Saturday, July 30, 2016

40 Year Itch : De-doily Doidy Doit Doit Doit Doit Diddle

Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers : Important in Your Life

"The band has to learn volume and how to play softer. At this stage, infants wouldn't like us because we hurt their little ears and I believe any group that would hurt the ears of little infants--and this is no joke--sucks"
Jonathan Richman, 1973

 The original Modern Lovers masterpiece fore-shadowed punk rock, but by the time it was finally released in the Summer of '76, the band's leader, Jonathan Richman, had been having a hate affair with electricity going on for nearly three years. There was no way to convince Richman to regroup with the Modern Lovers to hit the road and help sell the critically acclaimed album. 

   What was Jonathan up to? The answer was released on July 30, 1976 as Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.

Richman had ditched the old garage rock sound for something quiter , almost childlike and naive. There are songs like "Hey There Little Insect" and "Abominable Snowman in the Market" that just annoy the hell out of me ( and don't get me started on "Springtime" or "Amazing Grace"). 

There are some redeeming factors: the cover of Chuck Berry's "Back in the U.S.A.", "New England" ( after all that is the land where I was raised),  and maybe best of all, "Important In Your Life" which is a blueprint for the best love songs he'd be recording for the next ten years. Jonathan Sings is my favorite of the solo albums.

I'm not sure I have anything to add so I'll just leave you with: 
 de-doily doidy doit doit doit doit diddle

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