My 50 Favorite Albums (continued)

Jojo_1If there’s one musician who I’d love to be friends with, its Jonathan Richman.

He started out as a punk rocker following in the footsteps of Lou Reed and the Velvets.  He then merged into a singer songwriter  singing cute ditties about Ice Cream Men and Vincent Van Gogh.

And his most recent 15 minutes of fame came as himself in There’s Something About Mary.

And he hasn’t really put out anything interesting in years.

None of this matters to me.  Every time I listen to Jonathan’s music, I get a big smile on my face. His music is happy music.

Jonathan’s music has to be in my Top 50, no question about it.  But what record to include?  That’s not any easy choice.

There are three distinct phases of Jonathan’s music:

The punk phase where he played with a band called The Modern Lovers.  The seminal record from this period is the The Modern Lovers.

The next period is where he went solo and became a singer songwriter.  The seminal record from this period is Rock N Roll With.  That said, all the records from this period are fantastic.

The final interesting period for me is the early/mid 80s where he went even more cutsie and his material became more uneven.  There is one absolutely classic record from this period that The Gotham Gal and I love and that is Rockin and Romance.   This record is out of print, but the link is to Twin Tone’s web site where you can buy a CD with the 1985 production master.  If you like Jonathan’s music and don’t have this record, go get the master.

Another problem is so much of Jonathan’s music has been released in different compilations both here in the US and in Europe.  So there are great compilations, bootlegs, and live records that could easily make the Top 50.

Modern_loversBut when its all said and done, I have to go with the original Modern Lovers record. 

With songs like Roadrunner, Girlfren, Pablo Picasso, Astral Plane, and lots more, this is a classic record by a one of kind master of modern music.

Welcome to the top 50 Jojo!