Monday, August 26, 2013

Not the Just The Greatest Thing From Carteret New Jersey Ever!

And speaking, as we were last Friday, of The Smithereens -- or more specifically, as one esteemed regular was speaking about how he had remained blissfully unaware of their work, for whatever reason.

A little perspective here, if you please.

From the 1986 debut album, please enjoy "Blood and Roses"




And from the 1988 Green Thoughts here's the astoundingly riff-laden "Only a Memory."




Frankly, if they'd done nothing beyond the two singles above, they'd deserve to be immortal. Fact is, though, they have scads more just as great.

Incidentally, their self-proclaimed template has always been "AC/DC meets the Beatles." I think they pull it off rather regularly.

31 comments:

steve simels said...

Okay, I'm not seeing the divshare links suddenly.

If anybody else is having the same problem, leave a comment and I'll try to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Why they are not among the most beloved bands of the era is a mystery. What they never made was that singularly great, defining album. But the hits tell a great story.

Top Of The Pops, Behind A Wall Of Sleep, I could go on...

(Well she'd held a bass guitar and
She was playing in a band.
And she stood just like Bill Wyman,
Now I am her biggest fan.)

This is art.

God Save The Smithereerns!

Sal Nunziato said...

If I may Brother Simels, this was the piece that launched my place on 9/2/08.

http://burnwoodtonite.blogspot.com/2008/09/smithereens-11-perfect-10.html

steve simels said...

I remember it well, Sal. And worth exhuming.

MJConroy said...

The Smithereens are vastly underrated. They are a great live band. And all nice guys (I just don't discuss politics with Pat - and I think he's mellowed a bit anyhow). Dennis Diken is a powerhouse on drums, Jim Babjak is a versatile guitarist, Pat's a great songwriter and singer, and while Mike Mesaros departed some time ago, Severo brings a lot of energy to the live shows on bass. For those unfamiliar- I'd recommend checking out "Live in Concert - Greatest Hits and More".

FD13NYC said...

Always been one of my favorite bands from the very beginning. They have many songs to enjoy.

cthulhu said...

Steve, the Smithereens are one of the many great power pop bands you turned me on to via TMFKASR. Unfortunately I've never seen them live in person, but way back in the day they actually made it onto an MTV live New Year's Eve concert, and I happened to catch them covering the Who's The Seeker, quite credibly (especially Mr. Diken on drums). A great band.

Anonymous said...

Carteret

buzzbabyjesus said...

Okay, now I've heard The Smithereens.
About 40 seconds into "Blood And Roses" I started wondering what the other tune sounded like, but I forced myself to hang through the solo and managed just under two minutes before moving on. My impression is that it plods competently.
I spent two minutes of "Only A Memory" trying to figure out which Beatles song the riff came from. It's "I Want To Tell You", of course, from "Revolver". After that I couldn't think any reason to listen further, although divShare says I made it to 2:41.
Conclusion. They are as good as Shoes. It's a draw because I think Shoes craft better pop music, but The Smithereens sing better and sound like English is their native tongue.
It's going to take a lot of Bowie and Eno to cleanse my palate after this.

Shriner said...

Really, BBJ?

See if your local lending library has a copy of "Blown To Smithereens" (their best of). Yes, it's very Beatle-y.

But it's song-after-song of should've-been-a-hit PowerPop.

That said, I sold most of my original Smithereens CDs and just kept this compilation. It was all I ever needed.

(Same thing could be said for The Offspring -- another "singles-only" band, for me...)

Anonymous said...

if you really want to see the Smithereens, they are available - they hired out as the band at the gala for the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston a few years ago. Loads of covers to keep the boomers dancing.

Anonymous said...

They are still an incredible live band.

Joe said...

I was born the day I met you
Lived a little while you loved me
Died a little
When we broke apart

Suddenly this world's no longer bright
I'm alone and lonely every night
Won't you bring back your love
that's out of sight?

I'm in a lonely place without you...

Freaking beautiful tableau's set to the perfect music on almost every track. Pure under recognized genius!

Anonymous said...


Ohh, Bowie AND Eno, he must be an aficionado. Turn your nose back down and pull the stick out. The Smithereens are great. If you can listen to songs like "Blood and Roses" or "Behind the wall of sleep" and not enjoy them, the problem lies with you, not the band.
JWB

Jai Guru Dave said...

Isn't anyone going to mention the elephant in the room?
i.e. that Pat D. Is like 300 lbs. now??

That aside, they are absolutely wonderful on every level.

Anonymous said...

One of the best live bands I've seen and I'd love to see them in Scotland if they were to come to my shores.Not only great live but also very loud.I was deaf for three days after seeing them in the Diamond Club,Toronto in 1990.I first saw The Smithereens on the British cult tv show The Tube.They captured my mind with the twin guitars of Di Nizio,Babczjak,and the fabulous bass of Mesaros.Dennis Diken drives the band on with great drumming.If you get a chance to see them do yourself a big favour and check them out.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I actually wanted to like them since they're so popular here, but I just don't hear it.
I just said Bowie and Eno to piss Steve off, but under the banner of "Good Clean Fun".

Anonymous said...

Wow, Jai Guru Dave, you're not even a little bit funny.

Mrs. Peel said...

Anonymous said...
Wow, Jai Guru Dave, you're not even a little bit funny.


Seriously. Sorry that someone else's body type is an issue for you.

steve simels said...

buzz:

No offense taken.
:-)

Sal Nunziato said...

I'm not sure I see Jai Guru Dave's comment as offensive. I don't know Jai Guru Dave, but if he is a fan of the band and he says so by saying "they are wonderful on every level," is it so wrong to mention the change in Dinizio's appearance?

First time I saw Matthew Sweet after not seeing him for years, the first thing I thought was "what happened?" I wasn't being mean-spirited or trying to be funny, and my feeling is that Jai Guru wasn't being either of those things either.

steve simels said...

I ran into Pat recently at the final Kenny's show. Jail Guru Dave may have expressed it inelegantly, but lets just say I hope Pat is dealing with what looks like a health issue.

Sal Nunziato said...

It was only now, 5 minutes later, that the "elephant in the room" comment hit me. Yes, maybe "inelegant" is the right word. But on my honor, I simply read that for what the phrase means. And maybe Jai Guru wrote it that way, as well.

I don't know.

Anonymous said...

J Lag said...
The Smithereens are also a fun band to collect because there are a lot of oddities (covers and "live" versions), particularly from their early days, that didn't make their regular albums. Two I can think of right away are their versions of Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" and the Who's "The Seeker". There's a smoking "live" take on their own song "Beauty & Sadness" on the back of one of their early (mid-80s) singles.
By the way, Steve, I was first turned on to the Smithereens by your "Best of the Month" review of their debut album "Especially For You", in STEREO REVIEW. That album is still available on CD with two bonus tracks: a powerful cover of the Dick Dale instrumental "Mr. Eliminator", and their own amusing "White Castle Blues". Of course, a lot of the aforementioned is probably downloadable by now.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please remain seated,

Big shout out to the Smithereens. Big in the sense of "loud", not girth. Jeez...are any of us still at our "playing weight"?

regards,

RichD

buzzbabyjesus said...

In regards to girth, it's okay to mention it as long as it isn't exclusively mean spirited, which Jai Guru Dave certainly wasn't.


buzzbabyjesus said...

JWB-

I didn't realize that "aficionado" was a term of derision. Maybe in Philistine it means something else.
As far as it being my fault they don't sing for me, it isn't. There's a reason The Smithereens are "under-appreciated" and after decades of slogging have failed to attract a larger audience. They're not great.

MJConroy said...

BBJ -
To each his own. The Smithereens are great in my book. They put the power in power pop.(Now, the Shoes,... :-} )

Billy B said...

Great, great band.

Visions said...

In 2005 the group released just 500 copies of The Smithereens Mega-Box Set, over 500 tracks of unreleased demos and live stuff, each box signed by DiNizio, 21 CDs. That's the thing to get, if you can find it anywhere. And they are a great band, though they are getting a little long in the tooth. Oh well, so am I.

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