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One Way Ticket

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In 1977, Paul Collins (the Beat) and Peter Case (the Plimsouls) formed the Nerves, and released but one perfect 7” EP before imploding. Those songs (the first four tracks here) pretty much laid the groundwork for the burgeoning power-pop scene sprung from the loins of punk. Along with Case (bass/guitar) and Collins (drums), Jack Lee’s barbed, melodic guitar and own songwriting talent shined; he gave “Hanging On the Telephone” (a hit later for Blondie) a bit of cow-punk twang, and other Lee tracks like “Paper Doll” had a wiry, punk energy. If the Zombies were part of the new wave, they would have sounded like “When You Find Out.” The live version of “Walking Out On Love” hinted at the glorious, brief future of the Beat, and you can hear the fomenting of both the Beat and Plimsouls in this rendition of “Working Too Hard.” Alive Records has blessed us with the original EP, plus a bulging collection of live takes, demos and an unreleased single (tracks five and six).  One Way Ticket is a truly historic document. (Check out Case/Collins’ brief outing as the Breakaways, represented on Walking Out On Love: The Lost Sessions.)

Customer Reviews

The headwaters of mid-70s power pop

The Nerves – Peter Case, Paul Collins and Jack Lee – issued only one 4-song EP during their three year tenure, but that 1976 7” flew brilliantly in the face of then-dominant arena rock as well as the back-to-basics punk paradigm trailing in the Ramones’ wake. The Nerves mixed the pop melodics of the Beatles, Big Star, Raspberries and Rubinoos with the emerging DIY aesthetic to create music that had garage-rock intensity layered with the craft of AM-radio hooks. The EP served as a template for all three members’ subsequent solo careers, and drew a rock ‘n’ roll path that paralleled New Wave pop without surrendering to its badly aging musical affectations. The EP was self-financed and thinly distributed, making it a collector’s item even at the time of its mid-70s issue. Two of its tracks, Lee’s “Hanging on the Telephone” and Case’s “When You Find Out” turned up on Rhino’s D.I.Y: Come Out and Play – American Power Pop I (1975-1978), and the previously unreleased “One Way Ticket” was included in the box set Children of Nuggets in 2005. The entire 4-song EP, along with the Plimsoul’s Zero Hour, and Jack Lee’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 turned up on the 1992 grey-market French CD That’s Totally Pop, but as Peter Case explains in this set’s liner notes, this is the Nerve’s first official full-length release. Included are the original four songs, two by Jack Lee, one by Case and one by Collins, augmented by a pair of tracks (Peter Case’s “One Way Ticket” and Jack Lee’s “Paper Dolls”) that were meant to be the EP’s follow-up on Greg Shaw’s Bomp label. Paul Collins’ “Walking Out on Love,” which he later re-recorded with The Beat, is heard here in a frantic post-Nerves/pre-Beat version by Collins, Case and a pick-up guitarist. Case’s “Thing of the Past,” written for the Nerves, is performed live by an early version of the Plimsouls, and Jack Lee’s immediate post-Nerves sound is documented with the rockabilly-punk “It’s Hot Outside.” A rough demo of the Case-Collins “Many Roads to Follow” is sung to strummed acoustic guitars, combining the power of the British Invasion and Everly-styled harmonies. Demos of the group’s live staples “Are You Famous?” and “Letter to G.” show Jack Lee also had no shortage of fine material. Also included are eight tracks recorded live on the group’s 1977 cross-country tour. The sound is listenable bootleg quality, which is better for getting a sense of the Nerves’ energy than a truly satisfying listening experience. No matter, the original EP is worth the CD’s full price, and the post-EP and post-Nerves tracks are great bonuses. Case moved on to form the Plimsouls, recording the brilliant debut Zero Hour and two immediate follow-up LPs; Collins formed The Beat, carrying on the Nerves pop-rock sound with the group’s eponymous debut; Lee unexpectedly found commercial success when Blondie covered the Nerves’ “Hanging on the Telephone,” and subsequently released a pair of albums in the 1980s. But it all started here – and all lovers of power pop should snap this up while it’s available! [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

Too many songwriters

This was a cool band that could not last. Too many great songwriters...but they were dialed into the alt/power pop scene of the late 70's early 80's...good stuff.

Finally The Nerves on CD! Thank you Paul Collins for making it happen!

With a little help from Paul Collins, The Nerves is finally available as an official CD album. This album includes the 4 original cuts from The Nerves EP, plus unreleased studio recordings and live tracks from a tape that sat untouched in Paul Collins' climatized garage for nearly 30 years. My only complaint is I wish there were more tracks available from The Breakaways, the short-lived band Paul Collins and Peter Case formed after The Nerves broke up. In his current band The Paul Collins Beat, Paul Collins plays a few of the classic Nerves songs at his shows (Hanging On The Telephone, Working Too Hard, When You Find Out) but the only way to hear the complete Nerves is to buy this album.


Formed: 1975 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s

They could've been contenders had they stayed together long enough, but the Nerves, despite their brief existence, were one of the most exciting bands in power pop. Formed by Jack Lee, Peter Case, and Paul Collins in 1975, their career was over by 1978, but they produced a great EP that featured the power pop classic "Hanging on the Telephone," which was later recorded (and wonderfully so) by Blondie. Ultimately, having three talented songwriters in one band hurried the demise of the Nerves, and...
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One Way Ticket, The Nerves
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