AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #21 : THE LEMONHEADS

Jpeg - band image
Another fine guest contribution today, this time courtesy of Jen whose long-time love for The Lemonheads comes through nice’n’clear.  She’s gone for a chronological approach that demonstrates how much the band’s sound changed and evolved in a little over a decade and she’s also included a fair proportion of cover versions, none of which are the song that got them the commercial breakthrough here in the UK:-

AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM – THE LEMONHEADS

1. So I Fucked Up…[Laughing All The Way To The Cleaners 7” EP, 1986]

Punk was still new in Northern California in 1986, the year the Lemonheads put out their first record. Both singers here, and that great relief of shrugging off your potential and embracing your god given destiny.

2. Hate Your Friends [Hate Your Friends, 1987]

Seventeen and speeding around the San Francisco suburbs with my friends. No sleep for a week, sitting around the living room staring at each other, these lyrics will speak to you.

3. Ride With Me [Lovey, 1990]

Alone. Driving. Loud.

4. Different Drum [Favorite Spanish Dishes, CD EP, 1991]

This is the record where the Lemonheads became a pop band. Dando kept Ronstadt’s POV, singing about a “boy” instead of changing the lyrics to “girl.” It’s hard to remember how bad-ass that was in 1991.

5. Skulls [Favorite Spanish Dishes, CD EP, 1991]

If you take a violent, funny Misfits song (so any Misfits song) and cover it slow and acoustic, the song becomes an amazing sad classic. It’s a good trick. It works every time, as many bands have discovered since Dando.

6. Alison’s Starting To Happen [It’s A Shame About Ray, 1992]

Is Dando more idiot, or more savant? Is it an act, an accident, a joke on us?

7. Frank Mills [It’s A Shame About Ray, 1992]

From the 1968 “Hair” soundtrack. This song was a gift, for us kids hanging out in the park. No school. No work. Lots of characters.

8. The Great Big No [Come On Feel, 1993]

My favorite of the big pop songs.

9. He’s On The Beach [Big Gay Heart, CD EP, 1994]

Kirsty MacColl song about her friend that disappeared in the early 80’s. She started getting beach postcards from Australia. The Lemonheads crush this tune, sending it galloping through the streets of Boston.

10. Hospital [Car Button Cloth, 1996]

Is he trying? Is he not trying? Is he finger-painting with melted crayons? Who calls an album car button cloth? Dando was a sun-slapped gorgeous boy running through the sprinklers with terminal cancer, singing about the cherry flavor of his medicine. He knows rock and roll is for the ugly. He will destroy his own beauty.

Bonus Track: Pin Yr Heart [The Outdoor Type, CD Single, 1997]

As the curtain falls on his first act, he covers Nikki Sudden. Right?

mp3 : The Lemonheads – So I Fucked Up
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Hate Your Friends
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Ride With Me
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Different Drum
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Skulls
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Alison’s Starting To Happen
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Frank Mills
mp3 : The Lemonheads – The Great Big No
mp3 : The Lemonheads – He’s On The Beach
mp3 : The Lemonheads – Hospital

mp3 : The Lemonheads – Pin Yr Heart

Enjoy.

7 thoughts on “AN IMAGINARY COMPILATION ALBUM : #21 : THE LEMONHEADS

  1. One thing that Dando does really well is other people’s songs. That’s not to dismiss his own work of course – he’s got some cracking ones in his canon – but his covers work as if he wrote them himself. My love of Different Drum extends to his version, and anyone who can carry off a Kirsty MacColl track without making me want to cruelly torture them must have something special about them.

  2. Hi Jen

    You can get a link to The Robster via a click on ‘Is This The Life?’ which can be found within the section ‘Blogroll of Honour’ over on the right hand side of T(n)VV.

    His is a great place to visit……

  3. Jen,
    I really enjoyed your choices.Thank you. Different Drum is one of my favorite pieces of music. I have always liked Michael Nesmith’s version quite a lot. He penned the song but didn’t record it himself until several years after Linda took it up the chart. As expected, a lil’ bit country. For a long time one of my favorite versions was the slightly off tune take from the Pastels. It came out at virtually the same time as the Lemonheads’ version, and I’m not sure how many heard it. Not everyone’s cup of tea but worth a listen. I think Dando’s version may be the best of all. Like you say, this is pop! The cover for the Favorite Spanish Dishes EP deserves mention too. Great image.

  4. Thanks Brian! I’m excited to hear the Pastels version. I like the Nesmith recording a lot, but it was so cool for a woman to sing those lyrics at that time, as you obviously appreciate. Great album cover for Spanish Dishes, yes. So nice to see some love for the Lemonheads on TNVV!

  5. I always liked the one off an early album that starts off ‘here I am outside your house at 5 am…’, can’t remember what its called. Typed out it looks like a stalkers song.

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