Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Beat and Torn
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
No Description Available — Track: 10: You're The One,Track: 11: Better Take It Easy,Track: 12: Eloquent Spokesman,Track: 13: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?,Track: 14: Lana-Nana,Track: 15: (My Girl) Maryanne,Track: 16: Shock... more »
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Track: 10: You're The One,Track: 11: Better Take It Easy,Track: 12: Eloquent Spokesman,Track: 13: Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?,Track: 14: Lana-Nana,Track: 15: (My Girl) Maryanne,Track: 16: Shock Therapy,Track: 17: Now You're Gone,Track: 18: Annie Dear,Track: 19: This Kiss Is Mine Tonight,Track: 1: Here I Go Again,Track: 2: Tell Me Too!,Track: 3: Cool Hearted Girl,Track: 4: Take My Love,Track: 5: A Part Of Me Now,Track: 6: She Goes Out With Everybody,Track: 7: Every Night Is A Holiday,Track: 8: Don't You Know?,Track: 9: Where Were You Last Night?
Media Type: CD
Title: BEAT & TORN
Street Release Date: 07/04/2006
The best fake Beatles album ever!
Alan Hutchins | Denver, CO United States | 09/04/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Charlotte, North Carolina's own Spongetones came out of the chute near the turn of the 80's. To call this disc (which compiles their 1982 LP "Beat Music" and a 1984 six-song EP called" Torn Apart" plus one other later song) "Beatle-esque" is to understate the case greatly--it's like saying that Whitesnake might slightly resemble Led Zepplin, or that "Hello I Love You" (The Doors) vaguely reminds you of "All Day and All Night"(The Kinks).
If you didn't know better, you would swear that many songs here actually WERE Beatles out-takes circa 1964. These guys sound like they are trying very hard to BE the Beatles in some alternate-Merseybeat universe--and they succeed greatly in doing so. Various Spongetones sound uncannily like Messrs. Lennon and McCartney, and their choice of instruments (i.e. Rickenbacker guitars, Vox amps, Hofner bass-this gear was pictured in the vinyl LP/EP and got a 'this band uses...' credit) further underscores their ability to nearly exactly duplicate that early Beatles sound. The songwriting is clever and extremely evocative of the Lennon/McCartney songbook. Occasionally one can pin down the specific Beatles song being targeted for inspiration. Examples are "Better Take It Easy", which comes directly from the "Paperback Writer" school of songwriting, and "Where Were You Last Night?", which almost owes royalties to "I Call Your Name". "Take My Love" is cut from the same cloth as "And I Love Her", and "Eloquent Spokeman" is a hodge-podge of circa 1967 sounds and production techniques from songs like "Penny Lane" and "I Am The Walrus" with the abrupt ending of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" thrown in. This is about the only song on the disc to draw from the Beatles post-1966 catalog for ideas. This extremely creative 'tribute' to the Beatles does not come across as a parody (such as the Rutles) or a even mere aping of styles. It is indeed finely crafted performing and songwriting that stands on its own quality merits even as it simultaneously owes a great debt of inspiration to the Fab Four. It helps to have an appreciation of the Beatles to enjoy this, but it is not a pre-requisite. If the sounds eminating from England circa 1964-66 are not to your liking, though, you will not tolerate what the Spongetones are up to very well.The six songs near the end of the disc that were originally from the "Torn Apart" EP show more of a branching out to other Merseyside and British Invasion acts as influences. The Searchers, Hollies and even later solo McCartney material variously get the 'influence' nod in songs like "Maryanne", "Torn Apart" and "Annie Dear". Fun Fact: a little group from Athens, Georgia known as REM contribute handclaps to the song "Shock Therapy". At the time, REM was way below the public radar screen and were working in relative obscurity on their second full length LP called "Reckoning" at the same time/same Reflection Sound Studios in Charlotte where the Spongetones were cutting these tracks.This disc is highly recommended for anyone with an affinity for the British Invasion sounds of the pre-psychedelic 60's. You will be amazed at how well this group takes the '64-'66 recordings of the best band in the world as a benchmark and nearly succeeds in equaling their heros' output and quality. A few substandard songs from the "Torn Apart" EP are all that keeps this from being a five-star recommendation. Grab this one, put on your Beatle boots and find yourself exclaiming, "Fab!" and "Gear!" with each new piece of ear candy that blasts from your speakers."
One of my top 20 all time CDs...
Perry M. Koons | Crownsville, MD United States | 05/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let's go ahead and get this out of the way now - The Spongetones sound remarkably like the Beatles. I've heard them described as "the Rutles played straight", and that just about does it, but I can't give this band high enough praise. Recreating the fabulous sounds of those Liverpool lads we all know and love, Spongetones are not ripoffs, just a band out of time and place. Shading all their songs with familar elements of Beatles songs, the tunes are not direct re-writes, but do invoke a lot of "Hey - this sounds REALLY familar!" The band did southern-style power pop a bit different than its peers - buddies Mitch Easter, Don Dixon, and REM contribute handclaps to the tune "Shock Therapy", but those works of those artists are quite removed from the Spongetones sound. The first album, Beat Music, and the subsequent EP Torn Apart were closer to pure pop than new wave or any other styles of power pop. Beat Music, from 1982, is an absolute charmer, with guitarists Jamie Hoover and Patrick Walters, as well as bassist Steve Stoeckel, all contributing gems. The styles run from beat ravers to bluesy slower numbers to acoustic-driven ballads to mild psychedelia, resulting in something of a "Beatles 101" that retains a smooth album feel instead of sounding like a disjointed singles collection. A masterpiece. Torn Apart is not quite up to the same standards, I find a few songs to drag a bit, but it's hard to argue with glorious explosions like "Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?" and "Now You're Gone". A catchy, previously rare single closes the album on a nice note - a fantastic album that all Beatles fans and pop fans owe it to themselvs to seek out.Best Tracks:
"Here I Go Again" - Beatles '65 played with conviction and energy, a great opener with a perfect pop hook.
"Take My Love" - A nice soft ballad in the "And I Love Her" vein. How do these guys do such amazing harmony vocals?
"A Part Of Me Now" - Another gem, this takes the drums from "Ticket To Ride" and builds a great tune around them. Nice sounding guitar solo (Leslie amplifier?) and probably the best song bassist Stoeckel ever wrote.
"She Goes Out With Everyone" - A tale of a wild teen, this storyelling song is a nice change of pace. Different, almost jerky chorus rhythms keep this short tune exciting.
"Every Night Is A Holiday" - Absolutely gorgeous. Probably my favorite tune here, I can't listen to it enough. Sounds like a 12-string leading this song of sheer joy and happiness.
"Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?" - Has anyone done upbeat Beatlesque pop tunes like this since maybe Badfinger's "No Matter What" or the Raspberries' "Go All The Way"? Probably not, and certainly nobody has done it as well since. Sad lyrics of lost love, but totally upbeat music keep your head bobbing - you always want to add in your own "whoo-hoos" and "la-la-la's".
"Lana Nana" - Acoustic led, nice off-kilter drumming - great song with a Lennon-esque vocal.
"Now You're Gone" - Another happy melody/sad lyric from the pen of Patrick Walters, this is an amazing acoustic led rocker with a nice Latin-sounding guitar solo. The Beatles, Hollies, and Byrds would all be proud to include this on any one of their albums."
4 1/2 Stars
Alan Hutchins | 05/12/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the most underrated power pop bands of the '80s, the Spongetones released several albums of effortlessly catchy guitar pop that captured the feel of '60s British Invasion pop with remarkable accuracy and innocent charm. While they never received much critical or commercial attention, their music has aged much better than most power pop of the era (late-70s early-80s) and among specialists, they're highly revered not only for their studio prowess but also for their spirited live shows. They are one of the few bands to carry on past the "skinny tie" fad into the '90s gracefully - not as strict revivalists but as something unique. The band, comprised of Steve Stockel (vocals, bass), Pat Walters (vocals, guitar), Jamie Hoover (vocals, guitar), and Rob Thorne (drums), began as a covers band in Charlotte, North Carolina in the early '80s. They signed to the Ripete label in 1982 and released their first full length, Beat Music the same year, following with the Torn Apart EP in 1984 - the latter featuring esteemed guests, Don Dixon, Mitch Easter and REM on hand claps. Now combined on one CD, Beat Music and Torn Apart represent the band's earliest recordings and some of their finest. These two albums are simply Southern power pop at its best, and this package is essential for fans of pure pop. - Chris Woodstra, All Music Guide"