Like a lot of people from my generation, I have a pile of albums just sitting around never getting played. I was rummaging through them the other day and stumbled on an album (and band) I’d forgotten about. The band is Flamin’ Groovies and the album is called Teenage Head. (picture of my original vinyl above.)
I can still recall it being reviewed in Rolling Stone and running out and picking up a copy. This, largely because it was a bluesy album of which Mick Jagger reportedly said that the Groovies “did the better take on the theme of classic blues and rock ‘n roll revisited in a modern context.”
This album came out in 1971 and truthfully, I hadn’t heard fuckall of them since then. But lo and behold, despite all the odds, common sense, and selling maybe six albums in 50 years, they managed to form and re-form all the way up to 2017. Some history courtesy of Wikipedia:
“Flamin’ Groovies is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1965, originally co-led by Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan. After the Groovies released three albums on Epic. Loney left the band in 1971. He was replaced as co-leader by Chris Wilson, and the band’s emphasis shifted more toward British Invasion power pop.
The band signed to United Artists Records and the 1976 album’s title track “Shake Some Action” became a power pop anthem (Never heard of it – ME) and is revered by many, including Greil Marcus in his book, The History of Rock and Roll in Ten Songs.
Singer Chris Wilson left the band in 1981, and the band continued in various forms including the release of three more albums before breaking up in 1991. After a couple of limited reunions with different lineups, the 1970s nucleus reformed the group in 2013, and the band’s first post-reunion album Fantastic Plastic, was released in 2017.
I’ll play a few tasty cuts here and you can figure out if you want to listen to the album which is posted below from our friends at Spotify. The original album ended with “Whiskey Woman” and the rest is bonus stuff.
Of this album, Allmusic says, Teenage Head sounds just as good as it deserves to; Richard Robinson’s production is clean, sharp, and gets the details onto tape with a clarity that never gets in the way of the band’s sweaty raunch. While Flamingo rocks a bit harder, Teenage Head is ultimately the best album the Flamin’ Groovies would ever make.
Here’s a cover of Robert Johnson’s “32-20.”
Before I leave you with ‘Have You Seen My Baby?” (Randy Newman cover), I’ll note that vocalist/guitarist Loney died a couple years ago. Don’t know what the other guys are up to but hopefully, they’re still rockin.’ Good album. Give it a listen.
Teenage Head is listed in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,