The POPPEES [New York City, New York]
Biography The POPPEES The Poppees were from New York, booking at Max's or CBGB with their Mersey sound as far back as `75. Their sole discography consists of two 45's released on Bomp. Your interest to the former will largely be determined by the interest you have for the Merseybeat sound (as great as the song was, the performance may sound a bit too revivalist now, but don't forget it was back in `75!), while the flip was a cover of "The Love Of The Loved" a Lennon/McCartney original penned for Cilla Black. "Jealousy", the great A-side of the latter dropped the vintage approach for a more `70s-oriented production thanks to a clever Cyril Jordan production. Both are recommended with a special mention to "Jealousy", somewhat of a lost pop classic. They also had recorded circa `76 a LP of Beatles' songs for Laurie Records under the name Liverpool Five. The band now remember rockin' the house a certain night at CBGB : "the place was littlerally crawling with record industry heavy hitters, Seymour Stein from Sire Records came down to check out and sign Mink DeVille..... and walked out signing the Tuff Darts..... and so it went!...". Not long after,The Poppees split up into two groups, giving way to the Boyfriends and Sorrows.
  • Arthur Alexander : guitar,vocals (1,2)
  • Jet Harris : drums (2)
  • Pat Lorenzo : bass,vocals (1,2)
  • Bobby Dee : guitar,vocals (1,2)
  • Discography
  • 7" « If She Cries » b/w « The Love Of The Loved » (USA [Bomp! #103] 8/1975)
  • 7" « Jealousy » b/w « She's Got It » (USA [Bomp! #106] 1978)
  • [Unreleased] According to Arthur Alexander, there's quite a bit of stuff that, so far, never saw the light of day. There is, for instance, a version of "Jealousy" the Poppees recorded as their first "professional" demo, along with a killer cover version of "Since I Fell For You". Plus a whole bunch of assorted live stuff. All this stuff is crying out for a CD compilation.
  • The PRANKS [Santa Barbara, California]
    Biography The Pranks were a Santa Barbara band led by Jeffrey Foskett and Randelle Kirsch. It seems that a lot of power pop bands started out as Beatles/Merseybeat tribute bands not unlike an anachronistic, even if apparently popular, answer to the British invasion. That was firstly the case for Jeffrey Foskett circa `74 when he played in a band named Reverie Rhythm Rockers. Randelle Kirsch joined him in 1975 and suggested to play originals instead of only covers. Foskett recently remembered during an interview "There was a concert by a local, semi-legendary Santa Barbara group named The Spoilers. After Randelle and I saw them, we went home and wrote 10 songs in that one night that ended up becoming The Pranks standards (...) The Pranks was all original music with Foskett on bass guitar and Kirsch on lead, and Reverie was all covers with Foskett on lead and Kirsch on bass (...) That was 1979". In fact, they were about to be signed by Warners but that deal never took place because the major label gave eventually Marshall Crenshaw preference over The Pranks. Soon Foskett was invited to tour with the Beach Boys, something he did for the next ten years or so. Too bad! because the band had great originals which tilted towards the classic-retro (perfectly assimilated) sound of the power pop spectrum, with a spontaneous emphasis on Merseybeat and a snappy `79 approach. "Tell Me", "Eb", "Dance Floor", "I Won't Make You Cry", "I Don't Want To Lose The Feeling","Next Time" would have deserved to be considered as genuine pop standards. Twenty years later hopefully the Pranks stuff might be released one day.
  • Jeffrey Foskett : vocals,bass guitar
  • Randell Kirsch : vocals,lead guitar
  • Discography
  • [Unreleased] (circa `78-`8?)
    Biography Chicago-area band ?
  • 7" « I'm Falling » b/w « I Wanna Make You » (USA [Bowtie #PO1] 1982) The A-side sounds like a Material Issue track. Personally, I prefer the flip which is more 60s-influenced.
  • PRIX [USA]
    Biography feat. J.Tiven and T.Hoehn.
  • EP 7" « Girl »« Everytime I Close My Eyes » b/w « Zero » (USA [Ork #81979] 1977)
  • 7" « Everytime I Close My Eyes » b/w « Love Tonight (Saturday's Gone) » (USA [Miracle #MR22222] 3/1978)
  • The PRODUCERS [Atlanta, Georgia]
    Biography [Wayne Famous (keyboards,vocals), Van Temple (guitar, vocals), Kyle Henderson (lead vocal, bass), Bryan Holmes (drums, vocal)]
  • LP « The PRODUCERS » (USA [Portrait #?] 1981)
  • LP « YOU MAKE THE HEAT » (USA [Portrait #?] 1982)
  • The PUDZ [Seattle ?, USA]
    Biography Powerpop/punk.
  • 7" « Take A Letter Maria » b/w « Take Me To Your Leader » (USA [Teenie Wompum #1981] )
  • 7" « Complicated Girl » b/w « Outta My Mind » (USA [Permanent Press #Press 2] 1981) Released on the Ray "Paul" Klimek's Permanent Press label in 1981. With slight mod-punk elements but a definite powerpop feel (like The Beat doing The Jam or something like that), both sides of this single are very good -- with a special mention to "Complicated Girl" -- and will bring you back to this very special feeling of the pop effervescence circa 1978.
  • PUSHUPS [SF area, California]
  • 7" « Global Corporation » b/w « Empty Faces » (USA [Pop Up Discs #1979] )
  • The QUICK [USA]
  • LP « MONDO DECO » (USA [Mercury #SRM-1-1114] 1976)
  • EP 10" « In Tunes With Our Times » : b/w (USA [Fan Club] 1978?)
  • QUINCY [Haddon Heights, New Jersey]
    Biography Hailed from Haddon Heights, NJ. The band played the New Jersey scene as well as clubs such as CBGB's, opening for bands like Squeeze, circa 1979. Being signed to Columbia in 1980, they released a self-titled LP and eventually splitted in 1982.
  • Brian Butler : lead vocals
  • Steve Butler : guitar, back. vocals
  • Gerald Emerick : bass, lead vocals
  • Metro : keyboards
  • Bob Holden : drums
  • Discography
  • LP « QUINCY » (USA [Columbia #NJC36471] 1980) With two distinct lead vocalists (Emerick & B. Butler) the LP offered a fair variety of pretty good songs, despite a new wavey production that might leave listeners in no doubt about what the early `80s would become music-wise. A lots of keyboards and jerky bass, but sometimes it showed up an undeniable "pop" craftsmanship (in the early Stiff vein, sometimes one might have the impression of hearing the nervous voice of Wreckless Eric or the likes of Elvis C.) with hanclaps ("Stop Now"), catchy melodies and hooks (Tulsa pop-influenced "Just A Tragedy" or "Stuck On You", "Dime Store Lies"). The sound is a bit dry (not a bad thing) and that new wave spririt could dishearten some powerpop aficionados twenty years later. Nevertheless I would qualify it as a pretty good pop record. Hmm, a little irrelevant to the powerpop topic ? well, please think about it and send your opinions.
  • RADIO CITY [Long Island, New York]
    Biography Seems to be one of the great unsigned bands from the late 70's and early eighties. No official releases although Kenny Laguna (from the ORIGINAL Bubblegum stable of Kasenetz/Katz over at Buddha Records) did produce a standout track called "Little Runaway". They are remembered as doing Pure Power Pop! in the classic style. Songs were penned by Gary Feldman and Mark Silvert but it was Gary's songs that set the tone for the band. Doug Khazzam (aka Buddy Love) : "His songs were a GIGANTIC influence on me at a time when I was just learning how to write. When Alan and I started formulating Buddy Love, we styled alot of the sound after Radio City.".
  • Gary Feldman : Bass, Vocals
  • Mark Silvert : Guitar, Vocals
  • Bob Carapeza : Drums
  • Gene Bute : Lead Vocals
  • The RAGE [Maryland]
    Biography Although he played in The Doughboys around the early `70s in New Jersey, The Rage was Richard X. Heyman's first real band after he had moved to Maryland. This four-piece band also included Ricky Street, Tommy Keene and Jim Dougherty. The Rage started out in about 1977. Heyman once qualified The Rage as the first melodic Beatlesque band, ahead of their time playing Merseybeat stuff two or three years before bands like The Knack or 20/20. Their repertoire consisted almost entirely of Heyman's original songs. Some of the songs that the Rage used to perform ended up on Richard X. Heyman's early releases : "Oh Johnny Oh!" from Richard's first album "Living Room!!", "Special Love" from his EP "Actual Size", and "Sidetracked" from his 2nd album "Hey Man!". There weren't too many rock'n'roll clubs in the Washington area at that time where they could perform, but they did a lot of shows out at the University of Maryland at a place called the Back Room. Tommy Keene eventually quit the band to join another local band called Razz, and then Richard X. Heyman went to California for several years, before moving back to New York. Ricky Street went on to the Sorrows.[NL]
  • Richard X. Heyman : lead vocals and guitar
  • Ricky "Street" Leigh : bass and vocals
  • Tommy Keene : lead vocals and guitar
  • Jim Dougherty : drums
  • Discography
  • [Unreleased] Only a live radio broadcast exists but has never been released.
    Biography Mike Leigh (not his real name),Rattlers' lead vocalist is Joey Ramone' brother
  • 7" « On The Beach » b/w « Livin' Alone » (USA [Ratso #RR-401] 1980) Joey Ramone sings harmony on the A-side,a silly pleasant beach tune. The flip is equally innocuous pop with interesting lyrical twist preferable to "On The Beach"... [Trouser Press Vol. 7#4,May 1980]
  • The RAVE [New York, New York]
    Biography In his world powerpop report published in March 1978, talking about the New York scene, Bomp honcho Greg Shaw wrote "the most exciting new act to emerge from NY in this vein is undoubtedly The Rave, actually a transplanted St. Louis band whose members currently pay the rent performing in other, more punkoid groups. The Rave's ambition is to be the New Wave version of Abba, with Spector production, 10cc harmonies and Beatles excitement". Sounded great, uh ? I wonder whatever happened to the band ?

    The RAVES [Atlanta, Georgia]
    Biography The RAVES The Raves were a band from Atlanta, GE circa `80 starting out as Nod in the early seventies. Without wishing to offend, the term "obscure band" applies to The Raves. The Raves were totally unknown out of the Atlanta area (even inside "pop circles" in the know) until the early `90s. Indeed a compilation CD "Past Perfect Tense" was released in 1992 thanks to fan Dave Takis, exhibiting an amazing collection of 16 pop ditties from various `80s sessions with hints of Badfinger, Raspberries and sixties pop. Led by the Yoakum brothers, not unlike the inevitable Dwight Twilley, The Raves showed off this double legacy rockabilly/pop in the most genuine way there is since they were sons of a SUN Records recording artist who worked with producer Sam Phillips BEFORE Elvis was signed by SUN. Nod, the early incarnation of this four-piece combo, had a "style was more geared toward Badfinger's style of rock" but such hints still subsisted in The Raves music. Bear in mind that they always "considered themselves contemporaries of the groups coming out at the beginning of the 1970's", and you have all ingredients for cooking up one of the most exciting slice of "garage pop" history, if it ever existed.
  • LP « COLOR OF TEARS » (USA [Hologramophone Records #TLEE 04300] 1984) A posthume record
  • CD « PAST PERFECT TENSE » (USA [Hologramohone Music] 1980-1989,1992) The CD includes six tracks from "Color Of Tears" (i.e. with "Answering Box" & "What I'm Hearing From You" left out), four tracks cut around the same period as the LP but unreleased until the CD came out (I Cant Take Anymore / Make Up Your Mind / When She's Gone / Anyway You Can) and six newer songs. These 6 songs were from the same period but recut for the CD during the 1989 sessions. Lost gems like "Bet You're Lonely Too", "Chastity", "Whatever She Says", "Nevermore" etc. wouldn't have trouble in figuring among the best tracks in compilations from labels like Bomp, Titan et al ... on par with the Romantics, 20/20, Flamin'Groovies, G.Charlson material... !
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