Jumpin' in the Night

Jumpin' in the Night

After years of toil and being out of sync with the music scene, The Flamin' Groovies were right at home in the punk and new wave era of the late '70s. Punchy power pop inspired by The Byrds and the British Invasion became the group's focus after the departure of singer Roy Loney; this sound was tailor-made for an era in which concise, guitar-heavy tunes were in favor. Songwriting, however, proved to be The Flamin' Groovies' stumbling block. Band leader Cyril Jordan and singer/guitarist Chris Wilson could write great songs when inspired; however, the grind of writing an album each year led them to also explore intelligent covers. Unfortunately, this made the group look less artistically authoritative. Fact is, the originals here—"Jumpin' in the Night," "Next One Crying," and "Yes I Am"—are excellent and sound comfortable next to three Byrds covers, a Bob Dylan tune ("Absolutely Sweet Marie"), a Beatles number ("Please Please Me"), and a credible jangly cover of Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London." The album's quite enjoyable, but it portended the end of the group as a creative force. 

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