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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sorrows - Teenage Heartbreak

Name: Sorrows
Album: Teenage Heartbreak
Year: 1980
Style: New Wave, Pub Rock, Power Pop
Similar Bands: Code Blue, Knack, Romantics, Cheap Trick, Marshall Crenshaw, A's, Steve Forbert, The Animals
"One Word" Review: oldie-trained energetic-power-wave
Based Out Of: NYC
Label: Pavillion, CBS Records
Teenage Heartbreak: Cover, Sleeve, Record
Teenage Heartbreak: Back, Sleeve, Record
Teenage Heartbreak(1980)
  1. Teenage Heartbreak 2:35
  2. I Don't Like It Like That 3:25
  3. Bad Times Good Times 2:24
  4. I Want You Tonight 2:49
  5. Lonely Girl 3:04
  6. She Comes and Goes 3:44/
  7. Can't Go Back 3:56
  8. All You Gotta Say 2:48
  9. I Want You So Bad 1:57
  10. Can't You Tell a Lie 3:24
  11. Second Chance 2:41
  12. Television 3:42
Album Rating (1-10): 8.5

Members & Other Bands:
Jett Harris - Drums, Bass (Tangent, The Shadows, Cliff Richard, )
Joey Cola - Guitar
Ricky Street - Vox, Bass (Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Rick James, Smokey Robinson, Popees, Tang S'Dang)
Arthur Alexander - Vox, Guitars (Popees)
Ann Ruckert - Backing Vox
Ellen Foley - Backing Vox (Pandora's Box, Meatloaf, Clash, Joe Jackson, Nona Hendryx, Ian Hunter)
Ellie Greenwich - Backing Vox (The Raindrops, Spector, Greenwich & Barry)
Karla DeVito - Backing Vox (Meatloaf, Blue Oyster Cult, Rick Derringer, Dan Hicks & Hot Licks)
Mikie Harris - Backing Vox (The Playboys, Prince, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters)
Susan Hall - Backing Vox (Moon Martin, Neil Young)
Janet Perr - Design
Mark Milchman - Engineer 
Bill Stein - Additional Engineer Mixing
Roni Jane Feldman - Asst. Engineer
John Luongo - Mixing, Producer
Jimmy Maelen - Percussion (Velons, Ambergris, Latin Dimension, Shobizz, Doobie Brothers, The Jacksons)
Elisabeth Wolynski - Photography
Elliot Apter - Producer

Unknown-ness: Never heard of this band, but I love the simple color scheme/font and the leftover set look of the cover. Thin ties and business/leather jacket say more about the style than any words you could use to label what I’m sure will be on this record: new wave power-pop. Even more assurance rests in the production year of 1980.

Album Review: So unhappy with the final production of the single and album title track, they re-recorded and re-released the album with a new title, “Bad Times, Good Times” back in 2010, and presumably after the rights to this album “Teenage Heartbreak” expired with CBS/Sony.

“Teenage Heartbreak” starts with a couple power chords and jangley pop in support. There is a slight surf tempo, and a powerful pub rock energy to the vocals once he lets himself go. The song is very formulaic, and catchy. There are oldies elements, and basically it is just an 80’s update to the oldies sound.
“I Don't Like It Like That” is a little darker, starting with a waltz intro. It also has a touch of psychedelic production with the backing chorus and bass line. The vocals have a lot of nasally emotion to them, especially in the bridge. This song is more Rolling Stones to the first track’s Beatles.
“Bad Times Good Times” is a great pub rock driving song, reminding me a lot of the A’s. When it gets to the chorus, it is a very fun call and response situation. This song has a lot of energy as well, and the bass line rolls up and down carrying the energy through. The vocals mutate into gruff talk-shouting, and a singing tone is abandoned.
“I Want You Tonight” begins with a rolling, staggered drum beat that carries itself throughout the song, and as it begins, it is notably quieter, but not without energy. This song feels like it is going to morph into a Flash & the Pan song “Restless.” This song has the vibe of a mid-western story song. The breakdown into the chorus is classic percussion driven oldies style, and the build leads to a satisfying payoff in the chorus.
“Lonely Girl” is a bopping, driving song, again only described as power pop. The chorus is actually a slight variation of the previous song’s melody: it’s a wonder these two songs are positioned back to back. The style of the chorus and lead vocals overlapping is a trick popular in the glam genre, and is employed well here too (and throughout the album as well).
“She Comes and Goes” is the sad ballad, remembering a love lost, or one never had. About 1:30, guitars kick in, and it loses its ballad label for more rocking, show-tuney pastures (sounds like something that could have been produced by the Rocky Horror team). It then relaxes back into the ballad genre to finish the song out. This reminds me of a slower Elvis Costello song, mixed with a Ben Folds melody.

“Can't Go Back” starts side 2 with jangely guitar and power bass/guitar support. And the song has a bit of a similarity to David Bowie’s “Star.” But it never gets to the glam level, and subsides in mid tempo power pop limbo. It ends in a very singer/songwriter-y fashion
“All You Gotta Say” has a little more soul with its swagger and guitar hook, and harkens back to the more psyche-style of the early garage bands. I’m reminded of The Animals a little with this track. The vocals are layered and add sonic depth.
“I Want You So Bad” is a side to side Rolling Stones meets the Ramones style of energetic power punk song. It builds and drives for a solid 1.50 minutes
“Can't You Tell a Lie” has a driving, dark intro, and a nasally jangly verse. The bridge feels very familiar, but I can’t place the more popular song that it is from. It has a little country western twang to the bass, but the song kind of feels flat in the production, as it sways back and forth between power and laziness.  
“Second Chance” starts off with a driving Eye of the Tiger guitar, and a chimey back up guitar. The drums come rattling in too, and the vocals come in with a lot of jittery energy. The song is pretty reminiscent of “Bad Times Good Times” with an even more of a nervous energy Great Balls of Fire oldies pop sound in the verse that builds up into a controlled scream.  
“Television” is a bass/drums driven song that is choppy and bouncy (Oompah), especially when it gets to the chorus. There are some Chuck Berry guitar solos, too. The song gets pretty repetitive, yet remains catchy toward the end, as it repeats the main chours with a few different effects (Sgt Pepper-like) buried underneath as each re-utterance fades out quieter and quieter. By the end of the song, the sound is recreated to seem like it is coming from a hand held radio. 

Stand Out Track: Bad Times Good Times

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