In the series of Toronto based label Bomb Records re-issues, Bullseye brings back the three albums Bob Segarini released in the period from 1978 to 1980, after he’d spent the ‘70s fronting The Wackers and The Dudes (his late ‘60s conceptual popsike offering with Family Tree is about to be re-released on Rev-Ola!).
These days being regarded as a long lost power-pop classic, Gotta Have Pop balances the pub-rock sounds of the day and Bob’s Beatle-fascination, starting of with the radio friendly AM radio sound of title tune, being touched by the hands of Costello and Andy Partridge at the same time, with mostly similar references being thrown around afterwards too.
As heard in the Badfinger-ish rawk-out of I Don’t Want To Lose You, a fifties ballad by way of 10CC called Don’t Believe A word I Say or Livin’ In The Movies, which doesn’t get too far from the ‘50s concept neither, throwing in a bit of an “E-Streeet shuffle”, complete with a sax solo, and nor does Steady Eddie, again being more reminiscent of early Costello, while with the closing Love Story, Bob pays his tribute to The Beatles, being inspired musically, as he puts it himself, by Paul Simon and (especially) Randy Newman.
Worth of special mention is also the cover of Slade’s When the Lights Are Out, regarded by Segarini himself as being “one of the greatest non-Beatle Beatle songs ever written”, as well as the whole bunch of bonus tracks, such as the live-in-the-studio take on The Wackers jazzy popsike Body Go Round, which could’ve passed for a Style Council-sound precursor, The Dudes’ demo Laurel Ann, which is another piece of Badfinger-styled pop rock, as well as the first-ever appearance of Goodbye, which according to Bob is “a love letter to George and John”.
The 1980 follow up, Goodbye L.A. finds him leaning a bit more towards the pub rock side of the above mentioned balance, and even though he might’ve had a more inspired moment or two, does it really matter what a song called I Like The Beatles (And My Baby Loves The Rolling Stones) sounds like?!
Still, it’s only with a couple of tunes that Bob manages to get close to the standard of the album’s predecessor, as with another-neighboring-soulmate-written (Garwood Wallace from the band Twitch, reviewed elsewhere on these pages) Rock’n’roll Moment or the country-ish-power-pop-but-still-Beatley-enough I Hardly Know Her Name, Odd Couples and Who’s Loving You, as well as the Spector-soundalike It’s Christmas.
Also worthy of mention are some tasty covers, such as Please, Please, Please, originally by Ducks Deluxe, Eddie Cochran’s Nervous Breakdown and an unreleased live take on The Beatles’ In My Life.
As for On The Radio, it’s exactly what the title implies, a radio broadcast of an early gig from 1978, mostly proving that the band was capable enough of recapturing the studio recordings from the above two albums in front of an audience as well.
Now all that’s left for us to do, is to put ALL of this stuff BACK “on the radio”!
[Released by Bullseye 2006]