The album collection in chronological order from when it was bought. Revisited one at the time. Part 3, Spring 1988.
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers | It’s Time For… | Rough Trade 1986 |
This album is summer to me. To be just about sixteen and hear “Just About Seventeen” for the first time was just about right on time. I immediately fell for Richman’s naive and almost childlike qualities, but behind the immediate charm are somber songs (“Ancient Long Ago”, “When I Dance”, “The Desert”) with enduring qualities lasting way past being seventeen and well into adulthood. This album still evokes the endless summer days of youth.
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy | Rock-It To Stardom | Big Beat 1985 |
Yee-haw, this is a way out rodeo ride from the cattle ranch to outer space and back by the one and only Legendary Stardust Cowboy from Lubbock, Texas. “Paralyzed” is the obvious novelty hit here; jaw-dripping hilarious and remarkably addictive. The Ledge made some wild rockabilly/psychobilly stuff back in the days, sometimes out of tune – “Who’s Knocking On My Door!” barely holds together and “Fly Me to the Moon” is, well, let’s say a bit weirder than Sinatra’s smooth version. “I Walk a Hot Wind” wouldn’t be totally off on a Cramps-album, and so it goes. Rock-it to Stardom is one helluva joyride even though it’s a bit overwhelming to digest all at once. Bowie was a fan and a friend, and supposedly invented Ziggy Stardust based on this here cowboy. The Ledge is still out there; whooping and a hollering to the moon.
Various artists | Don’t Shoot | Zippo/Demon 1986 |
Americana or alt.country were not frequently used terms when these (mainly) L.A cowpunks came riding into town. This collection serves as a great introduction to the scene, including core figures from bands like The Long Ryders, Green on Red, The Rain Parade, Giant Sand and many others doing a fine mix of covers and originals. Danny & Dusty kicks the whole thing off with previously unreleased “Bend in the Road”, the outlaw brotherhood anthem is still the highlight from an album filled with delightful neon dust from the sunset highway.
Dead Kennedys | Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables | Cherry Red 1981 |
Dead Kennedys | Plastic Surgery Disasters | Alternative Tentacles 1982 |
Dead Kennedys | Bedtime For Democracy | Alternative Tentacles 1986 |
Dead Kennedys | Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death | Alternative Tentacles 1987 |
In the summer of 1988 a friend of mine sold his LP’s when switching over to CD. I couldn’t afford buying a whole lot, but I managed to get hold of four albums by Dead Kennedys and almost completed their catalogue in one big swoop. Hit packed Fresh Fruit… and Give Me Convenience… became instant faves, and turned me on to a long and lasting relationship with not only Jello Biafra but to all the tentacles of the Alternative Tentacles universe. I learned a lot from the Kennedys, approving their anger and enjoying their satire. In the era of the Trump Empire a band like Dead Kennedys is sorely missed, even though much of their socio-political message is just as relevant today.
The Replacements | Pleased To Meet Me | Sire 1987 |
The transition from being a underground punk to gain mainstream fame reached its zenith with ‘Nevermind’ topping the charts in the early 90s. But the road to Nirvana started some years before, and The Replacements is a prime example of this journey (they even got their own “Never Mind” here). This is of course mockingly illustrated with the cover art, and in the music. Without losing sight of their punk roots in Minneapolis, this is the sound of a band growing up and – under the supervision of Jim Dickinson in Memphis – entangling deeper and wider than ever before. The Replacements were never about perfection, faults and flaws played an integral part of their sound and was something they built their entire recording career on. But they never sounded so imperfectly perfect as on Pleased To Meet Me. I’m still listening, looking at the stars and dreaming of the skyway.
Motor Boys Motor | Motor Boys Motor | Albion 1982 |
Taking their name from Joe Strummer’s 101’s song, Motor Boys Motor made just one album before guitarist Bill Carter and bassist Chris Thompson formed the Screaming Blue Messiahs. They were children of the pub rock craze, spiced up with avant rock influences (Beefheart, Pere Ubu) and R&B/blues roots. Some cool moments here and there, some silly ones (“Here Come the Flintstones”), they never really surpass the killer opening track “Drive Friendly” and never got quite as hazardous as the striking cover art.
deLillos | Suser avgårde | Sonet 1986 |
Det må ha vært sommeren 1985. Jeg hørte fast på Ungdommens Radioavis på den tiden – mediemangfoldet var noe begrenset – og den sommeren spilte de låtene fra rockemønstringen på høy rotasjon. Jeg husker ikke så mange av de andre finalistene, men “Siste sommerferiedag” med deLillos festet seg umiddelbart – den traff nok en dypt iboende melankolsk nerve – og ble min favorittlåt det året. Jeg satt hjemme og ventet på at den kanskje skulle komme, hver lørdag tror jeg det var, for det var ingen andre muligheter enn å sitte foran radioen og vente. Litt senere hørte jeg «Johnny Fredrik» og så viste Halvsju videoen til “Tøff i pyjamas”, og sammen med Jokke ble deLillos mitt første og største norske favorittband. Suser avgårde er den eneste LP-platen i samlingen som jeg faktisk kjøpte først på CD – i 1987 må det ha vært, deretter på nytt igjen på LP året etter. Uansett format, ‘Suser avgårde’ er en fantastisk bra plate, fri for dødpunkter, som hver gang gjenskaper følelsen av ungdom og sommer, der naivisme og uskyld møter gryende voksenalvor og usikkerhet. Jeg var allerede godt kjent med musikken til R.E.M, The Chills og Jonathan Richman, og det var først og fremst i denne musikalske tradisjonen deLillos hørte hjemme i mitt hode. Men de sang på norsk, og de talte til meg uten omveier. Det var ikke noe jeg heller ville bli enn en forsoffen student som flanerte langs brosteinslagte bygater, gå på fester med søte piker og drøssevis av vinkasser, ja bare suse avgårde inn i livet.