Friday, February 15, 2013

My Super 70's: Roadrunner by The Modern Lovers

My Super 70's has come to an end and there is no better act to close this week than The Modern Lovers. This Boston, Massachusetts band was led by the eccentric Jonathan Richman and were active during the 1970's and 1980's. 'Roadrunner' is the opening track to their 1976 classic pre-punk masterpiece The Modern Lovers.

Simplicity in rock and roll should be appreciated. Some bands can create complex masterpieces, and I truly appreciate those works, but a teenage Jonathan Richman took three chords and created a punk anthem about the joys of driving in your car and listening to some great rock music. 'Roadrunner' is in my opinion one of the greatest songs in the history of rock and roll.

Released in 1976, The Modern Lovers debut was an influential rock and roll album that spent some four or five years in development hell. The Modern Lovers were pursued by various record companies in the early 70's, but tensions in the band and some other issues delayed the release. By 1976, Richman was essentially a solo artist that used a variety of backing musicians that were labeled 'The Modern Lovers'.

I don't think there is a better song to open an album than 'Roadrunner'. Richman's count to six leads into a true rock and roll experience that is second to none. It might not hit you at first, but 'Roadrunner' takes the listener to a time when rock and roll was fun and kids could jump on the stage with a band that had a handful of songs that used a couple of chords.

On a side note, a lawmaker in Massachusetts is trying to make 'Roadrunner' the official state song. Enjoy!

TonyDoug Wright is The Lost Soul of Rock and Roll and is also the head writer and owner of Champion City Comics. Follow him @TonyDougWright on Twitter.

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