THE RAVE-UPS: Town + Country

The Rave-Ups 1985 debut album Town + Country, has received a long-awaited reissue from Omnivore Records. As frontman Jimmer Podrasky noted on Facebook, “I wrote the liner notes for this reissue of a record that was an important part of my musical past. Hearing this stuff thirty years later is a real treat and I’m very thankful to Omnivore Recordings for making this possible.” The Rave-Ups formed in 1979 in Pittsburgh, PA and relocated to Los Angeles in the early ‘80s. The band released two albums on Epic Records before calling it quits around 1990. Town + Country, which has been out of circulation and almost impossible to find for decades, is the jewel of The Rave-Ups discography. This will be its first domestic release on CD.

If you were a fan of the movie Pretty In Pink, then you have heard two of the songs on here, the fantastic “Positively Lost Me” and “Rave-Up, Shut-Up” that were in the club scenes. With these two great songs, you would have thought that they would have been well-known, but that didn’t happen. The album is chock full of great songs with a touch of country edge, but not enough to make you two-step, just enough to give the songs a different sound than what everyone was playing at the time. A real highlight of the album is the great cover of The Byrds “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.””In My Gremlin,” “By the Way,” and the poignant “Better World” are songs that need to be heard. With the terrific remastering, you can hear every nuance in these songs and feel the raw emotion.

This reissue of Town + Country features the original ten songs, plus a whopping eleven previously unissued bonus tracks, including live radio performances recorded for Deirdre O’Donoghue’s influential Snap program on Los Angeles’ legendary KCRW-FM, as well as 1986 material produced by Steve Berlin (Los Lobos) and Mark Linett. A detailed historical essay from the band’s Jimmer Podrasky, complemented by numerous unseen photos from the sessions/era, make this not only a document of time + place, but one that helps document a moment in musical history.

This is an album that needs to be in your collection, one that cries out to be heard, one that you rears will thank you for. Get this and play it often and relive a time in the ’80s when music was in flux and bands were doing all kinds of experimenting with different genres.

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