17 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Longtime fans still debate whether The Plimsouls lost their footing signing prematurely to a major label in the early ‘80s (engendering the requisite backlash), or whether the L.A. group was simply a great club-scene band not destined for bigger things. Whichever the case may be, the vaults have yielded a second batch of live tunes, recorded two years after the set captured on Live! Beg, Borrow and Steal. Those two years served the band well. Recorded at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, Calif., and razor sharp in both audio quality and performance, Beach Town efficiently reflects The Plimsouls’ range. Power pop anthems like “Zero Hour,” “Shaky City,” and “A Million Miles Away” gleam alongside rare live versions of great tunes like the raucous “Magic Touch,” the hard-to-find “Hobo,” and the wistful ballad “Oldest Story in the World.” The band’s stellar covers of The Creation’s “Makin’ Time,” The Flamin’ Groovies’ “Jumpin’ in the Night,” and The Everly Brothers’ “Price of Love” make Beach Town a must-have for Plimsouls fans.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Longtime fans still debate whether The Plimsouls lost their footing signing prematurely to a major label in the early ‘80s (engendering the requisite backlash), or whether the L.A. group was simply a great club-scene band not destined for bigger things. Whichever the case may be, the vaults have yielded a second batch of live tunes, recorded two years after the set captured on Live! Beg, Borrow and Steal. Those two years served the band well. Recorded at the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, Calif., and razor sharp in both audio quality and performance, Beach Town efficiently reflects The Plimsouls’ range. Power pop anthems like “Zero Hour,” “Shaky City,” and “A Million Miles Away” gleam alongside rare live versions of great tunes like the raucous “Magic Touch,” the hard-to-find “Hobo,” and the wistful ballad “Oldest Story in the World.” The band’s stellar covers of The Creation’s “Makin’ Time,” The Flamin’ Groovies’ “Jumpin’ in the Night,” and The Everly Brothers’ “Price of Love” make Beach Town a must-have for Plimsouls fans.

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About The Plimsouls

Formed in Los Angeles in 1978, the Plimsouls merged roots, retro and guitar rock with a ramshackle punk aesthetic. At a time when rock music was shifting gears, the Plimsouls' brand of soul-punk -- a modern take on '60s soul, British Invasion and garage rock sounds -- fit right in with the '80s post-punk American guitar band movement. Known for their kinetic live performances, the Plimsouls had an exceptional frontman in singer/songwriter Peter Case whose decision to pursue a solo career effectively ended their '80s run, but whose songs have kept the group's slight catalog and legacy in the public eye.

Case came to the Plimsouls with experience, having previously collaborated with Jack Lee and Paul Collins in the Nerves, a precursor-to-punk D.I.Y. group with a 1976 single, "Hangin' on the Telephone" (later recorded by Blondie). Living in L.A., Case started to play with locals Louie Ramírez (drums) and Dave Pahoa (bass) in 1979, and within the year Eddie Muñoz (of Austin's the Skunks) joined them on guitar. After recording one EP, Zero Hour in 1980, and a self-titled album in 1981 that contained the now classic power pop anthems "Zero Hour" and "Hush, Hush," the group self-financed a single, "A Million Miles Away." The jangling guitar song was picked up by influential FM station KROQ and thanks to trend-setting DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, the song became a local smash, catapulting the Plimsouls toward wider recognition. The inclusion of "A Million Miles Away" on the soundtrack to the cult film Valley Girl cemented the band's reputation as power pop icons and remains a timeless classic.

An album for Geffen, Everywhere at Once, followed in 1983 but ultimately, the liaison with the label was not a lasting one and the Plimsouls broke up shortly after its release. A testament to the band's stage power is the live document, One Night in America, released in 1988. Following the group's dissolution, Case went on to record a solo album for Geffen; he remains a critically admired and influential artist with a large folk, blues and rock repertoire. In 1995-1996, the band, sans Ramírez, re-formed and played a few reunion dates with former Blondie drummer Clem Burke and released a new studio LP Kool Trash in 1998. In 2005, Oglio Records reissued One Night in America; the original lineup (with Bryan Head on drums) remains together and continues to perform wherever and whenever there's a demand for their unique soul-punk sound. ~ Denise Sullivan

  • ORIGIN
    Los Angeles, CA
  • FORMED
    1978

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