Saturday, 21 January 2017

Great Buildings Power Pop from early of the eighties!

GREAT BUILDINGS - Extra Epic Everything  (recorded  '80-'82) 2010

Great Buildings were a power pop/new wave group formed in the early '80s by Danny Wilde (vocal/guitar), Richard Sanford (drums), Philip Solem (guitar/vocals), and Ian Ainsworth (bass/keyboard/vocals). They recorded one album for Columbia in 1981 before breaking up a short time later. Wilde went on to release one solo album in 1989 for Geffen before teaming up again with Solem to form the Rembrandts the following year. The Rembrandts released three albums between 1991 and 1995 and found moderate success with "Just the Way It Is, Baby" in 1990 and "I'll Be There for You" (the theme to the television show Friends) in 1995.

The Album:

Great Buildings only released one album, their debut, Apart from the Crowd, in 1981, but they did wind up recording a second album toward the end of that year, an LP that featured the slightly expanded band with keyboardist Mickey Mariano. This album, called Extra Epic Everything, lay unreleased for almost three decades before Wounded Bird finally released it in 2010, fulfilling the wishes of a small, dedicated legion of power poppers who loved Apart from the Crowd along with Danny Wilde and Philip Solem’s subsequent band the Rembrandts. Listening to Extra Epic Everything years later, it’s clear why this record developed something of a cult following, being bootlegged in various forms over the years, and why it wasn’t released at the time. In its favor, the album often crackles with coiled energy, with its best moments snapping with ‘60s guitar hooks and glassy new wave synths.
Counting against it is how it’s clear that the album was made knowing that it was a last-ditch effort for the band to make it, so there are times where it’s clear that the band’s eye was on a radio playlist, whether it’s pushing the synths and rhythms a little too hard (“Your Eyes” winds up in a nowhereland between AOR and new wave), dabbling in drippy ballads, or covering “Cherry Cherry.” All these little detours -- which are never bad, just misdirected -- paradoxically wind up diluting Extra Epic Everything enough to not be especially sellable by 1981-1982 standards, but the melodic strengths of the best material do endure, which is why it’s certainly worth hearing after all these years later…and hearing more than once, too.(S.T. Erlewine)

These guys deserved the success they got later with the Rembrandts. Hope you like it!


  1. First of all, thank you very much for the post, and secondly I must mention that I love when a hole in the universe is filled, a little mystery, one that you didn't even know existed, is cleared up. First of all I bought the Great Building's LP back in the day, loved it. Also enjoyed The Rembrandts. Somehow it had eluded me that there was the connection you've written about. Thank you for that too.

  2. Hello Ruben, it's my pleasure!
    Have a nice day

  3. LIkewise, I hope this doesn't double post. Spinning these tunes right now is making for a great day. Its trying to snow so indoors cozy with the stereo is working for us.