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Beauty And Sadness - EP

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Album Review

The Smithereens' debut EP, originally released in a tiny run on a small New York indie in 1983, sounds like a dry run for the far superior full-length debut, 1986's Especially for You. However, of the five songs on this EP, one is merely an instrumental remix of the title track, two are forgettable trifles (the rockabilly-inflected "Much Too Much" and "Some Other Guy," which isn't the British Invasion staple made famous by the Beatles and others), and only two hint at singer/songwriter Pat DiNizio's blossoming talent. The opening "Tracey's World" is a winsome little power pop nugget, but the real winner is "Beauty and Sadness," a dark-hued and lightly psychedelic stunner powered by Dennis Diken's "Ticket to Ride"-inspired drum hook and Jim Babjak's droning guitar. Unfortunately, none of these songs ever appeared on any future Smithereens releases; the EP was briefly reissued on CD by Capitol Records in 1992 with historical liner notes by Diken.


Formed: 1980 in Carteret, NJ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dressed in leather, brandishing heavy guitars, and exhibiting an unabashed fetish for British Invasion pop, the Smithereens were an anomaly in the American college rock scene of the late '80s. Lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio stood out not only with his strange beatnik goatee, but also because his catchy hooks were haunting, not punchy, and because his lyrics were morose. As time wore on, the group became more straightforward, turning into an excellent bar band, one that attacked pop...
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