Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.
Monday, June 13, 2011
The Judy's - Washarama (1981)
Note: in addition to the 12 tracks from Washarama, this CD also contains the 6 tracks of the band's 1980 EP, The Wonderful World of Appliances. Both releases were originally purchased as a LP and EP, later replaced by this single CD.
Just three teenaged guys from Pearland, Texas (back when Pearland was a tiny town 30 minutes from Houston, not the huge suburb it has now become). These three guys put out fantastic 2 minute pop/new wave songs. Here's the lowdown from allmusic.com:
"Texas pop cult heroes the Judy's were formed in the Houston suburb of Pearland in 1979 by singer/guitarist/keyboardist David Bean, guitarist Sam Roush, bassist Jeff Walton and drummer Dane Cessac. Inspired primarily by the B-52's (hence the possessive in their name), the four high schoolers almost immediately began writing their own material, honing a terse, minimalist pop approach ideally suited to Bean's wittily ironic lyrics; just weeks before their first recording date, however, tragedy struck when Roush was killed in an auto accident. The surviving Judy's carried on as a three-piece, issuing their debut seven-inch Teenage Hang Ups on their own Wasted Talent label in 1980; issued in an edition of 500, copies of the record were sold in their school's cafeteria. An EP, The Wonderful World of Appliances, followed later that same year, and as the Judy's emerged as major Houston area live favorites, in 1981 they issued their first full-length effort, Washarama."
I held on to my vinyl copies of the band's music for years, even transferring them to mp3 files in the early 2000's. Finally, in 2007, the band released CD's of their back catalog on their website, wastedtalentrecords.com. (I recommend purchasing "Combo A: 'Give Me One of Everything' Package"). You know I was on that like plaid on boxer shorts. It's hard to describe their music, so if you are unfamiliar with the band, go over and hear some of their tunes on MySpace. As of this writing, the band's music is unavailable on iTunes.
Tracks: all the Washarama tracks are top notch. I've heard them so many times, that it's hard to separate them. If I had to pick favorites, they'd be T.V., Reruns (which must be heard back-to-back), Right Down The Line, Mental Obsession, All the Pretty Girls, and their trademark song and social commentary on the 1978 Jonestown Massacre, Guyana Punch.
The Wonderful World Of Appliances has 4 great songs, including Radiation Squirm (about the Three Mile Island meltdown), How's Gary (about Gary Gilmore), and Vacation in Tehran (about the Iranian hostages). It also has two of my least favorite Judy's songs, Zoo and Dogs.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: In 1982, I returned from summer vacation and my friend Jim said he had a new album I HAD to hear. For some reason, me and about 5 of my friends went over to Jerry E's back porch and listened to it there. I was hooked from the get-go. Within a month (if not weeks or days), I had my own copy.
When Scott and I found out that there were a few copies of The Wonderful World Of Appliances available at The Record Rack (@Shepherd and West Alabama), we immediately jumped in a car and drove to Houston that day to buy our copies. I've still got mine of course (see below).
Mental Obsession makes me think of Scott because I think it was his favorite Judy's song. The cassette dub of Washarama was always in heavy rotation in the Markmobile. I can't imagine high school without The Judy's. Hip local music was perfect for a music snob/contrarian like me.