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Rollerworld: Live At the Budokan, Tokyo 1977

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Album Review

In Britain, Bay City Rollers reigned supreme for something less than two years, and in America, they were tops for a little more than one. Only in Japan did their fame sustain for anything more than a couple of blinks of an eye and, by 1977 — just three years after "Shang a Lang" topped charts around the world — that land remained the Rollers' last stronghold. But what a stronghold it was, repository of some of the wildest hysteria in the entire Rollerworld. Hence the title of this collection; hence the unrelenting undulation of screaming and joy that forms a backdrop to the main attraction. Rollerworld is the Rollers' first and only live album, but it lacks the band's greatest hits. "It's a Game," the last of the Rollers' even vaguely memorable 45s, opens a show that has Serious Musicians stamped all over it. The surviving handful of "oldies" are, without exception, the ones that have a degree of classic class stamped on them. "Wouldn't You Like It" and a triumphantly stamp-along "Saturday Night" alone hail from the days of true tartan terrorism; "Rock 'n' Roll Love Letter" and "Yesterday's Heroes" represent the Dedication album; and "Money Honey" and "I Only Wanna Be with You" are the only prime-era hits. There's also a sterling version of David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel," spiraling out with even more aplomb than its studio counterpart.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

The Bay City Rollers were a Scottish pop/rock band of the '70s with a strong following among teenage girls. The origins of the group go back to the formation of the duo the Longmuir Brothers in the late '60s, consisting of drummer Derek Longmuir (b. March 19, 1952, Edinburgh, Scotland) and his bass-playing brother Alan (b. June 20, 1953, Edinburgh). They eventually changed their name to the Saxons, adding singer Nobby Clarke and John Devine. Then they changed their name again by pointing at random...
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