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The Modern Lovers Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Aug. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B0000A5BUA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,590 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Jonathan Richman's nasal little kid's voice and playful innocence turned out to be a perfect detour for the still-young punk movement in the mid-'70s. This 12-song, 1976 album, actually a collection of demos from earlier in the decade, opens with the ultimate Boston driving anthem, "Roadrunner." In addition to its fun, straightforward guitar-and-keyboard songs, such as the anti-drug "She Cracked," the loopy "Pablo Picasso" and the rocking-secretary "Government Center," the album is notable for historical reasons. David Robinson was the Lovers' drummer before he joined the Cars, Jerry Harrison was keyboardist before he joined Talking Heads, and ex-Velvet Underground violist John Cale produced half the tracks. Steve Knopper

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The Modern Lovers' eponymous debut was actually recorded in the early 1970s, making it one of the key proto-punk works - though officially it wasn't released until 1976. Its influence would be apparent on those that followed- The Sex Pistols would cover 'Roadrunner', Siouxsie & the Banshees would use it as a marker for the drum-sound of their debut LP 'The Scream' & the organ-heavy-tight-sound would be apparent on such acts as The Fall, The Blue Orchids & The Teardrop Explodes. I am surprised this album doesn't have more reviews on here - or that it doesn't make those endless best of lists alongside Revolver, OK Computer and the other usual suspects...
This remastered-reissue from 2003 comes with the original nine-track album made by a line-up that included future Talking Head Jerry Harrison and eight-bonus tracks that take in demo-alt-versions of these tracks and several other related songs. The organ-drones, like those of Silver Apples, predict bands like Spacemen 3 and Suicide- the demo-version of 'Someone I Care About' could fit on 'Playing with Fire' (well, perhaps with less chemical-experimentation from Spacemen 3!) The Modern Lovers are very much the missing link between The Velvets and The Voidoids, as the taglines often say & also are part of the U.S. proto-punk set that included Television, New York Dolls, Rocket from the Tombs, Pere Ubu & Kim Fowley.
Jonathan Richman- who probably found his widest audience ever popping up in 'There's Something About Mary' - wrote the songs here (excepting bonus-track I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms, which appears to either quote an Iggy Pop song, or was written with Mr Pop himself; it sounds like a more interesting Ramones!).
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Now all fans of the Lovers and Jonathan Richman can breathe a sigh of relief- the ultimate document of the original band is available. For those that don't know, the Modern Lovers, arguably kick-started the American punk movement, recording a long deleted album much coveted by the Ramones, the Talking Heads and Television. The album with it's basic guitar, bass, drums and farfisa organ sound, stood out from the crowd of other poxy music produced at the time- rocking the New York underground, and still stands out today- witness the sound ripped off wholesale by the Strokes!
The quality of Richman's writing, of course bolstered by suitably caveman music, even at this early stage in his career, confirms that he is one of the greatest treasures in the world of rock and roll. Those of us who follow Richman will all, no doubt, be hugely excited by this timely re-release, not least due to the generous unreleased-track package.
Lets hope that, with its wider release, this wonderful album can now take up its rightful place in amongst the landmarks of rock and roll: as the true start of punk.
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Format: Audio CD
Yes, it's a great album, as everyone knows.

However, the purpose of this review is to warn you to be aware (as I wasn't) that the track listing of this version is not as shown above; it includes only Tracks 1-9 of those shown, and therefore excludes a number of essential songs from the album.

There is another version with a blue cover that's listed on Amazon UK as being by Jonathan Richman (rather than Modern Lovers) and includes most of the extra tracks that aren't on this version.

So, now you know, you pays your money and you takes your choice. Personally, I would have spent a couple of quid more for the other version if I had known. (sigh...)

EDIT: The track listing shown here has now been modified to reflect my comments above, so that's a good thing. Just a bit late for me...!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is a masterpiece. J Richman was in love with the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, and their influence is apparent in all the songs here. But Richman adds his own unique style and charm to the recordings, and the whole thing is a delight. It was released a few years after it was recorded, presumably to cash in on the successful, later, version of "Roadrunner" which was a hit, at least in the UK. The ballads, "Hospital" and "Girlfriend" are beautiful, "Pablo Picasso" is a work of genius, it's all great stuff. His later work was much more childish, still with its own charm, but not a patch on this. There is a version of this album with several bonus tracks including some different songs and some different versions of the songs on the original album - that is the one you should get if you can.
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By Keith M TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Feb. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Many albums of the last 50 or so years have, of course, had chequered recording (and/or release) histories - the debuts of MC5, The Velvet Undergound and Dexy's Midnight Runners, plus The Stone Roses' Second Coming, are some that immediately spring to mind - but this 'debut album' from Boston's own Jonathan Richman's The Modern Lovers takes some beating (being eventually released in its initial form in 1976). What is in no doubt, however, is that the 2003 release of an expanded set of songs (14, plus 3 alternative versions), all recorded between 1971 and 1973 (and variously using producers John Cale, Robert Appere, Alan Mason and Kim Fowley) and based on the earlier 1989 and 1976 album releases, provides a seminal set of songs from a band that essentially represented a key stepping stone between the proto-punk of the Velvets and The Stooges and the fully fledged punk movements (US and UK) of the mid-70s.

Of course, Messrs. Reed and Osterberg themselves were moving on a similar trajectory at about the same time, but if you listen to the likes of She Cracked, Someone I Care About, Modern World and I Wanna Sleep In Your Arms, the origins of Richman's influences are pretty clear (at times Richman's guitar and vocals, and Jerry Harrsion's keyboards are almost indistinguishable from the Velvets' sound) as is the direction in which he would cast greatest influence (bands such as The Damned, Sex Pistols, Subway Sect, Orange Juice, etc). However, what this collection of songs also shows is that, in addition to the band's more notorious 'straight-ahead' songs such as Roadrunner, Astral Plane and Modern World, and the bizarre (and hilarious) quirkiness of Pablo Picasso, Richman was equally adept at the heartfelt (albeit still somewhat unconventional) ballad.
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