Thursday, May 31, 2012

Records -- "Teenarama" (1979)

Blind date!
School gate!
You wait!
He's late!
Daddy's car!
Coffee bar!
First bra!
Too far!

The Records released their power-pop classic, "Teenarama," on this date in 1979.  

This song pulls out just about every musical trick in the book.  And if the guitar hooks and vocal harmonies don't grab you, the Lolita-ish lyrics will.  Think of "Teenarama"  as a musical amuse-bouche -- albeit a slightly creepy amuse-bouche.

Here's the cover for the "Teenarama" single:

You've heard of May-December romances?  They usually involve a young female and an older male -- Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore were an exception to that rule, of course.

If you want to think of a human lifespan of 80 years in terms of a single year, each month represents between six and seven years.  Run the numbers and you'll see that Miss May is roughly 27 to 33 years of age, while Mr. December is 73 to 80.

May-December couple:
Hefner (86) and Harris (25)
Here, the male wants a "younger girl," a "juvenile" who drinks only Coca-Cola.  He picks her up after school and takes her to a coffee shop on their first date -- presumably because she is too young to go to a bar.

The guy isn't that old.  He is out of school and old enough to drink -- in the UK, the minimum legal drinking age is 18 -- but young enough that he is driving daddy's car.

I think we have a March-April romance here.  That may not sound too bad compared to a May-December couple, but do the math:  we're talking about a 13- or 14-year-old girl and a 19- or 20-year-old guy.  

I doubt that any of you with 13- or 14-year-old  daughters would be happy about them being picked up at school by a 19- or 20-year-old male. 

The Records were a British band that released their first album in 1979.  It did reasonably well -- "Teenarama" and another single from the album, "Starry Eyes," got a fair amount of radio play in the UK and the U.S. of A. -- but the band's two subsequent albums didn't sell well, and the band broke up in 1982.

The Records have been compared to bands like Big Star, Badfinger, and the Raspberries -- each a power-pop giant.  As Chris Woodstra of has written, the group's three albums are full of "should-have-been-hits pop classics," but the band was "criminally unrewarded" by the public.  (This sounds like what the critics said about Fools Face, doesn't it?)    

I vaguely remember hearing "Teenarama" on the radio a few times when it was new.  I have the LP that it's on, which may have been a cutout, although it looks more like it was a used record.  It still has a $1.49 price sticker on it.  

I don't think I ever played the entire album.  I may not have ever played anything other than "Teenarama."  (For $1.49, I might have bought this LP just to get that one song.)

Here's "Teenarama."  After you hear it, I think you'll agree that it's amazing that the song was never featured in an 80's movie soundtrack -- maybe Fast Times at Ridgemont High or National Lampoon's Vacation

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

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