Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jonathan Richman- Rockin' And Romance

This week, I have decided to post some albums that I deem, "music you should hear" and hold a special place in my heart. Some of these albums were debuts that I bought when they first were released and I have followed the band ever since, while other albums will be ones that are favourites by that particular artist and have been influential on the music I listen to and follow. As well, I'm a big fan of the 80's and 90's, so if it seems like I'm ignoring "modern music", this is only temporary...bear with me.

When I think of my favourite Jonathan Richman album, Rockin' And Romance always seems be the one I keep coming back to. I have every J.R. release from the 70's and 80's and though the first Modern Lovers album was great and one of the most influential albums of the 70's, the simple charm and humour of Rockin' hasn't been matched since. The first time I saw Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers (at the Winnipeg Folk Festival) was after this album came out, actually it was probably closer to when his next album It's Time For was released and he performed (in a small tent) many songs from Rockin' And Romance. Since this was my first exposure to live J. R. it was a thrill to watch him singing and miming the pitching motions of Walter Johnson and explain how he likes to write songs about almost anything...even a Chewing Gum Wrapper. He brought to life many of the songs from Rockin' and Romance with the enthusiasm and child-like wonder only Jonathan Richman can offer. The album is filled with gems such as UFO Man, The Beach and Vincent Van Gogh, all songs my band has covered at one time or another, so you know I love this album. The sound is sparse, but the sounds are heart-warming and real.

I've been looking for an upgrade for the cassette I made from a friends album back in the mid-80's, but since there was never an "official" CD release of Rockin' And Romance (and I haven't come across another vinyl copy), I've been content with the worn-out tape. I was tempted to buy a custom burned CD from Twin/Tone Records, who are offering it up for $15 on their website. As luck would have it, I recently came across a vinyl-rip on another blog and since I promised in my mind if I get a better sounding copy than the one I have, I'll upload it on this blog.

Rockin' And Romance (1985)
  1. The Beach
  2. My Jeans
  3. Down in Bermuda
  4. The U.F.O. Man
  5. I Must Be King
  6. Vincent van Gogh
  7. Walter Johnson
  8. I'm Just Beginning to Live
  9. The Fenway
  10. Chewing Gum Wrapper
  11. The Baltimores
  12. Up in the Sky Sometime
  13. Now Is Better Than Before


Anonymous said...

The Beach and UFO man! Great songs that I first heard when you played them at music parties or was it just hanging out at your place? Regardless good times and fun songs.

Anonymous said...

Had to get rid of this record because it reminded me of a girl. After a few years, I remembered the record but not so much the girl. By then it was out of print. Thanks for this.

ChrisPlatt said...

Twintone Records owns the rights and can make you a custom-burned CD of Rockin' and Romance.

Unknown said...

A huge thanks for posting Rockin & Romance. I lent my copy out in mid 80s, didn't get it back and have missed it ever since. Much Appreciated, Tim

Tommy C said...

Thanks binky for this Jonathan Richman. I was actually looking for Jonathan Sings! when I came across this one. Do you happen to have Jonathan Sings?
Thanks again.

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