KIMONO MY HOUSE by Sparks (1974) The Mael Brothers inability to find success in the US and subsequent relocation to the UK resulted in their refining of glam and producing the proto-new wave album-all cool keyboards, mechanically strummed guitars, hiccupping vocals, and Ron’s great songs – Hasta Manana, Monsieur, Thank God It’s Not Christmas, Falling In Love With Myself Again.
NO OTHER by Gene Clark (1974) Worth every penny of its legendary budget, Gene Clark takes the purity of his pop vision to new heights. His vocals and songwriting are as perfect as ever while still rooted in the traditional. The arrangements are epic not cluttered modern and sleek like a new skyscraper in an otherwise older neighborhood.
DREAM POLICE by Cheap Trick (1979) Never mind the mullet wearers who blasted this from the radios in their trans-ams when it first came out and never mind the world tours and FM patronage, this is a power pop album and a very good one. Heavier, faster, harder than most which makes it all the more enjoyable.
CROSSING THE RED SEA WITH THE ADVERTS by The Adverts (1978) With better songs than both The Clash and The Sex Pistols, this may be the definitive punk album. It certainly is the best sounding. These guys sound like they have been together for 20 years so tight are the arrangements and the songs like “The Great British Mistake” contain what I call punk wisdom.
#1 RECORD by Big Star (1972) Not so much the Velvet Underground of power pop as a continuation of the music of the 1960’s both in feel and attitude. Chris Bell was equal partners with Alex Chilton here and they produced great music – The Ballad of El Goodo, Thirteen, Give Me Another Chance.