17 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is a French label’s reissue of Rounder Records’ 1994 release, Precise Modern Lovers Order, with a slightly different track list. Both collections include live versions of most of the tracks found on the Modern Lovers definitive album (The Modern Lovers, recorded in 1973 and originally released in 1976). During the time of that album’s troubled production, several live performances in Boston and Berkeley were caught on tape, resulting in this kookily charming collection. The sound is rough and tumble and some moments are brighter than others, but even audiophiles can be won over by sheer Modern Lovers magic. While the studio versions of these songs stand well enough on their own, here the raw, youthful energy of Jonathan Richman and his band breaks through the ennui (or is it bemusement?) of their live audience, showing once again why songs like “She Cracked” and “Roadrunner” are often pointed to as pure pre-punk punk.  Additional tracks include the pleading “Dance with Me” (where Richman hilariously chastises a would-be girlfriend for wasting her time listening to Santana records in her dorm), a top-notch cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Foggy Notion,” and the romantic “A Plea for Tenderness.”  This European version of the collection also includes a killer version of ? and the Mysterians’ classic keyboard-driven song, “96 Tears.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

This is a French label’s reissue of Rounder Records’ 1994 release, Precise Modern Lovers Order, with a slightly different track list. Both collections include live versions of most of the tracks found on the Modern Lovers definitive album (The Modern Lovers, recorded in 1973 and originally released in 1976). During the time of that album’s troubled production, several live performances in Boston and Berkeley were caught on tape, resulting in this kookily charming collection. The sound is rough and tumble and some moments are brighter than others, but even audiophiles can be won over by sheer Modern Lovers magic. While the studio versions of these songs stand well enough on their own, here the raw, youthful energy of Jonathan Richman and his band breaks through the ennui (or is it bemusement?) of their live audience, showing once again why songs like “She Cracked” and “Roadrunner” are often pointed to as pure pre-punk punk.  Additional tracks include the pleading “Dance with Me” (where Richman hilariously chastises a would-be girlfriend for wasting her time listening to Santana records in her dorm), a top-notch cover of the Velvet Underground’s “Foggy Notion,” and the romantic “A Plea for Tenderness.”  This European version of the collection also includes a killer version of ? and the Mysterians’ classic keyboard-driven song, “96 Tears.”

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