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Articles Home » 1979 Articles » Lambrettas, The - 1979 Beat Boys In The Jet Age
 
Lambrettas, The - 1979 Beat Boys In The Jet Age



ARTIST: Lambrettas, The
ALBUM: Beat Boys In The Jet Age
LABEL: Rocket Records
SERIAL: 6302 034
YEAR: 1979
CD REISSUE: 1994, Dojo Records, Dojo 187

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Jez Bird - vocals, guitars * Doug Sanders - guitars, vocals * Mark Ellis - bass * Paul Wincer - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Da-a-ance * 02 Cortina MKII * 03 London Calling * 04 Poison Ivy * 05 Leap Before You Look * 06 Beat Boys In The Jet Age * 07 Page 3 (Another Day Another Girl) * 08 Living For Today * 09 Watch Out I'm Back * 10 Don't Push Me * 11 Runaround * 12 Face To Face * 13 Go Steady * 14 Cortinas * 15 Listen Listen Listen

WEBLINKS: www.beatboysinthejetage.multip


Background
Fed up with the limited appeal of punk which was long passe by 1979 and fueled by both the popularity of The Jam as well as the movie based on The Who's rock opera 'Quadrophenia', a new Mod scene took shape with scooter rallies, Fred Perry polo shirts and military parkas becoming all the rage, at least in the always looking for 'the next big thing' UK press. New bands sprung up seemingly out of nowhere like Secret Affair, The Chords and The Purple Hearts landing contracts and drawing crowds. Now personally I loved 'Quadrophenia' and it remains one of the best rock (and British) movies ever made, but I've always had a ho-hum attitude towards Paul Weller and The Jam. Lyrically a little too leftist and scrappy for my tastes although 1980's 'Sound Affects' was absolutely brilliant and Weller's last batch of solo albums have been more than welcome. With that said, the album at hand 'Beat Boys In The Jet Age' by The Lambrettas was a different kettle of fish from The Jam's socio-political rants and punkish aggression. Formed in Brighton and naming themselves after an Italian scooter, The Lambrettas quickly became part of the Mod revival and happened to be playing a club where A&R reps from Elton John's Rocket Records were looking for bands to appear on a sampler and as they say - the rest is Mod history.


The Songs
Strip away the retro-visuals (even for 1979) and an infatuation with Northern soul that one normally associates with Mod and you essentially have power pop - British style and few did it better than The Lambrettas. What separated the band from their peers was a knack for good melody and not taking themselves as serious as The Jam or even The Who. Three singles were tapped from the record, the opening catchy as heck and harmony driven 'Da-a-ance' and their cover of the 1950's hit 'Poison Ivy' both landed in the top twenty of the UK singles chart. A third single 'Page 3 (Another Day Another Girl)' was released briefly before the Sun newspaper threatened legal action. The original sleeves were destroyed and new copies printed as 'Another Day (Another Girl)', but the song was only a moderate hit. While all three singles are period classics it's songs like 'London Calling', The Kinks influenced 'Watch Out I'm Back' and the dark but bouncy 'Don't Push Me' that edged The Lambrettas to the top of the Mod revival heap.


In Summary
A second album 'Ambience' was released in 1980 and included a Beatles cover but failed to ignite much interest since the Mod scene had diminished significantly and line-up changes were playing havoc on the band's momentum. A 1982 cover of Jefferson Airplane's 'Somebody To Love' was released as a single but The Lambrettas ran out of gas a short time later. Group leader Jez Bird, more than likely trying to capitalize on the 'Brit Pop' hysteria, reformed The Lambrettas in the '90s and even recording some demos which remain unreleased. Bird died in 2008 and with him any hope of a Lambrettas reunion.


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