By Indie Rock, I'm not talking about the hipster doofus music of today. I'm saying, like, actual independent record company pop rock and roll from the 70's that never became radio hits, but was absolutely awesome and influential to awesome musicians who came later in the game. I'm talking Big Star and Raspberries kinda stuff, ya dig?
This is how I'd classify The Beserkley Chartbusters Vol. 1 comp from the 1975. I passed by this record a few times in shops before recently. I'm actually GLAD I did, because I'm just now at the perfect time in my life to be getting really into it. It's essentially what we call Power Pop in its great mid-70's form. On this comp are Jonathan Richman, The Rubinoos, Earth Quake, and Greg Kihn. Sounds like a motley crew of dudes, but they all kinda rule in their own right.
Jonathan Richman is quite well-known, and is kind of a genius. I have been on a real Jonathan Richman kick lately. I've been telling people, quite honestly, that I'm just kind of in a place in life where his stuff is making perfect sense to me and hitting home. That first Modern Lovers album just totally pegs a lot of feelings I've been having in recent times. This comp features different takes of "Roadrunner" and "Government Center", both of which are great. There's none of the organ from the Modern Lovers' versions (bummer), but there's acoustic guitar, a solid groove, and the usual Richman expressiveness and unbelievable honesty. So I love those tracks. The other two are totally awesome. He was so young. This shit is unbelievable.
The Rubinoos only have one song on here, although they backed Richman on a couple of tracks. I will one day rip and upload one of their LP's, they were great Power Pop. Some of their stuff is kinda eh, but their moments of brilliance are just, like, YES. Cool band. Their contribution to this comp is a nice little tune to introduce you to them.
Greg Kihn is better on his songs on this comp than on his corny 80's hit stuff. He had a sweet voice, and had decent songs. You wouldn't know this was him unless I told you, I promise. Worth a listen.
Earth Quake were kind of the backbone of Beserkley Records. They were a very underground rock band that played great pop stuff, and would be very much on the same playing field as Big Star. You can hear similarities, FOR SURE. Kind of a West Coast version of Big Star, without Alex Chilton or Chris Bell's sweet voices. They do a great cover of The Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind", one of my favorite 60's rock songs, period. I highly recommend you look them up and check out more of their stuff. You'll like their contributions to this album.
So there ya go, this is a great comp of kinda weird, off-radar 70's pop rock that you might like, and should download below, then buy somewhere.