Saturday, April 25, 2015


Yep, these guys have been here before and it's really all on the strength of one LP, their debut. It was pieced together from multiple sessions, but holds together well; it is a great album. If it was all you were exposed to, you would, like I was, be licking your chops for round two. Take a listen to "She Cracked" or "Pablo Picasso" (below) and you'll see why. Having just the one album to go on, you'd assume they were really badass. I did. To further blur things, the only image of the band on the cover was lifted from the poster above. Not very telling, but still registering as somewhere left of tame.

Then the second LP came out, with a different band and a telling title. It was credited to Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. (Raised eyebrow.) It wasn't bad, but it wasn't even the same type of music, not even close. It was practically a kids record. After hearing it and subsequent albums, you, like me, would finally come to the conclusion that he's never going back, and that the first LP was one of those freak albums. Credit has to be given John Cale, who produced the first session that included the best songs on the record. He wrangled something out of them that no one else did. Enough so that a second session with him was aborted because Richman wanted to take it down a notch.

Felice, far left. Smiling fool Richman, center

Here's a few cuts from that first LP, and another 1971 live cut with John Felice, later of the Real Kids, playing with them. He was only in the band for about two months. You fiends may want to check out the recently posted collection of live cuts, dating from  1978 to 1984 at Big O Zine, plus a bonus alternate version of "Modern World" produced by Kim Fowley. And there's also another link to two live sets at Aquarium Drunkard, from 1970 and '71.

Modern Lovers - She Cracked mp3
at The Rising Storm
Modern Lovers - Pablo Picasso mp3
Modern Lovers - Roadrunner mp3
at BlahblahblahScience
Modern Lovers - I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms mp3
at Boogie Woogie Flu Bonus cut on reissue

Modern Lovers, with John Felice - Wake Up Sleepyhead (Live '71) at Still in Rock
More early live:
The Modern Lovers - Live at Stonhenge Club
at Aquarium Drunkard Two sets in one zip. 1970-71 Ipswich, MA.

The Modern Lovers - Various live cuts, '74 - '80, at Big O Zine Plus an alternative version of "Modern World", produced by Kim Fowley.
Jonathan Richman - That Summer Feeling at YouTube Followed by interview, with John Cale and, briefly, Jello Biafra. After the second album, sappiness in effect.
From the same show:
John Cale and Jonathan Richman interview part 1
at YouTube Cale sings
John Cale and Jonathan Richman interview part 2
at YouTube
The Modern Lovers - Extensive profile
at Rock In Boston
The Modern Lovers - Album entry
at Wikipedia

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