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Robin Lane & The Chartbusters

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Album Review

Her three song EP on manager Mike Lembo's Deli Platters label, featuring "The Letter" (an original not recorded for this album), "Why Do You Tell Lies," and "When Things Go Wrong," reportedly sold in excess of 10,000 units, many in the Northeast. Robin Lane's Warner Brothers debut was produced by Joe Wissert and features the musicianship of Asa Brebner and Leroy Radcliffe on guitars, Tim Jackson on drums, and Scott Baerenwald on bass. With alum from Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers and all band members singing, they had the elements for mega success. These songs are all great, but the Wissert production stripped the band of what made them so popular in the Boston area. The three guitar attack onstage sounded like The Byrds with a superb female vocalist. The lack of guitar in the middle of "Don't Cry" with just an annoying cymbal ride is the kind of sparse production which turned a powerful act into a low-key Pretenders on record. That's the problem when a record label doesn't understand the nuances of great musicians and the are they are creating. Warner released a five song EP of the band recorded live at the Orpheum Theater in Boston in 1980, sold at a special price — kind of admitting that the first album lacked the magic the band generated in performance. The live EP, produced by Michael Golub, captures some of that sparkle, but it too misses the mark with the guitars mixed way down. Hearing a song like "Why Do You Tell Lies" on the studio recording, without the lush guitar sound it cries out for, is discouraging. This is a band that deserved to craft pop hits for radio and were never given the proper chance. The songwriting and musicianship breaks through the thin production, and you can hear the potential. "Many Years Ago" and "Waiting in Line" actually sound very '90s, the high end and the hollow sound would actually come into vogue years later. But that's not what this band was about. There are some great songs here, especially "When Things Go Wrong." One can only hope someone comes along to record this material in a way that it can be appreciated by the masses. "Be Mine Tonite" is heavier, but still feels restrained. The inner sleeve contains the lyrics and some very cool snapshots of the band.

Customer Reviews

Robin rocks!!!

I remember sneaking in to various night clubs with my older brother's ID just to get a glimpse of Robin back when I was in high school. I even dragged myself to Bryant College while on crutches one night and stood in the front row for the whole show ignoring my pain! Robin was the best medicine! I've been searching for years for a digital version to replace my long ago worn out cassettes and now I've got 'em. Can't wait for her second album to be on iTunes.


I was at that Bryant Show as well! Seen her numerous times from a boat cruise to Uncle Sams! This is a great LP that brings back fun memories!

Classic 80s Band

I saw the band twice in 1980. The most memorable was in a little dive in Nashua, NH. I had recently been discharged from the service and I had 3 German friends visiting me at the time. Robin's sultry and powerful voice is awesome. My favorites are Don't Cry, Many Years Ago and Don't Wait Till Tomorrow.


Genre: Rock

Robin Lane & the Chartbusters emerged in 1979 when the backing vocalist/guitarist on the song "Round & Round" from Neil Young's Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere album landed an album deal of her own with Larry Uttal's Private Stock Records and needed a band. The daughter of Dean Martin's musical director, Kenny Lane, told AMG: "I as an x-hippie chick went looking for my knights in Rat punkdom during the summer of 1978." She was hanging out at the legendary Boston nightclub The Rat in Kenmore...
Full Bio
Robin Lane & The Chartbusters, Robin Lane & The Chartbusters
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, Alternative, New Wave
  • Released: 1980

Customer Ratings