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Beach Town Confidential: Live at the Golden Bear 1983

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iTunes Review

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.

Customer Reviews

I was there!

15-year old me was blown away by this concert. The James Harmon Band opened. The recording sounds great, great mix, fabulous songs. I remember Peter was having problems with his harmonica rack while singling Oldest Story in the World, that is why the band kind of vamps around the time of the harmonica solo.

Masterclass in Songmanship and Live Performing

What can be said of The Plimsouls that hasn't been said hundreds of times already – they were THE rock band in Southern California in 1981 – 1983. Deservedly so, as this album attests. They brought it every time. Having just listened to Beach Town Confidential in its entirety, I'm in awe (again) - the songs sound just as good as I remembered them sounding from the memories of my 16 year–old self. For any rock bands starting out today (are there any?), this is a Masterclass in songmanship and live performing.

Thanks for releasing this performance!

Nobody Beat the Plimsouls

I first saw this band back in 1978 or 1979, when they were a trio, opening for another local band at Madame Wong’s in LA. They totally mopped the floor with the (now-forgotten) headliners. Over and over, I saw this repeated, even as the headline acts grew bigger and bigger — the ’Souls just got better and better. It took a lot to get me out of my seat, but this band did it every single time. This recording captures maybe half of the impact of a Plimsouls gig; the real thing was an order of magnitude beyond. If you didn’t have the good fortune to be there, just give this a listen, and imagine. But we should not forget a shoutout for Peter Case. He remains a man in motion. His solo career as a travelin’ bum bluesman proves what what we knew back in the ’Souls days, that he's singer-songwriter with few peers.


Formed: 1978 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

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

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...
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