This seems as good a time as any to give credit where credit is due so I'd like to start off by thanking my lovely wife for generously allowing me to buy these back in 1999, 2000 and 2001. The invoice that came with each shipment was not always paid on time but to their credit, Time-Life gave me the benefit of the doubt and simply mailed the next volume and a bill for twice as much. All the images used throughout this series of posts were either borrowed from Allmusic.com (which has really beefed up their cover art library over the past year or so), scanned from my collection and/or manipulated using BeFunky's free Collage Maker. Lastly, thanks to all our loyal viewers of The Hideaway for sticking with us through the recent lack of posts. We should have probably mentioned this earlier but if you've missed any of the previous posts in this series, just click HERE.
Chris Nelson gets his second gig writing liner notes in the series and let us get this right out of the way so we don't have to mention it again: Warner Special Products produced and manufactured all three volumes of Time-Life's Modern Rock collection that we will be reviewing here today. Maybe I shouldn't look at the booklet or the back of the CD case until I actually start listening to the disc. What do you guys do? Read along as you listen or study all the materials before listening? Maybe you have a disinterested third party such as a trained monkey or a child with trusted dexterity put the disc in the tray and then hide the case until after you've heard the whole thing at which point they remove the disc from the player and place it back in the CD case before handing it back to you. I'm just spit-balling here. I'll confess to loving a dozen of the tracks on Modern Rock: The Mid '90s. As for the remaining dozen, I like four of the songs but would probably skip the other eight the next time I listen. Essentially, I could massage the tracklisting into a great "one disc" listen and wind up with a strong 5 but taking into account all the songs presented here what we have here is a weak
For Modern Rock: Lost Hits of the '70s, the first album in the series to bear a 2002 copyright date, Sue Cummings was brought in for liner notes duty. Like the previous album, it turns out I really am into exactly half of the songs on Modern Rock: Lost Hits of the '70s and, not only that, it works out that I actually love half the songs on each disc. I'll take the halving even further and name my top three favorite songs on this album:
- Elvis Costello's "Watching The Detectives" starts off with a distorted(?) drum flourish which I find infinitely appealing and then just keeps getting better as it lopes along from there until the end of the song nearly four minutes later. Produced by Nick Lowe, the single features the rhythm section from Graham Parker's band, The Rumour, backing Costello. Should I ever acquire an actual jukebox that plays 45s, the U.S. single of "Watching The Detectives" (my second favorite song from Costello) on Columbia with "Alison" (my favorite Costello song) as the B-side will be one of the first singles I'll place in it and play;
- "So It Goes" is my second favorite track by Nick Lowe. It is a sticky sweet power pop confection that coincidentally features the same drummer (Steve Goulding of The Rumour) as "Watching The Detectives" and was written and co-produced by Nick Lowe as well. Whoever sequenced this disc knew what they were doing by putting this track after the one from Costello that Lowe produced and before "I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock N Roll)" by Dave Edmunds, which is another Lowe composition. This song was the first single from Stiff Records and while it would be a minor thrill to own a copy of that particular record for my jukebox, I'm more tempted to track down a copy of the Columbia Hall Of Fame 1980 double A-side 45 that features "Cruel To Be Kind" (my favorite Nick Lowe song) on the flip;
- The first time I heard The Knack's "Good Girls Don't" was on a portable eight track player in a tent in someone's backyard. The wasn't so much a fan of The Knack as he was a fan of the "dirty" lyrics in "Good Girls Don't" which immediately precedes "My Sharona" on the tape. Surprisingly, "Good Girls Don't" has never been paired with "My Sharona" on a 45 though the two songs appear on both sides of a 1990 cassingle.
Fun Fact: This fifteen-year-old album of forty-year-old songs is quite possibly the rarest and most sought after volume in the entire Time-Life Modern Rock series. Maybe it was because it was issued near the tail-end of the series but there are several copies up for sale on eBay and Amazon with prices ranging from $89.99 to $149.99. Still, Modern Rock: Lost Hits of the '70s doesn't really do much for me and I give it
😎😎😎😎 I mean
Chris Nelson wrote the liner notes to this collection of mostly punk tunes and with a few track hacks, Loud and Raw becomes my favorite double disc punk anthology. What sort of changes would I make? I'd ditch the Iggy, Echo, Smiths, Cult, Jane's Addiction, and Ministry tunes for one. Then I'd probably double down on The Stooges with "No Fun" and add "I Wanna Be Sedated" (which has already appeared on another volume of Modern Rock) or "Teenage Lobotomy" (which has yet to show up in this series) from the Ramones. I'd add a couple of Clash tracks as they were conspicuously absent from the entire series. Then I'd add a few more tracks by other artists who weren't licensed because that would the punk thing to do. My favorite song on the whole album is "Teenage Kicks" with "Here Comes Your Man" coming in a close second. The stereotypical punk thing to do would be to rate the album a
2 1 0, spit on the audience and then pass-out on stage. But I genuinely appreciate Loud and Raw for what it is and for me it is a
Next time is the last time - we'll review the final three volumes of Time-Life's Modern Rock collection. One album is devoted to cover versions and the final two volumes are aimed squarely at the dance floor: