12 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Real Kids leader John Felice was outsider student of outsider rock ’n’ roll, an obvious first-generation fan (there weren’t many) of The MC5 and The Stooges. So for a Boston kid who was, in the early '70s, an original member of the somewhat calmer Modern Lovers with Jonathan Richman, this 1977 debut finds Felice and the boys getting their complete ya-ya’s out. Every song nearly careens off the track and is subsumed with youthful verve and rock ’n’ roll sexual tension. There’s lots of punked-up power pop (“Taxi Boys,” “Better Be Good”) and tortured blues (“She’s Alright,” “Roberta”)—the very kind that made cult heroes of The Flamin’ Groovies, Eddie & The Hot Rods, and even Big Star. You also get barreling versions of songs by Buddy Holly (“Rave On”) and Eddie Cochrane (“My Way”) and a not-so-innocent Velvet Underground doppelganger (“Just Like Darts”). The truth is, “All Kindsa Girls” and “My Baby’s Book” would have, in a just and fair universe, made the band huge. That doesn’t mean The Real Kids isn’t a stone-cold punk-era classic.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Real Kids leader John Felice was outsider student of outsider rock ’n’ roll, an obvious first-generation fan (there weren’t many) of The MC5 and The Stooges. So for a Boston kid who was, in the early '70s, an original member of the somewhat calmer Modern Lovers with Jonathan Richman, this 1977 debut finds Felice and the boys getting their complete ya-ya’s out. Every song nearly careens off the track and is subsumed with youthful verve and rock ’n’ roll sexual tension. There’s lots of punked-up power pop (“Taxi Boys,” “Better Be Good”) and tortured blues (“She’s Alright,” “Roberta”)—the very kind that made cult heroes of The Flamin’ Groovies, Eddie & The Hot Rods, and even Big Star. You also get barreling versions of songs by Buddy Holly (“Rave On”) and Eddie Cochrane (“My Way”) and a not-so-innocent Velvet Underground doppelganger (“Just Like Darts”). The truth is, “All Kindsa Girls” and “My Baby’s Book” would have, in a just and fair universe, made the band huge. That doesn’t mean The Real Kids isn’t a stone-cold punk-era classic.

TITLE TIME
3:38
2:08
1:45
4:12
1:49
4:39
1:46
3:01
2:38
2:18
1:59
5:00

About The Real Kids

First appearing at Boston clubs in the early '70s, the Real Kids would eventually become a local institution by 1977, but a lack of real sales would lead to a breakup, a re-formation, and a more complete breakup -- all within six years. However regional and fleeting the Real Kids' success was, they were pivotal enough to influence many in the Boston rock scene, as well as spin off into a number of other acts, and they gained enough support to garner reunion shows well into the dawn of the 21st century. Formed by John Felice in 1972 after he left the Modern Lovers, the Real Kids cemented their local legend through their energetic live shows and strong songwriting. The band released its debut, The Real Kids, on Red Star in 1978, but poor sales would lead to the band's first breakup. Felice wound up becoming a roadie for the Ramones, but would soon be back in Boston, this time fronting the Taxi Boys. Two EPs from that band were followed by Felice renewing the Real Kids' lease on life, this time with an entirely new lineup. This lineup wouldn't be around very long either, however, lasting only from the 1982 release of Outta Place until the 1983 release Hit You Hard on French label New Rose. Bandmembers Alpo Paulino and Billy Borgioli would form the Primitive Souls, and leader John Felice would go on to record and release 1988's Nothing Pretty with the Lowdowns. The band would return and play shows again during 1998-1999, including a New York City New Year's gig. Sadly, original bassist Paulino passed away on February 6, 2006. ~ Christopher M. True

  • ORIGIN
    Boston, MA
  • FORMED
    1972

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