Saturday, May 11, 2013

Various Artists - Beserkley Chartbusters Volume 1

Various Artists – Beserkley Charbusters Volume 1
Beserkley, 1975
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2013
Price: $1.50

I bought this four Jonathan Richman tracks because all the Modern Lovers albums we got in at the store were way to expensive. The rest of the tunes by Earth Quake, Greg Kihn, and Rubinoos are pretty much standard power pop and tend to suffer (Earth Quake especially) from the cock rock tendencies of 1970s rock n’ roll. But the Jonathan Richman tracks are fantastic. I believe the versions of “Road Runner” and “Government Center” precede their definitive release on The Modern Lovers in 1976, and considering that those tracks are timeless monoliths of pop music, they sound great any way you spin them. “The New Teller” is one I had never heard and is pretty great and helped me realize that as long as I don’t listen to huge chunks of Jonathan Richman I really truly love him. Big chunks, like that one compilation of his Beserkley years I found at St. Louis Park and could never make it all the way through, not so much. But song by song he’s wonderful. Greg Kihn’s tracks aren’t half bad, but they do suffer from being little corny (but you know, it’s a sign of the times and the only way Richman avoids corniness is because he totally embraces it).


  1. Hi Mr. this is Angel from Spain. First thing... you have a nice blog and second thing sorry for the poor english.
    Well, i take a look fot the half price books website and i can tell the prices i found are not the cheap prices that you get in your boughts. If was possible find beach boys, jonathan richman, Band of Horses records for two or three dollars i will buy a ship full of records. What's the secret?? Buy in the shop and run scared from the web site?? Thanks!!

  2. The Chartbusters album was recorded and released in 1975. The Modern Lovers album came out in 1976...but the music on it was recorded in the early 1970s. On the Chartbusters album, you can hear Richman singing on the Kihn song "All The Right Reasons," right at the end. The Chartbusters tracks received a lot of local airplay on KSAN, here the the Bay Area.