About a month ago now I stopped by one of the local thrift stores on my way home from work. I hadn’t been in for a while. I was so glad I went in. I found a bunch of records from the 80’s. A lot of them I knew as artists featured on the "Valley Girl” soundtrack. They all seemed to be a part of someone’s new wave record collection. I bought a handful of the records I knew and then bought one I didn’t know. It was an EP by a group called The Sights. I got home and did some research and discovered the record was quite rare. I was extremely excited and was even more excited when I listened to it. It had catchy power pop songs. I thought that I should go back to the thrift store and pick up some of the other records that I didn’t know. Well I did and when I got them home it was like discovering a whole new world. This person had all sorts of kind of obscure new wave and powerpop records from the early 80’s and now they are mine. So I’ve been working on digitizing these records and taking photos of the sleeves so I can share them with all of you. So over the next few months I’ll be posting the records from time to time.
This self titled debut record by the band 20/20 is my first installment. I had never heard of them before, but if you are a powerpop geek you probably have. There is a powerpop fanzine that began publication in the 80’s and still exists today called “Yellow Pills”. The name is taken from the second track on this album. These guys also have had their songs featured on various powerpop compilations. I can see why. This record is great. Track to track these guys could write catchy pop tunes. At some point I’ll post their second record “Look Out!” which I also picked up, but I think this is the stronger of the two records.
As far as the songs go, definitely check out “Yellow Pills”. “Cheri” is also a killer song. Kind of reminds me of a Rick Springfield song and I mean that in the best possible way. I also like “Tell Me Why (Can’t Understand You)”. “Tonight We Fly” is another rocker with the powerpop chops of a Cheap Trick or again a Rick Springfield song. “Remember The Lightning” has Tom Petty feel. Again that is good in my book. “She’s An Obsession” is another Cheap Trick-esque song. Definitely one of my favorites on the whole record.
I’ve never known much about this whole genre. Sure I knew the big names that I’ve already mentioned, but I never knew the genre as a movement. I must say that I’ve kind of been obsessed with it ever since finding all these records. I’ve enthralled with the craft behind the songs. I love the “La La’s”, the 3 minute format, and other pop devices as well as the poppy content of the lyrics. What I find most amazing is that these songs sound timeless. They don’t particularly scream 80’s like many other records of the time. I’ll be honest I think if you listen to this 20/20 record you could mistake it for something being released today. I think that is something pretty special. I hope you do too.
01 The Sky Is Falling 7_79.m4a
02 Yellow Pills.m4a
04 Out Of The Time.m4a
05 Tell Me Why (Can't Understand You).m4a
06 Tonight We Fly.m4a
07 Remember The Lightning.m4a
08 She's An Obsession.m4a
09 Leaving Your World Behind.m4a
10 Backyard Guys.m4a
11 Jet Lag.m4a
12 Action Now.m4a
20/20 - Side 1.zip
20/20 - Side 2.zip