunmCbTBA

25 Albums – She’s an 11 and #14

The great thing about the New York punk scene is how diverse it was. It was more than just the three chord genius of The Ramones. Another group emerged on the scene with a female out front. Not just your ordinary female. The hottest woman on the face of the earth. I am talking about Debby Harry. On the 1-10 scale, she was an 11. An 11 damn it.

One thing that was happening back then was bands would first put out a single. Of course Record Stop was right on top of this marketing ploy. I would buy the single and listen to both sides and immediately fall in love with most of the new bands. Then it felt like forever before an entire album would come out. I wanted to be at the record factory taking it hot off the press.

Blondie was one of those bands that had a single called “X Offender”, backed with “In The Sun”. A poppy 50’s inspired gem on each side with just the right amount of raw unpolished energy that spoke to me.

Finally, the album arrives. I took it home and played side A, then I turned it over and played Side B, then I turned it over and played Side A, then I turned it over and played Side B. This continued for about 3 weeks straight. I don’t think I slept. I just listened to this album. I could not get this thing off my turntable. It was so unbelievably wonderful. Why this is never mentioned as a perfect pop record, I will never understand. It’s just perfect.

The first 4 songs tell a story of a hooker and the cop she is secretly in love with. It was West Side Story meets The Bowery. It’s 50’s sensibility with 60’s girl group flavor and punk attitude. It’s a perfect blend of everything that is great about pop music, yet unrecognized as such.

I tried so hard to get people to understand how great this album is, but usually failed.

Saw Blondie 5 times back in their prime and they were wonderful. My infatuation with Debby Harry was probably unhealthy, but damn she was gorgeous.

However, when I found out she was 32 years old I felt a little grossed out (funny to think of that now that I am 55), but she was still an 11.

Blondie made 4 perfect albums, but I think they became too popular for their own good.

Blondie hit it big with “Heart of Glass” and even bigger with “Call Me”. Eventually, they earned their place in pop history and received all the well deserved accolades.

However, that first album still has a place in my heart and always will.

Did I mention how hot Debby Harry was?

Blondie – X Offender http://youtu.be/E_xbzVtZM9c