The Modern Lovers
The Modern Lovers
Media Condition: VG+
Sleeve Condition: VG+
Genre: Rock, Art, Indie
Notes: Rare find! French pressing. Very light surface noise, vinyl shows light wear and hairlines. Cover has light ringwear and subtle wear overall due to age.
If you like: the art rock and proto-punk of the mid to late ‘70s, The Modern lovers is a name you should know and their eponymous album, an essential for your collection.
About: Singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman is sufficiently well-established as a solo artist, and it’s easy to overlook the fact that the moniker sometimes used for his backing band, The Modern Lovers, was once connected to a coherent group of which Richman was a member. The Boston-based group The Modern Lovers is of such significance to American underground rock that they deserve separate consideration from Richman’s own body of work, although many of the songs they recorded carried over into Richman’s solo career and were used as the flagstones on which it was built.
In 1975, Beserkley collected the various demos they could access of Richman’s earlier group and pulled them together into the album The Modern Lovers, which was released on Beserkley’s Home of the Hits subsidiary in 1976. Given the piecemeal nature of its assemblage, Richman does not recognize it as his “first album,” awarding that distinction instead to 1977’s Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers, an album with a wholly different band, vibe, and approach. But The Modern Lovers was instantly recognized as a classic, and still came out in enough time to strongly influence aspiring punk rock musicians on both sides of the Atlantic, including The Sex Pistols, whose cover version of “Road Runner” is one of the high points in their otherwise largely dismal sophomore effort, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle. It is not out of merely idle adulation that Trouser Press critic Ira Robbins once dubbed The Modern Lovers “one of the truly great art rock albums of all time.” The Modern Lovers was at one time the hottest unsigned live act in America, and their surviving work forms a pivotal link between The Velvet Underground and the punk rock movement that was yet to emerge.*Uncle Dave Lewis
A favorite track: Pablo Picasso