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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

The Modern Lovers

The Modern Lovers

1976

The Modern Lovers

Album Summary

The Modern Lovers is the debut studio album by American rock band the Modern Lovers. It was released on Beserkley Records in 1976, although the original nine tracks had been recorded in 1972 (or 1971 in the case of "Hospital"). Six of the original tracks were produced by John Cale. In 2003, the album was ranked number 381 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, 382 in 2012, and 288 in 2020.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.14

Votes

5120

Genres

  • Rock
  • Psychedelic Rock
  • Punk
Reviews
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Fri Jan 15 2021
1

This is probably the worst album I've ever listened to in recent memory. The vocals are like a drunk / strung out Jim Morrison, just slurring his words and not giving a shit. It was like a train wreck in slow motion. I have no original thoughts about this album, but neither did the artist when they were making it. I'm angry I spent almost an hour listening to this trash. A dumpster filled with the days expired produce on fire could make better music than this nightmare. Just unoriginal, uninspired, gutter trash. I could make a poop that would sound better than this. Fuck. Fuck these guys. Fuck whoever put this shit on this list.

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Fri Dec 10 2021
4

I loved Jonathan Richman's interviews in Todd Haynes' Velvet Underground documentary (what a sweet man) and I've only read raves about Joshua Clover's new book, 'Roadrunner'--all about the opener on this album--so I was thrilled when this came up. Roadrunner is great, driving its way around the rock 'n' roll ring road, and picking up a hitchiking Mathangi Arulpragasam on the way. Understandably, it'll take more than one listen for me to feel like it's worth writing a book about. Richman's drawl isn't exactly fetching, but it's so unaffected that it's impossible not to like. Like hero Lou, his songs appear to hinge on arty-cum-straightforward lyrics but are actually driven by his lead guitar. By the time it finishes, he's introduced you to a peculiar set of charaters inhabiting an unusual sonic world, all without appearing to do much heavy lifting. Special.

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Mon Nov 01 2021
1

I'm pretty sure Pablo Picasso was an asshole. Sounds like someone doing karaoke to The Doors. It's worth noting the talented keyboardist and drummer took their talents to more successful outfits. Jonathan Richman might have knelt at the altar of Lou Reed, but he's the poor person's Lou Reed. "Roadrunner" is a great song, but not the version that opens this album (the Sex Pistols cover is what makes it a classic). Richman should stick to making pizza ovens. The more I think about this album, the more it bothers me because it's not bad, per se. But it's so impossibly overrated, and it just sort of loiters and eventually gnaws.

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Fri Jul 02 2021
5

Oh my joy at having this album come up today! One of my faves of that era. They had all the energy and attitude of other proto punk bands, but with real humor and heart. "Road Runner," full volume, heading down the road. It doesn't get any better.

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Mon Sep 13 2021
5

I love Jonathan Richman's heart on his sleeve honesty and directness. He is like an anti-rockstar and yet things like Roadrunner epitomize rock and roll to me. He's so comfortable with who he is and just putting it out there. Really brave, and to me, relatable. Some of these tracks were recorded in 1971! They're like The Stooges' sensitive, goofier little brothers. Ahead of their time. 5 stars for Roadrunner alone but 5 stars for all of it.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
1

Really?

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

Loved every second of this. Like something off the Nuggets compilation but somehow even more guileless than those offerings. The product of an utterly eccentric mind, and all the better for it.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

Amazing. Developing the velvets sound to another level. Peak indie before indie existed.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

Proto-punk that sounds a lot like the Doors meets the Clash, except doesn't overplay the keys. Roadrunner and Pablo Picasso are big highlights; this album is right up my street, and it was no surprise when I learned two of the members were also in the Cars and the Talking Heads.

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Thu Jul 29 2021
2

Kind of bland, very indebted to The Velvet Underground. It's not bad, I'm just not really sure why it's here. Nothing really stuck out to me too boldly. Favorite track: "Modern World"

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Tue Aug 24 2021
2

Eh bah franchement pas incroyable. Robert déçoit une énième fois avec ses propositions d'albums de plus en plus discutables.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
2

This sounds like an amateur band that I could go see in the local pub. Not bad, but not good either.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
2

The issue with 'The Modern Lovers' is that it leaves you wanting to listen to The Velvet Underground and Lou Reed. I read that lead singer Jonathan Richman was obsessed with the Velvet Underground, and you're left in no doubt after listening to this album. But you are left wondering why he decided to opt for an all together different narrative in his lyrics. Supposedly he's just lived an entirely clean and positive existence to date. Hard to criticism him for that. But part of the grand appeal of the Velvet Underground and Lou Reed's solo work is the dark, edgy nature to the lyrics. In the Jonathan Richman world, 'Perfect Day' is just a song about having a really great day. Smoke a doobie, Jonathan! Lyrics aside, you can't not love a bit of New York 70s art rock. It's stuffy, it's pretentious but it's absolutely iconic. You can see the direct lineage from The Modern Lovers to all of the indie music I dabbled with at university in the mid-noughties. From Belle & Sebastian to The Moldy Peaches, it's all there at various points through the course of this album. I just wish the band had strapped on some shiny shiny boots of leather before penning it.

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Sun Oct 24 2021
2

Back in 1995, me and some friends would jam in an upstairs room. It was always some variation of a fast 12-bar blues, and one of us would latch on to some phrase and improvise lyrics. The difference is, we new the improv was bad and would throw it away. Not these guys, they actually committed their repetitive improv lyrics to vinyl over some variation of surf rock. Everything is at the same tempo (except for 2 songs that are at the same slow tempo) which makes it a very repetitive listen. "Roadrunner" is fun, but the fun wears off quickly. For good seminal proto-punk I'd rather listen to the MC5.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
1

I cannot see myself listening to this again nor recommending it to anyone in future.

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Wed May 12 2021
1

I found this hard going. Had to stop 4 times and go back to it in order to finish. Meandering, turgid, I really don't understand the appeal of any of this. Not for me.

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Fri May 07 2021
1

Alternative, what I imagine 1976 emo angst driven teenager would have listened to. Probably one of the first of it's kind, which is cool. But overall forgettable and boring to me.

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Wed Nov 10 2021
1

Kind of like the Strokes meets the Rolling Stones, but less appealing than it sounds. Lyrics/vocals are weak, and I'm not getting any of the innovation I would expect from an album appearing on this list. Some of the guitar work is decent, but that's about it. 1.5/5. NOTE: just looked up the album and saw that it was unreleased for years before coming out in 1976 and that I listened to an extended version of the album. Not sure what the big deal behind this one is.

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Wed Mar 23 2022
1

No. Nope. nononono. At first I thought the music wasn't terrible in a low-rent Elvis Costello kinda way, something I'd be ok with hearing a band playing at a pub but me not paying 100% attention or having paid a large cover for. Unfortunately before the first song ended I really wanted to leave the bar. But I couldn't because I'm not in a bar, I'm at home listening. I'M TRAPPED! SEND HELP. "Hospital" makes me want to check into one. JFC. I think what frustrates me about music like this isn't at all that people like it - hell, listen to 35 minutes of someone banging on a pipe and screaming that's fine who cares. It's that something like this makes a list of 1001 albums you must listen to rather than 1001 albums that, well, only a few people and their roommates might like and you *might* enjoy it but it's really not anything groundbreaking (there I go being subjective again). But no - critics love this shit *and* enjoyed deriding other acts for being too complex. That's the part that frosts me a bit. Oh look! John Cale produced it - what a surprise. Jonathan Richman has the vocal range of a walrus high jumping. Apologies to the walrus who is undoubtedly trying their best. <inner voice: Stop pussy-footing around, this is your review dammit!> Holy hell this is one of the worst things I've ever heard. I hate this. 1/10 1 star.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
5

I love this album. First heard Pablo Picasso on college radio 10ish years ago and immediately thought - "What is this??" Since then, the album has become a favorite - love all of the Boston references, storytelling, etc. Favorite songs are Pablo Picasso, Hospital, I Wanna Sleep in Your Arms, Old World (but really love all of them)

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Mon May 10 2021
5

Unbelievable 70s album with direct correlation to the 90 indie scene.

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Wed Aug 18 2021
5

Why do I love this so much? Partially because it's good, but ya know, these songs are pretty repetitive and they go on for a bit, two things that usually repel me. But I just love this album. I love it!

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Sat Sep 25 2021
5

It's brilliant, exactly the kind of music I love. A magical blend of rock/punk energies and wry self-deprecating earnestness. I love the absurdist yet heartfelt lyrics and effortless cool layered into every track.

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Fri Jan 01 2021
4

Proto punk, American that somehow sounds British.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

An amazing cross between Doors-style rock and proto-punk

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Wed Aug 18 2021
4

Crap. Didn’t get a chance to listen to this today, but based on that cover art and having the word “modern” in the name I’m gonna say… solid four stars. Don’t let me down album I didn’t listen to!

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Mon Apr 05 2021
3

This guy 'sing's like a true doucher, but the music is pretty good.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
3

Enjoyed this, previously only knew Roadrunner. Tad too long maybe

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Wed May 05 2021
3

Not bad but not amazing.

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Fri Apr 02 2021
3

definitely hear the proto-punk sound. Overall not bad. Don't like the language on Pablo Picasso.

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Tue Aug 10 2021
3

The Modern Lovers' Roadrunner, which opens their eponymous album, is a straight up rip off of the Velvet Underground, right down to the overdriven organ. But here's the thing--I like what they're ripping off. I enjoy Jonathan Richman's geeky delivery and innocent lyrics. I enjoy their basic sound, which is wholly indebted to VU. And the song Pablo Picasso always makes me laugh. But is it really all that? Does it deserve a place on the 1001 Albums list? Nah. The idea that the Modern Lovers is some kind of groundbreaking release or album is revisionist bullshit. There's nothing here that VU hadn't already done. In fact, The Modern Lovers basically just took one aspect of VU and played variations on it. They do it consistently and well, but even though I enjoy this album, to claim some sort of exalted status for it is just silly.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
3

Not a bad album at all but a little forgettable. Instantly recognised the first song from School of Rock but the rest was fairly similar. Also sounded like they were trying to be the Velvet Underground

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Fri Sep 24 2021
3

Weird, but in a good way. "I'm straight" is basically hey hey you you I don't like your boyfriend.

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Sat Jan 08 2022
3

A debut album of a band that is founded by a literal teenager, it is not surprise that "The Modern Lovers" is one of those "proto-punk" albums. But is this really a landmark in proto-punk? Let alone in the influences in punk itself? I can definitely hear punk being conceived along the angsty lyrics and sounds, but it sounds more like a '60s rock inspired fiddling than a genre conceiving album. In terms of sound, it's pretty chill but boring sometimes. It was narrated that the band had a conflict about the direction of their sound; towards more mellow stuff or keeping and improving the aggressive sound? I would love it if they went with the former, but unfortunately, punk clearly went with the latter.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

Was described as proto punk but reminded me more of the doors. Was alright some interesting wounds and ideas.

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

Hit and miss

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Wed Mar 09 2022
3

Wears its VU influence too much on its sleeve for me, while not really measuring up (in the vocal department particularly, and emulating Lou Reed is frankly not that high of a bar to aspire to). While Reed assumed the persona of coldness and flat affect in some of the characters he voiced, in these performances that shoe fits a bit too well. And the lyrics aren't as clever as they think they are, though not without charms.

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Fri Jul 22 2022
3

on its own, the modern lovers is an average album. it was listenable and had some enjoyable parts. but when compared to the other proto-punk albums that i've listened to on this list, this album is amazing, easily a 5! i suppose it's the rock elements that allow me to enjoy this record more than other proto-punk albums, but it still doesn't make me excited. i think i might just prefer my punk more produced/commercialized. it was a cool listen though with the punk, rock, and experimental combination.

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Thu Mar 25 2021
2

Not a good singing performance, almost slurrish singing, uninspiring and monotonous music

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Sun May 16 2021
2

I find them kind of annoying overall, to be honest. I realized it's part of the idea probably, but I really only enjoyed a couple tracks.

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Sat Jun 12 2021
2

I don't know. It's quirky. Maybe impressive / different at the time. Do I want to hear it again? Probably not.

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Wed May 19 2021
2

I’ve never heard of the band before and not really a fan of the album just thought the whole album was meh. Some of the lyrics were strange and not much of a fan of the vocals 2/5

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Thu Oct 14 2021
2

I got worried when I saw they were influenced by the Velvet Underground AND produced by John Cale. There were a few moments of VU-ishness (e.g., "Cracked") and that's not good because I'm not into VU. But, the rest was ok. I wavered between a 2 and 3. I really liked Roadrunner - good track. I kind of laughed at the British punk accent Jonathan Richman affected particularly in the beginning of Astral Plane. Dude, you're from Boston. I think the main reason I'm going with a 2 is that at the end of the day it was mostly the same song over and over, and I'm never a fan of that.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
2

Hearing the first few notes and vocals of Roadrunner I thought is this a wannabe Velvet Underground? After doing some reading, apparently the answer is yes. Never heard of these guys (or really the lead guy). It wasn't awful. Well, the lyrics were kinda terrible - cheap Velvet Underground knockoff. But the arrangements were intriguing. Not my thing and zero production value, but I can appreciate it and what they were going for. Sometimes trying a bit too hard to be the Doors, but like a kid brother who is even more strung out. Tough one to rate. Not worse than a 2, not better than a 3. Which one is it? F the lyrics are awful (Girlfriend? Pablo Picasso? ugh). Sorry that's the clincher.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
2

every song sounds the same

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Sun Jan 02 2022
2

The Modern Lovers by The Modern Lovers (1976 [1972]) This little treat of American protopunk (recorded in 1972 but not released until 1976) is suitably and simultaneously mindless and groovy. The lyrics are unduly simple and repetitive. They lack insight, intricacy, or even humor, even though one gets the sense that they try (e.g., “Pablo Picasso” and “Girlfriend” [lyrically spelled “g-i-r-l-f-r-e-n”]). So, okay, this is not thoughtful poetry. The overly dominating chord progressions and melodies are likewise unduly simple and repetitive. With subpar solo vocals that far too frequently descend into non-tonal verbalizations, the ‘songs’ rarely rise to the level of music. The instrumentals are, however, interesting. There is consistently fine electric bass grounding, deft, precise drumming, and sometimes haunting, droning layers of keyboards and inelaborate electric guitar elements. But there’s no real virtuosity evident here. The grand exception to this wallow in mediocrity is the song “Hospital”, which actually has tempo, time signature, and rhythmic variations, as well as lyrical depth and development. It has a probing theme—a contradiction in love, noting the first-person lover’s distinction between the beloved’s being and the beloved’s actions. (“I can’t stand what you do, but I’m in love with your eyes”). But the song is still flawed by melodic monotony, and it was recorded with an unnecessarily high level of hum and tape hiss. All in all, this album doesn’t quite qualify as cool. 2/5

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Tue Jan 18 2022
2

The art rock schtick wears thin very quickly. || Whining about Picasso being an asshole but still getting girls, and some other lyrics felt very 'nice guy' incel. Even if Picasso was as famous a jerk as he was a painter haha. 2 stars.

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Tue May 17 2022
2

At the time I'd have given it four stars. Couldn't say why now though!

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Tue Sep 14 2021
1

Repetitive and boring lyrics, instruments are meh

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Wed Mar 23 2022
1

Just go listen to The Stranglers if you want to hear what these guys wanted to sound like.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
1

4/24/2022 Today's Album: "Modern Lovers" by The Modern Lovers - In my personal opinion, this album is a pile of absolute dog shit. Excluding the highlights, which I will discuss a bit later, this album has absolutely unbearable vocals. The dude sounds like he's shitfaced and just doesn't give a fuck at all. I know that with punk music and especially with what this album is clearly ripping off (The Velvet Underground), there is a lot of "bad" vocals and it's sort of the point of the genre, but jesus christ if it isn't just absolutely grating. I can manage it on the songs where he's singing with any sort of rhythmic intent, but often times it just doesn't fit the music whatsoever. I think the production on this album is actually quite okay and the instruments sound pretty good on some tracks, but most of the performances throughout here are just so mediocre and generic. It often feels like there is little to no difference in the instrumental from track to track and that is truly what makes the highlights stand out. There are only 3 highlights on this record for me. The track Pablo Picasso still suffers from the dogshit lead vocalist's singing, but I think the instrumental is actually really tasteful and the lyrics are kind of funny, even if they come across as completely annoying due to the voice. The track hospital feels way more subtle and mellow than any other track with this really nice soft organ opening and what I can expect is this vocalist trying their absolute hardest to sound somewhat decent (and failing at it). I like the drum groove that comes in at about 45 seconds and I think the time switch ups are pretty cool and well done. Government Center sounds like a punk track you might here closer to the 80s or 90s and is the only time when this album feels forward thinking. The lead vocal is still incredibly grading but the instrumental is fun and bubbly with claps and a goofy synth sound. Overall, though, this record is fucking awful. I think I am still missing some perspective on the punk genre, but at this point I have heard enough good punk songs to know this record never reaches the same highs as any of them. There are some promising moments on this record, but it just is so few and far between that it is seriously one of the worst album experiences I have ever had. Listen to the highlights if you can handle some strange punk and seriously just don't listen to the other tracks. They are generic, blown out, and have terrible vocals over them. Score: 2/10 bad Highlights: Pablo Picasso, Hospital, Government Center

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Sat Aug 27 2022
1

Uninspired, insipid, and derivative. I know it’s easy to be a critic, but I really think all these words apply. Nothing about this album feels new for its time; every aspect of it is a worse version of a previous band’s work. Pretty boring. I might have given it a 2, but the lead vocals were the most lackluster I’ve ever heard, so I feel justified giving it a 1.

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Wed Jun 02 2021
5

I really REALLY enjoyed this album. The very best of protopunk, you can hear the seeds of the Ramones, Sex Pistols, Violent Femmes, and more. Loved it. Full marks.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
5

love this

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Thu Jan 28 2021
5

Classic

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Fri Mar 05 2021
5

Totally dug this. Proto punk is definitely my thing.

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Tue May 11 2021
5

Good stuff

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Wed May 12 2021
5

Good album. Would fit very well as music in the car I feel.

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Sat May 15 2021
5

Loved it, a fun listen

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Tue Jun 01 2021
5

Never heard of them but I loved it.

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

Brill! Also I am under such pressure from Luke to give this 5 stars as apparently its one of the best rock albums of all time. Trivia from Luke: "the whole album is fantastic, its one of my faves ever. all brilliant songs, i cant pick between them and i love jonathan richman's voice. FUN FACT - they had actually split up when this was released and it's a collection of demos. the singer created a new band which was quite different and confusingly called them jonathan richman & the modern lovers and released an album at the same time. oh and one of them joined talking heads!"

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Tue Oct 05 2021
5

Giving off some Doors vibes

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Tue Oct 26 2021
5

4.5 | No solo como influencia del punk sino como un gran disco de art rock que no le da miedo dejarse llevar para bien o mal sacando todo lo que tengan dentro sin importar si tiene sentido y terminando en letras brillantes e interesantes. Crudo, emocional, fuera de la norma... Rock. No es proto-punk... Al igual que en cosas como los Stooges, los New York Dolls o Velvet Underground, no había precedentes de lo que estaban haciendo, ni tampoco una gran intención declarada detrás de ello. The Modern Lovers, como esas otras bandas, eran ante todo una banda de rock. Tocaban rock'n'roll. Cómo otros los definieron estaba fuera de sus manos. Disco poco conocido fuertísimo, importante y excelente.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

Great stuff

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

heartfelt, simple, direct rock and roll that draws from the Velvet Underground but makes its own world.

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Tue Jan 04 2022
5

One of my favorite albums of the 70s. 9-10/10 1. Hospital 2. Astral Plane 3. Pablo Picasso

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

This album for me is in the 9/10 ballpark or around 4.5 to 5 stars. the songs are all quite strong, with the highlights being hospital an incredible ballad with strong emotional presence behind it, roadrunner a high energy way to kick off the album. Pablo Picasso with a very unique premise centred around the artist with dry wit throughout the song.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

1/31/2022

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Sun Feb 13 2022
5

I saw Jonathan Richman play live a few years ago and I can't really explain it but I just felt so happy during and after the show, I really did have the proverbial warm, fuzzy feeling. I guess what I'm saying is I love this album.

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Thu Feb 24 2022
5

This album is truly amazing. I rarely fall in love with an album after the first listen but it will be an instant classic for me going forward. I already added it to my playlist. The lyrics throughout the album are beautiful but Hospital is my favorite

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

This was an album that I had to check the Wikipedia for to try and figure out why it was on the list. I just didn't get it at first. However, the longer it went on the more I liked it. 'Hospital' is where it started to turn around for me, and I think the album shines especially bright in its quieter moments. By the end I was actually wanting more, which is a complete 180 from where I was when I started listening.

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

Truly a classic record that introduced the world to Jonathan Richman. This version of the Modern Lovers was much different than Richman's later incarnations of the Modern Lovers, almost a one-off that rocked harder than anything Richman would ever release. Much more of a band-format, this debut album featured future members of the Talking Heads (Jerry Harrison) and the Cars (David Robinson). It's a very influential record and proto-punk classic, it has to be considered one of the great art rock albums!

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Sun Jul 10 2022
5

An amazing album and arguably on of the most influential releases of all time with it's pronto-punk weirdo genius. Even more amazing as it was nearly never released

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Tue Aug 09 2022
5

There's nothing I could say about this perfect album that hasn't already been said. And yes, Pablo Picasso might be the greatest song ever. That's all, folks!

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Fri Aug 19 2022
5

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6... love this, absolute genius! Even though this isn't really an "album" it's incredibly influential. Straight line from the VU to this to everything great in the indie world.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

good

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Fri Sep 02 2022
5

I Love this album. So cool, so innocent, so straight ahead. To me it ranks with The Violent Femmes debut album as the one that best captures teenage life. Modern Lovers focusing more on teenage simplicity, Violent Femmes more on teenage angst. It helps that Jonathan Richman and Gordon Gano both have idiosyncratic (some might say; annoying) voices that I love. Any album is chock full of classics; Roadrunner, Astral Plane, Pablo Picasso and the fantastic I'm Straight. As well as other minor classics like Girlfriend, Dignified and Old, She Cracked. Just a classic album that laid the blueprint that was later followed by indie rock bands like Guided By Voices, Magnetic Fields, Pavement and the afore mentioned Violent Femmes. 5 stars

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Wed Sep 07 2022
5

"The Modern Lovers" is the debut album by the Boston-based band The Modern Lovers which, for this album, consisted of Jonathan Richman (lead singer and guitarist), Jerry Harrison (keyboards, future Talking Head member), David Robinson (drummer, future Car's member) and Ernie Brooks (bass). The album was released in 1976 but was recorded in 1971-1972. Going to LA, they recorded six songs for Warner Brothers with John Cale (Velvet Underground fame) as producer and two songs for A&M and Allan Mason as producer. When they returned to Boston, the band couldn't decide on a record label and, additionally, Jonathan Richman wanted to redo the songs in a totally different direction. Eventually, Richman's new record label Beserkley remixed the orginal tapes which then became the album in 1976. The music style is referred to as proto punk. That is actually a very good name; this music is basically an interception between some of the pyschedelic 60's, the Byrds, the Velvet Underground and the forthcoming punk. No surpise a heavy Velvet Underground influence; besides Cale as the producer, RIchman was a huge VU fan and is featured prominently in their Hulu documentary. Lyrically these songs are mostly about girls and relationships but not all. This is a really good album. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and the album starts with their single "Roadrunner." Richman's nasally voice. Straight-forward 60's sounding rock. Nice Keyboard interlude and a fantastic ending with the backing vocals. A song about driving around listening to the radio, stopping by the store and maybe about isolation. A favorite of mine, "Pablo Picasso" ends the first side with a dark Velvet Underground vibe. Acoustic guitar. Electric guitar enters and now gives the song a 60's pyschedelic, Byrd's-esque feel. Some guy (Pablo Picasso) gets all the girls and fame without really trying. Richman said it was about his obsession with girls. Let's get more of the punk flowing on the second side with "She Cracked." Quicker tempo, harder, more rockin' than anything previous. His girl went crazy but he won't. "Girl Friend" is a slower song, more relaxed. Kind of punk poetry and imagery comparing his girlfriend/love to art and understanding both. "Modern World" ends the album rockin'. 60's guitar. Another VU-influenced song. This album is considered a classic and rightfully so. This is good place to start with Jonathan Richman. But don't stop there, he has fantastic music throughout his career and is well-worth checking out.

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Sat Sep 10 2022
5

This album is hugely influential is stands as a landmark proto-punk album. Though the instrumentation is simplistic and reminiscent of garage rock, this album leans into its more experimental side producing an enduring art rock statement. The lyrics satirize rock culture and often verge into the delightfully absurd. The self awareness of this album is refreshing and makes its one of the most consequential pieces of 70s experimental rock.

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Mon Sep 12 2022
5

Incredible. The more I listen to music of this era and genre, the more I realise how unoriginal The Strokes are.

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Sat Nov 26 2022
5

Great album in every aspect (like many other Jonathan Richman albums). Hard to believe it took 4 years before it was released.

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Wed Apr 14 2021
4

Classic Boston album. Probably enjoyed most "Hospital" and "Dance with me"

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Fri Jun 11 2021
4

Feels punk rock, but doesn't thrash, I really enjoyed this one.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

Ensikuuntelulla tästä jäi vähän sekavat fiilikset. Onneksi kuitenkin annoin vielä ensin yhden, ja lopulta varmaan noin viisi lisäkuuntelua paremmalla keskittymisellä. Tämähän olikin lopulta aivan hemmetin vangitsevaa tykittelyä. Eräs listan positiivisimmista yllätyksistä toistaiseksi. Vaikkei ihan viiden tähden kokonaisuus olekaan, niin varmasti lähempänä vitosta kuin kolmosta. Erityismaininnan ansaitsisi useampikin kappale mutta mieleen jäi varsinkin Hospital sekä David Bowien myöhemmin coveroima Pablo Picasso.

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Sun Jun 13 2021
4

well, this isn't fair, because jonathan richman is a bit of a hometown hero, and the state's favorite song appears on this album twice...but yeah, i liked it. strongly reminiscent, unsurprisingly, of the velvet underground, but still its own thing.

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Sat May 01 2021
4

Guay. Me recuerda a Evan Dando

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Sun Jul 04 2021
4

4.2 - Jonathan Richman manages to sound simultaneously too cool to care and utterly vulnerable with his chatty lyrics and endearing, slacker-y vocals. Extra points for putting suburban Massachusetts on the rock map! Standout tracks include “Roadrunner” and “I’m Straight.”

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Fri Mar 05 2021
4

the modern lovers are not very modern anymore but their loving is still strong. I shall besto up their album seven pablo picassos (not the asshole one but the other one)

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

They were ahead of their time.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
4

I like this. Reminds me of the doors. Enjoyable.

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

Not without merits but not my thing. Some decent songs but just couldn’t get to grips with the style. Favourite song-Hang down your head

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Wed Apr 28 2021
4

Echt gut... Bisschen weniger Punk als mc5

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Wed Mar 17 2021
4

An ancient album that is not boring?

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Wed Mar 31 2021
4

This is right up my street. The modern lovers bridge the gap between experiential 60s rock and 80s punk. This is a good piece of rock history.

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Tue May 18 2021
4

Cool Album!!

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Tue Jun 22 2021
4

Easy to listen to proto-punk. Nothing extraordinary.

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Tue Jun 01 2021
4

I liked this. Never heard of it but the seem cool. Forefathers of punk?

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

I love this album and listen to it a lot. I wish I could give it a 4.5 because I can't give it 5. Not on the same level as 5 star albums

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Sat Aug 14 2021
4

No Post Punk without Proto Punk. Can hear how much influence this has had.

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Thu Sep 09 2021
4

Drummer for the Cars; bassist for Talking Heads. That’s a pretty fantastic evolution. How do I not know this band?

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Mon Sep 13 2021
4

Definitely sounded like hugely influenced by The Velvet Underground and from their Wiki that's definitely the case. However this does feel a bit more pessimism and ironic than The Velvet Underground. Some of the songs do absolutely nothing, but others like "Road Runner", "Pablos Picasso", and "Hospital" feel very nostalgic, maybe I've heard them or maybe I've just heard songs that have copped their style. "Dance With Me" is surprising that they were released with that much recording distortion, but that flaw in production is kind of my jam. The Jonathan Richman delivery is definitely the point of which you are too drunk to sing but god dammit you gotta do it anyways, which I mean I can respect. I like that there are only a few albums of the group, makes it feel a bit more transient. I'd be curious if I'd like Richman's solo stuff or if this combination of musicians had struck gold.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
4

I like the vibe, reminds me of Cream's "Sunshine of your Love". But no song struck me as really memorable... Except maybe for "Pablo Picasso", but that one didn't excite me much either.

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Fri Oct 01 2021
4

Embarrassingly, I'd never heard of them... but now very glad I have. Jangly, surfy, hippy fodder that was clearly the inspiration for a mid-to-late-noughties band I can't remember. Inevitably called 'The' something. For fuck's sake.

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

Like a fun, poppier version of the Velvet Underground (a clear and direct influence on Richman). The classic songs are deadset classics (roadrunner, pablo picasso, she cracked). Obviously influential on many, many subsequent bands. One of the key proto-punk albums. Loose and energetic recording.

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Thu Oct 14 2021
4

This was a good listen. A lot of interesting guitar textures going on throughout the album. Favorite tracks: Roadrunner, Astral Plane, Pablo Picasso (I still can't figure out if he's really and asshole or not), Hospital and I'm Straight.

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Tue Oct 19 2021
4

This album got real, real fast.

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Thu Nov 11 2021
4

Liked it.

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Sun Nov 14 2021
4

Can’t believe I’ve only just found this album, it’s fantastic. The walking bass and organ combo is my jam. Velvet Underground with a bit of the doors thrown in. The lyrics and vocals get a bit repetitive and the songs are perhaps a tad too long, but the sound is so effortlessly cool. 4/5 - Loses momentum in the second half unfortunately, but it’s added to my collection.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
4

Solid album, feels like they are laying the groundwork for later punk

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Tue Nov 23 2021
4

Great, would listen again

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Thu Nov 25 2021
4

Well, there is a guy that played in TH later, so it has to be rated properly.

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Tue Nov 30 2021
4

V solid. Liked it a lot. Will pursue further.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
4

Never heard this before. VERY reminiscent of the doors, but also somehow presaging new wave punk from the 80s.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

4.5

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Mon Dec 20 2021
4

im straight.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
4

violent femmes/green day feel like

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Wed Dec 29 2021
4

7/10

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

This album was great, I particularly liked Hospital. Will definitely be returning.

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Wed Jan 05 2022
4

I really like the sound of this one, but I can't pick out a lot of favorites from the tracklist. Still a solid listen. Favorite: Roadrunner

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Sun Jan 09 2022
4

Scrappy and lived in and cool

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Wed Jan 12 2022
4

Skeptical at first, but actually got really into it. Feels a bit like mumble rock :D

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Thu Jan 13 2022
4

I love this album to death the music, the humble smart style of Jonathan just amazing

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Thu Jan 27 2022
4

Will listen again for sure

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Tue Feb 01 2022
4

Best thing about this project is discovering gems like this. I've heard a couple of these songs before, but never listened to the whole album. It's a glorious mish-mash of Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, Talking Heads, and a bunch of other proto-punk and early alternative stuff. Excellent. 4 stars.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

Quite liked a few of the songs

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Tue Feb 08 2022
4

Hospital is such an amazing song. This album generated a pretty amazing station with a lot of my favorites and a lot of what will be new favorites.

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Fri Feb 18 2022
4

Pretty good, catchy and varied, and before a lot of the things it sounds like (which shows its influence). Roadrunner, astral plane, and she cracked were my top tracks

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Thu Feb 24 2022
4

I don't really know what proto-punk is, since I absolutely hate punk and hated the last proto-punk album we've had as well. But I thought this one is actually pretty awesome. For a debut album it always sounds extremely confident and straight-lined. I should also add that the rating is based only on the 9 tracks of the original album. I also listened to two of the bonus tracks and those were 2 star songs at most. So I guess also kudos for knowing which tracks to include and which to exclude...

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Sat Feb 26 2022
4

Interesting

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Tue Mar 01 2022
4

Really interesting album, albeit slightly too long. I've heard Roadrunner before but couldn't have identified the band previously. Very cool sound. Hospital, with its erratic mismatched timing, is a very good song. Enjoyed this a lot

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Fri Mar 04 2022
4

Four stars An all-time classic, and an album which still holds its own many years after it was released. As is usually the case with those classic albums, I won't write a full-blown review here given that others have already written wonderful stuff about them and there's not much I can add that I feel could be relevant and interesting. "The Modern Lovers" is just a timeless gem for anyone who has even a remote interest in post Velvet-Underground rock, not to mention proto-punk, here recorded more than five years before the word " punk" reached our collective consciousness. Go and listen to it a.s.a.p. Number of albums left to review or just listen to:  more than 900, I've temporarily lost count here Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens:  approximately a third so far (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: another third Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): the last third Albums I might not be the best person to judge, but that I will probably include in my final list: 2. That, I remember.           

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Sat Mar 12 2022
4

Jonathan Richman borders

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Sat Mar 19 2022
4

Going faster miles an hour

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Mon Apr 18 2022
4

Muy buenos !! No los conocía !!!

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Wed Apr 20 2022
4

Очень похоже на творчество групп The Doors, The Velvet Underground, Talking Heads. Необычная музыка. Прикольная.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

Who ate all the pies? Who ate all the lies? The fat bastards will never find love in the dark. They will never be allowed. They will never be happy. Eat another pie, you fat bastard.

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Tue Apr 26 2022
4

Fuck Pablo Picasso, SHACK gets called an asshole all the time. i've started to listen to this album loads of times and very rarely get to the end. it falls off a cliff after pablo picasso, but there are a couple of belters early on.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
4

Rock despullat i cru però amb cançons imaginatives i honestes. Una llàstima que la banda no donés més de sí, perquè Richman en solitari mai s'ha apropat a l'aconseguit en aquest disc. 'Pablo Picasso', 'Roadrunner', 'Hospital', 'Modern World'... un molt estimulant conjunt de temes

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Fri May 06 2022
4

Folk Rocky vibe to it. Beginning of the album is extra good, falls off a but towards the end in my opinion. But overall good sound and good vocals

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Sat May 07 2022
4

Voice doesn't quite match the music. Lyrics are on the young side. Pleasantly surprising.

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Thu May 12 2022
4

I don't know why. But I love this band so much. Jonathan's voice is just odd. And great. I've listened to I'm straight for days on end. And know the lyrics by heart. Fantastic.

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Wed May 25 2022
4

Hard album to rate. In a vacuum, I would give it a 5 for being perfect at what it does, but when you compare it to other albums, I would say it rates below some of my high 4s. I suppose that makes it a 4 with the caveat that I don't think this album could have been made better. It is quintessential and perfect in its moment, but it is a "small" album. It doesn't have the ambition that would make it a 5 for me, great though it may be.

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Sat Jun 11 2022
4

An album to take you back in time. Pretty much a classic. The band should have been given an Iggy Pop and the......whatever they wanted to call themselves credit though. Theyre as much a part of it's success as Iggy.

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Mon Jun 20 2022
4

Garage proto punk

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Mon Jun 27 2022
4

Enjoyed. Roadrunner is a treat. proto punk fun

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Sat Jul 09 2022
4

John Richman’s carefree attitude and vocals mixed with proto-punk and at times even blues instrumentals make this album really ahead of its time. He paints a picture and tells a story with each song, bringing the listener along for the ride whether they want to or not. I especially love how they were indie before indie was even a thing and how you can already hear the beginnings of the “emo” and “angsty” sound that wouldn’t be popular until decades later. I like the subtle diversity in instrumentals , with Roadrunner being a classic rock n roll track, She Cracked being more punk and heavier at times, Hospital and Girlfriend with their almost R&B-Esque auras, and I’m Straight sounding very bluesy. I’d also like to note that he was everything you WOULDN’T expect a punk band to be almost rejecting the idea of being put in a specific box, the definition of real punk music. Talking about respecting women and not wanting to just bone random girls in Someone I Care About and admitting he’s sober and doesn’t care for smoking pot and doing drugs in “I’m Straight”??? I mean, this guy truly didn’t give a single fu*k about seeming “cool” and I can really respect that. Listened to: 07/8/22 Favorite Songs: Roadrunner, Pablo Picasso, She Cracked, Modern World

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Tue Jul 26 2022
4

Tykkäsin tästä kyllä, Roadrunner varsinkin todella kova biisi. Sanotaan 3.5, pyöristyy neloseen.

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Tue Jul 26 2022
4

Tää on kyl upea levy. Ainutlaatuinen kerrassaan. Joskus annan vielä vitosen, nyt 4.5/5.

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Wed Jul 27 2022
4

Guay. Me recuerda a Evan Dando.4

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Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Shout out to my university friend Steven who put me on to Kurt Vonnegut and The Modern Lovers in the 90s. I've loved them ever since.

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Sun Aug 07 2022
4

A proto-punk 70's album, somewhere between 1960's The Doors and 1980's Black Flag. A good listen!

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Fri Aug 19 2022
4

A little punkish, but also pretty melodic with songs like Hospital. Roadrunner & Pablo Picasso are pretty cool songs too. I've never heard of this band before this so it's always interesting to be exposed to a brand new sound. I may have to look up what else the guitarist for this band has done because I like the tone and emotion behind the guitar specifically.. Pretty weird sounding record but I enjoyed it a lot. Like a more evolved Velvet Underground without the pretentiousness

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Fri Aug 26 2022
4

It was an enjoyable listen I wish I listened to it more closely but I’ll definitely listen to it in the future.

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Mon Sep 05 2022
4

Jonathan Richman is the Nathan Fielder of rock music

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Thu Sep 08 2022
4

Why have I never heard of this before?

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Fri Sep 09 2022
4

I actually liked this one. Not like groundbreaking but fun with a sorta outsiders sound, bit velvet underground/ violent femmes. I'd heard bits and bobs from richman before but I liked taking the time to listen to the album. Good!

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Sun Sep 11 2022
4

Pretty damn cool.

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Wed Sep 21 2022
4

Jonathan Richmond gives us a glimpse in to his perpetually adolescent brain. Essentially the invention of geek rock. The fact some of these songs were from 1971 shows how ahead of his time he was. Though I'm pretty sure Picasso was called an arsehole at least once in his life. Best Tracks: Roadrunner; Astral Plane; She Cracked

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Sun Sep 25 2022
4

Not too bad with vocals that match the same pitch and way as of “suicidal tendencies “ but more funky with defiantly back music that carries the same and flat vocals so can be a decent listen if your not paying attention

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Thu Sep 29 2022
4

This record and this band take on almost mythical stature, which I'm sure that's how Jonathan Richman prefers it. At the end of the day though these recordings that were pulled together to make this record are an excellent snapshot of an otherwise short lived and unrealized sound. Richman has always been changing and not wanting to even perform any older songs all that often. These songs are edgy and have that proto punk driving force and their influence is far felt 50 years later. It's an incredible recording and we should be thankful it exists.

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Mon Oct 03 2022
4

Loving it

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Tue Oct 04 2022
4

Good album!

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Tue Oct 04 2022
4

Good Boston references and some good tunes

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Tue Oct 18 2022
4

She cracked, I'm sad, but I won't.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
4

Prefs: Roadrunner, Old World, Pablo Picasso, She Cracked, Hospital, Someone I Care About, Modern World Moins pref: Girlfriend

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Thu Nov 10 2022
4

Bijzonder modern voor 1976

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Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Pablo Picasso.. never got called an asshole

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Tue Nov 22 2022
4

Jonathan Richman is great. A groundbreaking album for its time.

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Fri Nov 25 2022
4

entretenido

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Sat Nov 26 2022
4

Very pleasant surprise.

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Wed Mar 31 2021
3

Decent proto punk

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Thu Mar 18 2021
3

3

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Mon Jan 11 2021
3

Enjoyably, more so than velvet underground. Quite a distinct twang in the guitar sound which was nice

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Mon Jan 11 2021
3

I enjoyed this album. A lot of similarities with Velvet Underground and The Doors. Sleepy punk.

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Sun Jan 24 2021
3

@@@. A couple of nice songs, sometimes weird singing.

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Fri Jun 11 2021
3

Proto-punk, dat heb ik even opgezocht. Hier en daar wat gelijkenis met the Doors qua geluid en muziek, maar dan een tikkie anders. Zangstijl is kenmerkend, hou ik wel van. Roadrunner en Pablo Picasso (die kende ik al wel) springen eruit.

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Wed Mar 24 2021
3

decent

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Wed Mar 24 2021
3

this grew on me, was a lil drony but I liked the slow ones. pretty cool ‘hospital’ was so nice and sad. bit repetitive tho.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
3

I thought it was all right musically but a bit weird lyrically: kind of ironically awkward, but just enough to be uncomfortable. It might be an "important" album but I don't think it's enjoyable.

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Fri Mar 19 2021
3

Buen disco de pre-punk, pero sin excesos

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Thu Mar 25 2021
3

Not a great album or sound objectively speaking, but I enjoyed it subjectively as a cult classic and as an influence on the punk that I enjoy.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
3

Aikakautensa rokkia, kyllä tästä tulee jollain tasolla The Doors mieleen. Muutamia ihan meneviä kappaleitakin oli mukana, mutta aika tasapaksua tavaraa noin yleisesti. Esim Roadrunner ja Pablo Picasso jäivät mieleen.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
3

punk when there was not punk yet? velvet underground copied it?

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Fri Feb 26 2021
3

Another new band for me. Sounded surprisingly current for a 70s album.

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Wed Apr 28 2021
3

Das ist also Proto-Punk... ganz schön!

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Mon May 03 2021
3

Banda de rock totalmente desconocida por mí, pero que llevan el rollito de rock hablado más que cantado. Me recuerdan mucho a The Doors. Me han gustado.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
3

Rockigere und saubere Version der Ramones

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Fri Jul 09 2021
3

Jedan od okejastijih albuma sedamdeset i šeste godine, pogotovo što album započinju sa jako dobrom stvari zvanom Roadrunner. Općenito album je dobar i živi do svoje ocjene koje joj je dano na rym.

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Tue May 25 2021
3

Irregular

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Tue May 18 2021
3

Wie Beat!Beat!Beat!

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Mon Jun 14 2021
3

Surprised I haven’t heard of them before. Early punk. Can definitely see how much of an influence they had on later bands like the cramps.

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Sat May 15 2021
3

Rocky. Fun. Like “Pablo Picasso” and “Girlfriend”

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Mon May 10 2021
3

Funny punk rock sound. Hard to believe it’s from the 70s

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Wed Jul 07 2021
3

Little cheesy lyrics 3/5

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Mon May 10 2021
3

Lead singer vocals and organ reminiscent of doors, enjoyed the variety of pace and sound in their tracks, boston references, and quirky awkward dating lyrics.

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Mon Jul 12 2021
3

Fun album if nothing really spectacular to me. I dig the vocalist's style. Reminds me of some modern post-rock.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
3

another fine but forgettable 3

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Tue Aug 03 2021
3

Many different sounds and great exploration of punk rock

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Wed Aug 11 2021
3

Pas pire mais generique comme album. Je n’etais peut etrepas dans le bon mood. 3*

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Thu Aug 19 2021
3

Cool find! I've never heard of them before, they sound like an edgier version of the Velvet Underground. I can hear the groundwork for bands like the Clash and the Sex Pistols from this album. Favorite Tracks: "Roadrunner" "Pablo Picasso"

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