Arguing over who was the first to invent punk music is a treasured passtime of the rock music geek. Whether or not Jonathan Richman has the greatest claim to this is open to debate. Listening to this, it is hard to believe the recording dates as far back as 1971. What is beyond reasonable doubt is the supreme quality of the material included here. Richman's dispassionate, mumbling, "child-like" vocals cannot hide a truly original artist and subtle songwriter.
This album has been hugely hyped and is often referred to as an underground gem. This type of build up can sometimes lead to disappointment. Not in this case. This release includes alternate and worthy versions of "Someone I Care About" and "Modern World".
Perhaps if the Velvet Undeground had emerged ten years later then this is what they would have sounded like. The music is immediate, invigorating and overpoweringly brilliant. Simply magnificent. "Now you say it, Modern Lovers!"
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