power-pop - The I-94 Bar

Bigger Than Life - Jack Lee (Alive Natural Sounds)

bigger than lifeIf Jack Lee went to his grave only known as the guy who wrote the Blondie hit “Hanging On the Telephone” he’d be more noteworthy than all of us combined and then some. The irony is that only music publishing houses and fans of his former band, The Nerves, would know this. Sad, but that’s the state of music in the ‘00s.

Just the facts: Their recorded output was scant but The Nerves were one helluva great power-pop band, operating out of LA in the mid-‘70s, and Jack Lee was (and probably still is) a consummate songwriter. Lee formed The Nerves and played guitar. His similarly talented bandmates were Peter Case (bass) and Paul Collins (drums.) They all sang and wrote the songs. That’s probably too much talent for one band and of course they didn’t last long…

Surrender b/w Down Around The Corner - The Lonelyhearts (Buttercup Records)

surrenderThe Lonelyhearts popped out of Sydney’s western suburbs in 1979 and burned, briefly and brightly, before slipping away. Their their first 45, “Last Kiss” b/w “Ambition” is as one of the great lost Oz power-pop gems of its time.

They had two lives, resurfacing towards the end of the decade, but The Lonelyhearts’ recorded legacy (three full singles) was scant for a band of their quality. And that’s why Melbourne’s canny boutique label, Buttercup Records, is seeking to make amends.