Cheap Trick – Heaven Tonight – Released in 1978 the difficult third album curse thank fully avoided Robin Zander and his merry men. This album introduced “Surrender” which quickly established itself as the band’s signature tune. The title track and ‘High Roller’remain personal favourites for the Dr. Everything came together on this gem, that still sounds as fresh and vibrant today as it did in 78.
The Plimsouls – Everywhere at Once – Their second LP this time on a major label, released in 1983 on Geffen Records. Stand out tracks include ‘Oldest story in the World’ and ‘ A million miles away’ (a minor hit after appearing in the movie Valley Girl). Lead singer Peter Case proved he can produce more hooks than a fishing tackle box with this outstanding effort.
20/20 – Self Titled – A finer slab of Power Pop you will struggle to find. Steve Allen (Guitar, vocals) and Ron Flynt (Bass, vocals) originally played together in Tulsa before chasing the sun and fun to California. Their debut album was released in 1979 on Portrait Records it flirted with commercial success, briefly reaching number 138 on the Billboard charts.Tight playing, power chords and great hooks make this release a worthy contender in the power pop hall of fame. Check out “Cherie” and “Yellow Pills” if you want a taste test.
The Stems – Love Will Grow EP – Hailing from Perth Western Australia and led by Dom Mariani, this killer release was issued in 1986 on Sydney label Citadel Records (label mates included the likes of Died Pretty and the Lime Spiders). After a couple of well received earlier singles the Stems established a reputation for a tough melodic sixties inspired sound that established their credentials with Aussie punters. The production of this four track release was in safe hands with Rob Younger (Radio Birdman vocalist) and Alan Thorne (Screaming Tribesmen, Paul Kelly). ‘Love Will Grow’ and ‘ Under your Mushroom’ are the standout tracks for the Dr..
The Huxton Creepers – 12 Days to Paris – Melbourne school friends formed this outfit in 1984. Vocalist Rob Craw and his mates had a single and a couple of tracks on various compilations under their belts before they released their debut long player. Considering the relative inexperience of the band, ’12 Days’ was a remarkably well crafted and produced album. Like the Stems, the boys made no secret of their like for sixties inspired pop, with a healthy dose of Flamin’ Groovies and Plimsouls inspired sound thrown in for good measure. Well crafted songs, great arrangements, and the guitars turned up loud in the mix saw this release receive both commercial and indie acclaim. The single ‘My Cherie Amour’ enjoyed respectable FM radio success whilst ‘ I will persuade you ‘ and ‘ Autumn Leaves’ quickly established themselves as live favorites.