MP3 John Wicks and The Records - Rotate
Long-awaited 2007 U.S. incarnation of hit-making power-pop band, The Records, fronted by original U.K. band co-founder, John Wicks, who co-wrote all their original material.
12 MP3 Songs
POP: Power Pop, ROCK: Classic Rock
"Rotate" - New John Wicks and the Records!
Review from PowerPop Blogspot
Monday, April 30, 2007
Thanks to the kind offer from NYMary and Steve to contribute to PowerPop, it''s a thrill to offer my first post! The timing could not have been more fortuitous as woofers and tweeters at Chez Charlemagne have been working overtime thanks to the stalwart representative of the USPS who slipped John Wicks and the Records'' long-awaited anthology "Rotate" through my mail slot last weekend.
The Records have always been "Top of the Pops" in my pantheon of powerpop purveyors. At the time the band released their genre-defining first single "Starry Eyes" in 1978, I was a punk rocker who took Joe Strummer and the Clash''s admonition in "1977" about "no Elvis, Beatles, or the Rolling Stones" a bit too seriously. The punk party line told us we were fighting a musical revolution and anything that came before had to be destroyed! But after hearing the four minutes and twenty-three seconds of "Starry Eyes" that punk rock epistemology was forever discredited for me. By seamlessly melding the amphetamine rush of punk with the crystalline jangle of vintage Brit-invasion the song singlehandedly reunited me with my rock and roll roots the Beatles, the Raspberries and Blue Ash and led me to discover other kindred spirits like Shoes and 20/20 who were re-imagining the classic pop rock repertoire of the 60s and early 70s.
That brings us to "Rotate." The Records went on to release three classic LPs in their heyday: "Shades in Bed" (1979), "Crashes" (1980), and "Music on Both Sides" (1982), but by the mid-80s they were finished. John''s musical efforts in the intervening period were high quality, but unfortunately infrequent. He contributed tracks to several compilations (a lovely version of the Beach Boys'' "Darlin''" to "Smiles, Vibes & Harmony – A Tribute To Brian Wilson" in 1990 and "Her Stars are My Stars" to "Yellow Pills, vol. 3" in 1995 to name a few) and as John Wicks and the Records he released the great "Rock''ola" on the Spanish label Rock Indiana in 1998. While John continued to record and play live, fans of the Records have anxiously awaited a new long player for nearly 10 years. That wait is now over.
"Rotate" reworks 4 stellar tracks from "Rock''ola" and adds 8 new recordings to the mix. It could just have easily been called "Revolve(er)" as John''s musical palette continues to mirror the Records'' classic sound, one that is heavily influenced by middle-period Beatles songcraft. As in his previous work, John''s penchant for crafting gorgeous melodies remains undiminished. Stellar tracks include the opener "Oh Yeah!" with its infectious chorus and "That Girl is Emily" which utilizes a sweet, slighly lysergic circular guitar motif that immediately places the song high on the list of great rock tunes written about girls named Emily. "Different Shades of Green" and "So Close to Home" are instant powerpop classics which would have fit comfortably on "Crashes" with their shimmering guitar work and anthemic choruses. Of the new tunes, many like "Rotate" and "Desert Sky" explore decidedly darker themes of crisis, despair, and redemption than John''s earlier work. One of the standouts of this song cycle is "The Lost Years," a touching autobiographical song chronicling John''s post-Records depression and recovery. "Rotate" closes with a stripped-down version of the Beatles'' "We Can Work it Out" that brings the listener back full circle and is a fitting tribute to John''s foremost musical influence.
"Rotate" is a must-have for Records fans and true powerpop aficionados. Without question, John Wicks remains at the top of his game and continues to make great music . . . Get it now!
Posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:51 AM, 4/30/07