It's a great example of early 90s alt-rock. It really is. Only problem is I can point to a dozen bands that sound exactly the same from the same era. But, for what it is, it's good and deserves a place on the list.
It's a Shame About Ray is the fifth album by American alternative rock band the Lemonheads, released on June 2, 1992. The album was produced by the Robb Brothers. At the time of principal recording, the band consisted of Evan Dando (lead vocals, guitar), Juliana Hatfield (bass, backing vocals) and David Ryan (drums). Though not originally on the album, the band's cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson" was added to the album in later pressings after it had become a major worldwide radio hit, and it features a later lineup of the band with Nic Dalton on bass.
It's a great example of early 90s alt-rock. It really is. Only problem is I can point to a dozen bands that sound exactly the same from the same era. But, for what it is, it's good and deserves a place on the list.
3.2 - “Hey man, it’s Sunday morning around 10:30. Thanks again for letting me borrow your stapler to put together the last of those zines. Listen, I’m about to throw on some cargo shorts and head over to the quad with the boombox. Been digging this new Lemonheads album. I’m bringing a hacky sack and my devil sticks, too. You know, just chilling like a villain. If you get this, maybe grab that Spin Doctors CD if that’s coolio? Alright, brotha, come by the quad if you can, otherwise leave a message on my answering machine. Catch you on the flip side. Peace!”
Day 38 of Albums You Must Hear!! When I was a kid, I loved Lemonheads. Not the band, the candy. I would buy them almost every day, I loved the sour centers! This assessment isn’t about candy, however, it’s about a band from the 90’s that were also called Lemonheads. I wasn’t familiar with this band before now, or their album released in 1992, titled It’s a Shame About Ray. From the very first song, Rockin Stroll, I instantly knew I would like this band. Evan Dondo, band creator and singer, has a great voice that does a fantastic job of staying in its own lane, without trying to wow the listener.. The melodies throughout this album are great! Lemonheads remind me of other bands of the 90’s that had more commercial success, and while I don’t know the story behind this band, it seems Lemonheads had a shit ton of unfulfilled potential. Title song, It’s a Shame About Ray, is very catchy and a well executed diddy. Kitchen is a song that could’ve been the show tune of a great 90’s sitcom, and I mean that as a compliment. (I also love the bongos on this song). The biggest song for Lemonheads was their cover Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson. I actually remember hearing this version back in the day and loved it then and still love it now! (It was featured in Wayne’s World 2 and later on, in The Wolf of Wall Street). To be honest, I actually prefer the Lemonheads version to S&G’s, the rock drums and electric guitar riffs give it so much life, almost surfer music-ish. Shaky Ground is a very personal song that I suspect is about drug use, maybe something else? I’m really glad I got to experience this album, it is a definite 100% must hear! If you’re a fan of The Lemonheads, please tell me which album to listen to next from them, I plan on hearing more from them! Please share your thoughts, memories, and opinions!!
They're Pavement if Pavement didn't want to live the high-stakes art life and retired to the suburbs, strumming polite tunes in the unborn baby's room-cum-study, dolefully reflecting on what could have been. Basically, the Jason Bateman character in Juno.
If playing the same song over and over again qualifies you for the 1001 list, then baby, I’m in!
More to them than just Mrs Robinson. I liked the easy tunes with lyrics that were deeper and darker
Definition of "meh". When your most famous song is a cover of a song from a movie maybe you're not that good
Ok but dull, samey jangly pop rock. Not worth a second listen.
Sound like something I would have love when I was 15
You really hit my sweet spot today. This was my absolute favorite album in '92-'93, one I still pull out to hear from time to time. It's a perfect little musical gem of that moment in time, one that has held up beautifully over the past 30 years. This album is full of edgy power pop, with a great mix of melodic, bittersweet toe tappers and muscular, energetic rockers. It has those ragged, grungy edges that made it fit in so well in its time. There is a nice interplay of jangly and jagged guitars burning at the edges that keep any of these songs from getting too pretty. The mood of the album goes a level deeper than most power pop, with a strangely cheerful malaise, conveyed through some wonderful, catchy hooks and thoughtful lyrics. It never gets overly dark or dour though. Some of Evan Dando’s lyrics may hint at dissatisfaction and restlessness, but the more pensive and personal songs like “Rudderless” or “Confetti” live easily alongside songs that are just pure fun like “Rockin Stroll” and “Alison’s Starting to Happen.” Dando delivers the lyrics perfectly, with a warm, sometimes slightly wistful and bittersweet vocal. He doesn’t convey the detachedness or irony of some of his contemporaries, so the lyrics come across as very heartfelt. Juliana Hatfield’s brief vocal appearances are like a little lemon zest on your pasta, bright and unexpected. I find myself really enjoying "Hannah & Gabi" today, which wasn't a song I gave much thought to in ‘92. It’s actually one of the best songs on the album, and probably the best musically executed song on here. The slide guitar on that song is really gorgeous. I did not know until today that it was the amazing Jeff "Skunk" Baxter playing on that song. Every song on here is terrific, with no filler. The flow of the album is crisp and concise, clocking in at around 33 minutes if you include “Mrs. Robinson.” The Simon & Garfunkel cover that was added to later versions of the album is doesn’t add a thing, but still sounds pretty great. The cover of “Frank Mills” from Hair is actually very sweet and engaging. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): Confetti, Hannah & Gabi, Rudderless, It's a Shame About Ray, The Turnpike Down, My Drug Buddy, Rockin Stroll, Kitchen, Alison's Starting to Happen, Bit Part, Ceiling Fan in My Spoon, Frank Mills, Mrs. Robinson
I'm really liking this. Good power pop, nice melodies. I've not heard this before, except for their take on Mrs. Robinson.
A good album throughout with four very good songs and the rest alright, a couple songs got a little repetitive, but overall a solid album with the backing track being a clear highlight of good guitar and synthesisers.
Having only been familiar with them from their famous cover of Mrs. Robinson, this band is essentially a one hit wonder to me. I always figured they were grunge-adjacent folky pop rock like Blind Melon, and this album pretty much confirms all my expectations. This is a bit more upbeat than Blind Melon but not nearly as interesting. It's perfectly listenable, if bland entry in 90s alternative rock.
I miss this lighter, more gently weird side of that swath of genre you used to be able to get away with just calling “alternative” back in the 90s. Mostly just good old rock and roll, and I’m not sure this distinguishes itself that highly above many similar acts of the age, most of which didn’t manage to crest much above regional recognition. But I liked it perfectly well.
A bit too goofy in places. Non offensive indie pop.
Soulless jangly indie pop. I feel this sort of stuff, hugely popular at the time, was a backlash against grunge. Grunge was covered in emotion, and it seems someone decided that was too much so they'd strip all emotions out of music entirely. This is the music we ended up with. It feels flimsy, like it's made of slightly damp paper.
Underwhelming 90's alt rock. A bit jangle pop-y. Not my style, frankly. There are some catchy bits for the most part it just doesn't leave much of an impression on me.
“Your just a shit Soul Asylum” or something
This album made me feel like I was strolling down an aisle in Homebase, searching for the most commonplace of plumbing items, only to get distracted by colourful plastic kitchen appliances. It reminded me of the toys you find inside a Kellogg's cereal bag that make you feel simultaneously grateful and offended by their audacity to send you yet another piece of plastic for your lifelong it-could-come-in-handy hoarding pile.
When a cover is the best song on your album you might need to rethink things
Surprisingly solid, for how little I've heard from the band. Right up my alley.
Loved this one! felt like a time machine to the kind of music I used to listen to, but somehow never these guys!
Love it. Such a warm feeling album.
One of the first handful of albums I ever bought with my own moolah and I've still got a huge soft spot for it. It's pretty much perfect in its own early '90s slacker pop kinda way. Although I really wish they had left it alone and not tacked Mrs. Robinson on the end in an attempt to shift a few extra units.
Classic indie. Love it. BT: Rudderless, My Drug Buddy, Alison's Starting To Happen
This is one of my all time favorite albums. I love it.
90s goodness. I’ve heard of this band but never actually listened to their music. I love it!
I love Evan Dando so, so much and this album is probably his best. The inclusion of Frank Mills from Hair, the musical makes me extra warm inside.
A complete joy and a personal favourite. The threshold between teenage and adulthood on one CD.
Great laid-back indie pop. I think it might be worthy of the golden 5 out of 5! Hook laden singalongs. Continually came back to this album through the 90s. Pity that Evan Dando started taking himself so seriously...
I'm only about 5 songs in but this is the most 90s rock album I've ever heard in my life. If you asked a computer to make an amalgamation of all 90s rock bands this is what it would spit out. This is right up my alley, never heard of this band but really digging it and added a few songs to my playlist. One thing I always do when a band I've never heard of comes up on this list is try and figure out which song is that one song that I've definitely heard before; super easy in this case.
5 stars immediately. Sentimental favorite. Way too many memories attached to this one to pretend. But also I think these quickie songs hold up - catchy as all shit and taking you to some unusual places - at least for music made in '92. If you like this and have never listened to their album 'Hate Your Friends', give it a try.
I have a real nostalgic fondness for this record. In 1991, I moved out of home and into the inner city of Sydney, hanging around Glebe and Newtown and seeing gigs at the Annandale Hotel, working in a grungy record store. As it so happens, Evan Dando was also hanging around Glebe and Newtown and the Annandale Hotel (I would see him there pretty regularly around that time) and hanging out with local musos and people who worked in record stores. and he wrote this album about that. The sound, the songs, the people in it, the videos, all reflect that time. the tunes are great, all the songs are really short and leave you wanting more. Celebrity never did Evan any favours, and he never hit this peak again. I love this record, because it is a cracking listen and because it reminds me of a special time in my youth. (I also had a crush on Alison, from the song Alison's starting to happen. She worked at another record store and played drums in a band. She was really cool, and really starting to happen).
Anyone turned on to Lemonheads with Lick, Lovey, and the Favorite Spanish Dishes EP pointed to IASAR coming once Dando had the right lineup and songwriting partners. Hatfield’s backing vocals add some sweet, sometimes sad, texture to Dando’s singing. This is a perfectly crafted indie-pop album. It’s a road-trip sing-along record that can be played on repeat. Except for one thing… when I got the CD back in the day it didn’t have the Mrs. Robinson cover. I prefer that version. It wasn’t a necessary add and it’s inclusion diminished the album a bit.
First off the title track is one my favorite songs of all time, it finds its way on so many of my playlists. Confetti and My Drug Buddy are great tunes as well. While it was overplayed as shit back in the 90's, Mrs Robinson is still a good cover. Last thing Juliana Hatfield's backing vocals are awesome this album. It's probably a 4 star album but I'll give it 5 stars based on the title track and the fact it reminds of being 20 again.
This was probably the best album in their progression towards more mellow tunes. At the time it was probably an album by a traditionally grunge band that your parents wouldn’t mind you putting on. Loved it at the time and still remember all the words.
Such a good album. I've played it three times today, including the demos.
This will always be one of my favourite records.
Such a classic album! Every song is pop rock perfection.
Mrs Robinson Cover. Liked it but i wasn't blown away. Melancholy punk rock
surpreendente, curti o som
Good album, it gave off that early 90s grunge rock vibe. I need to listen to more 90s alternative rock albums.
Flashback for me. Found myself recalling some great tunes and lyrics. Singing along very happily!
A personal favourite, with great backing by Juliana Hatfield which adds so much to these songs
The Lemonheads breakthrough record, It's A Shame About Ray released in 1992, gained the band a widespread following and critical acclaim and it remains their greatest achievement. The only original founding member, Evan Dando crafted a poppy alternative rock sound on this record preceding a more punk sound on their earlier albums. When this record was released, I instantly fell in love with the songs and wore the crap out of that cassette. It remains a constant in my music listening, as it not only captures something about that time period, but it's such a catchy, upbeat record it always puts a smile on my face. Personally, I rank this high as a favourite from the 90's and it's a shame they haven't released anything as good since. Evan continues to tour this record (played in it's entirety) that celebrated it's 30th anniversary this year.
Fun, quick, and full of catchy tracks. Also might be the most radio friendly Grunge in my opinion. Great shit.
I love this album and band. It's a shame about Evan Dando, the dude had some great musical ability and good looks, it's arguablybthat those two things should've propelled the band to bigger heights. Drugs are bad, kids. Don't fool yourselves. If I am honest this is probably a 4, or 4.5 but I have such strong feelings here that I've gotta bump it up. Several of these songs are staples across several playlists so I think it earns that bump just for that.
90s alt rock goodness. Loved this album when it came out the first time I heard it. Still in my "Favourites" rotation.
Man what a fantastic album. If you’ve only heard their cover of Mrs. Robinson you should really listen to the rest of the album
Really fun stuff
I really did like this album! Some of the songs kind of sound like they'd be in The Barbie Diaries, not that it's a bad thing because it reminds me of my childhood but it is interesting. There's also something that vaguely reminds me of Sonic Youth in a way.
The only lemonheads songs I knew were their covers of “Mrs Robinson” and “Skulls”. Simon and Garfunkel to The Misfits, that’s eclectic. I was curious what this album would be like. I really like this album a lot, there’s great melody and hooks for days. I love Juliana Hadfields harmonies. It’s interesting this album dropped in the height of grunge, it doesn’t really sound grunge at all. Maybe that’s why it didn’t get more attention. To me this is more in the vein of “college rock” like R.E.M., Replacements or Husker Du. In fact, Evan Dando’s vocals and songwriting reminds me of Paul Westerberg a bit.
I enjoy this. I can’t tell if it is dated. Some of it is but a lot of it still feels fresh. It is still an album I can’t divorce from the 90s. I’ll come back to this because it’s catchy. That holds up.
This is a 90's slacker classic. The Lemonheads were so good at churning out sub-3 minute rock songs that were catchy as hell. This album doesn't even have "Into Your Arms" on it either!
I used to wear this record out
Delighted when this one appeared for me this morning, and instantly knew what my rating would be. Played this a lot when it came out, and its near half hour burst of quickfire songs has always given me a lift. Two bonuses. 1) Juliana Hatfield on bass and backing vocals (which provide a nice contrast to Evan Dando's voice). 2) Not there when I bought it originally on vinyl - a fun throwaway cover of Mrs Robinson.
I've always seen this as pretty much a perfect album and one I still revisit regularly. Hey, I was in sixth form when it came out and everyone loved it. It was an album that I bonded with people I'd normally hate over.
"No Juliana next to my Evan" This is arguably the most 90's alt rock record of all the 90's alt rock records ever recorded. Other possible contenders being Weezer - Blue album, Counting Crows - August and Everything After, and Letters to Cleo - Aurora Gory Alice. It's just a stunning perfect masterpiece of exactly what it is - disaffected outcast youth expressing its apathetic and oftentimes wry or self-deprecating views on life, love, and all that bullshit you have to endure when finding oneself.
Lätt banalt och nonchigt, men inte ett svagt spår. Under en halvtimme och Juliana Hatfield körar. Föredömligt.
So good. Beautifully harmonies and classic 90s rock sound.
Me ha encantado.
Album 118 of 1001 Lemonheads - It's a Shame About Ray Rating : 5 / 5 Favorite Track : It's a Shame About Ray / Allison's Starting to Happen / Bit Part (Too many to choose) Brought a big smile to my face when I saw this was my recommended 'album of the day'. This is a personal favorite. My ranking has more to do with the fact that I just really like this album. Good songs that I'm happy to call old friends. It isn't always about the perfect song, the perfect production, the perfect sound...sometimes it is just about what one likes. You won't find this in any discussion about the greatest album ever nor would I expect it to be. We all know what we like and should embrace that. Evan Dando had promised that the album would be "half an hour of guitar-pop perfection, walking the tightrope effortlessly between laid-back melodies and rousing indie cool. It brimmed with the confidence of a songwriter peaking". He delivered. One reviewer wrote "There are other great Lemonheads records, but It’s a Shame About Ray is a singular sort of feat. One almost wants to gouge it from their discography and pretend it’s a one-off from a band who were never heard of again—it has that feeling of a moment in time, something doomed to wilt because its colours were too bright to begin with." I recommend this to those who aren't familiar with either it or the band. Those who do know it, should stop by and pay it a visit. I'm happy to list it as one of my all-time favorites.
Always loved this album. Evan Dando has a great ear for melody, and the simple structures of the songs bely a depth that comes across after a few listens. Superb stuff
very very good alt rock album, it is nothing special but the songs are catchy well written and does not bog down
Honestly, a lot better than expected. I liked most of the songs.
Good solid Indie/rock/pop album
Great album by a good band
Some good songs in there
Really catchy, a bit of an edge. Gives me warm, 90s movie vibes
fun album. pop grunge with notes of pop punk
While I know this isn't an amazing album, it's like a big warm blanket for me. I listened to it A LOT in the 90s and listening to it for this put me instantly at ease. It speaks to a specific time in my life. My first instinct was to give a 5 because of how it made me feel, but after thinking about it more it needs to be a 4.
Decent ‘shoe-gazing indie’ as Karla calls it, but nothing to get too excited about apart from the Mrs Robinson cover which is great
I really like this style of American punk
A fun and jaunty album. Very simple and enjoyable. Favorite song: The Turnpike Down, Hannah and Gabi
very enjoyable simple rock :)
Very cool album! I liked every song! Going to listen to these boyz more for sure.
Cant believe I never really listens to this band before, this rules
Mrs Robinson, The Turnpike Down, Confetti, Hannah & Gabi, Kitchen
A pretty enjoyable album and it grew on me the more I listened, despite the fact that only a few tracks really stood out for being distinctive. Of those that did, Bit Part was a really sad song with clever lyrics and Confetti was really catchy. A 3.5 stars but I’m generous and will round up.
That 90s sound, surprised I never heard it before
Great album, had never heard of this band before so was a good listen
It's pretty good. I don't know, it's not my favorite. But I enjoyed the time we spent together.
not bad, some cute little songs there. very nice cover to boot. I liked it, mrs. Robinson is WEIRDLY out of place though.
Classic 90's "pop-rock". Obviously Mrs Robinson the most well known / loved track here (and for good reason - a great cover) but the whole album is full of gems.
God I love Juliana Hatfield.
Evan Dando in topvorm! Stuk voor stuk catchy liedjes.
Dit is echt jeugdsentiment. Gast kan echt wel goeie liedjes schrijven. Beetje jammer alleen dat ie zo vaak dronken op het podium staat.
Jaa, super! Die andere van de lemonheads is eigenlijk nog beter, of daar heb ik iig betere/meer herinneringen aan..