Monday, 10 April 2017

1980 Power Pop: Sorrows - Bad Times Good Times 1980 (2010 Bomp) Flac & mp3



Biography

A tough but tuneful new wave pop band from New York City, Sorrows (no "the," please) were formed by guitarist and singer Arthur Alexander in 1977 a few months after the breakup of his influential power pop combo the Poppees. With tongue slightly in cheek, Alexander described his vision for Sorrows as "ABBA meets the Sex Pistols," and he recruited his former Poppees bandmate Jett Harris to play drums in the new group, along with guitarist Joey Cola and bassist Ricky Street. Sorrows soon made a name for themselves on the New York club scene, regularly playing CBGB's, Max's Kansas City, and other hip night spots, and in 1979, the band landed a record deal with Pavilion Records, a division of CBS. But while their debut album, 1980's Teenage Heartbreak, earned enthusiastic reviews and became a cult favorite among pop obsessives, the label's promotion was minimal and the record sold poorly. For their second album, 1981's Love Too Late, Sorrows were paired up with legendary producer Shel Talmy, who in the mid-'60s had worked with the Who, the Kinks, the Creation, and the Easybeats; unfortunately, the idea of working with Talmy was better than the results, and the album didn't fare as well with critics and sold no better than they debut. Sorrows broke up in the mid-'80s and the albums fell out of print, never appearing on CD as they became the stuff of legend among fans of '80s pop. In 2010, Bomp! Records released Bad Times Good Times, a collection of demos and alternate versions of material from Sorrows' debut album; Alexander also announced that Sorrows were playing a handful of reunion shows to support the new album's release, with the possibility of new recordings in the offing.

 The Album:
 After the breakup of Beatles-obsessed power poppers the Poppees, guitarist Arthur Alexander and drummer Jett Harris formed a new band, Sorrows, and while their earlier group struggled to get noticed after releasing a pair of singles for Bomp Records, Sorrows quickly caught the ear of an A&R man at Pavilion Records, an affiliate of CBS Records. Sorrows' debut album, Teenage Heartbreak, arrived in 1980. Unfortunately, the record and its follow-up, 1981's Love Too Late, sank without a trace, thanks to poor promotion by CBS, and while they earned a small cult following among obsessive fans of skinny-tie pop, Sorrows' music has been out of print for decades, making it all but impossible for pop mavens to rediscover them. Bad Times Good Times finally gives Sorrows the second chance they've long deserved; while the liner notes are coy about the source of this material, this appears to be a remixed and reworked version of Teenage Heartbreak, featuring the same 12 songs (with the album's original producer, Mark Milchman, credited with recording) as well as two unreleased demos and a pair of live recordings.
While Alexander's fascination with the Beatles had hardly worn off when he formed Sorrows, the new band boasted the sort of energy and attitude that gave their Merseybeat-influenced melodies a lot more life, and Harris, guitarist/singer Joey Cola, and bassist Ricky Street made for a much tighter and more imaginative band than the Poppees. Alexander and Harris wrote the bulk of the material on Bad Times Good Times, and they'd grown by leaps and bounds as tunesmiths since the Poppees breakup, and while that band's best songs recalled the Fab Four's middling efforts, Sorrows crafted tunes that tipped their hats to rock & roll's past while sounding fresh, lively, and original, and why "Lonely Girl," "Teenage Heartbreak," "I Want You Tonight," or "Bad Times, Good Times" didn't become hit singles can only be attributed to someone at CBS being very much asleep at the switch. The two demos confirm Sorrows had more good tunes left in them -- the rockabilly-flavored "That's Your Problem" and the arty, slightly psychedelic "Silver Cloud" should have made the cut on Love Too Late -- and the live covers of Rolling Stones and Carole King numbers confirm this band burned bright on-stage.
For folks who've been wondering when Sorrows' Teenage Heartbreak would ever arrive on CD, Bad Times Good Times isn't the next best thing, it's an actual improvement over the already fine original, and rescues one of the better pop bands of the '80s from oblivion; folks who like their rhythms peppy, their guitars ringing, and their harmonies tight will find lots to love on this collection.

Wonderful Power Pop from the early eighties.
Hope you will enjoy
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