RECORD reviewer Kevin Bryan shares his take on live recordings from The Knack and Third Ear Band, as well as a retro version of John Fred and his Playboy Band.
This Los Angeles-based power pop quartet made an immediate impact on the singles charts around the world with the memorable “My Sharona” in 1979, but were never quite able to recapture that tumultuous success in the following years. though he was still plying his trade with much of their former enthusiasm when this live set was captured for posterity in September 2001.
Their set list was generously sprinkled with catalog gems such as “Good Girls Don’t”, “Oh Tara” and, of course, “My Sharona”.
Doug Feiger and his bandmates also tackled Monkees covers of “The Doors”, “Break On Through” and “Last Train To Clarksville” with widely varying degrees of success.
Third ear band, Hydrogen/Live Jukebox Songs (Voiceprint)
The absorbent Hydrogen Jukebox Songs serves up an assortment of experimental recordings made by Third Ear Band percussionist Glen Sweeney and some of his like-minded musical cohorts in 1972 alongside three much more song-oriented creations from two decades later, including the seven-minute epic “Behind The Pyramids”.
As a bonus, shrewd buyers are also rewarded with the musical content of one of this tough outfit’s 1990 gigs, with the band’s current incarnation offering sweeping revamps of two tracks from their 1969 debut set, “Egyptian Book of the Dead”. ‘ and ‘Song of the Pyramid’.
John Fred and his Playboy Band, Judy disguised with glasses (Liberation Hall / Wienerworld)
This ear-pleasing anthology draws attention to the collected works of John Fred and his Playboy Band, the Louisiana brass-led band only remembered these days for their contagious 1968 million seller, ” Judy in Disguise With Glasses”.
These classic one-hit wonders sadly couldn’t conjure up a successful sequel to their quirky pastiche of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” but 60s pop enthusiasts should still find plenty to appreciate in their soulful brand. of melodies. make music anyway.
Written by Kevin Bryan