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The Rubinoos

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Biography

For a brief moment, the Rubinoos seemed to be the last hope for pure pop music, carrying on the tradition of the Raspberries with an engaging blend of innocent bubblegum and power pop. The band was formed in 1973 by teenage friends Jon Rubin (vocals, guitar) and Tommy Dunbar (guitar, keyboards, vocals) along with Royse Adler (bass) and Donn Spindt (drums), but it wasn't until 1977 that they made their recording debut for Beserkley Records. The single, a cover of Tommy James' "I Think We're Alone Now," made an appearance in the lower reaches of the U.S. charts, giving the indie label their first hit. The same year, their self-titled debut LP received rave reviews all-around but failed commercially. Back to the Drawing Board (1979), another solid collection of bouncy pop songs, again went ignored despite its classic single "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend." The band effectively broke up the following year. Rubin and Dunbar returned in 1983, contributing a pair of songs for the Revenge of the Nerds soundtrack and then teaming with producer Todd Rundgren for the Party of Two EP. "If I Had You Back" from the EP saw some airplay on MTV but it failed to ignite enough interest for the band to go on. In 1989, Tommy Dunbar formed a new band, Vox Pop, with former-Rubinoos Al Chan and Donn Spindt, along with John Seabury, formerly of Psychotic Pineapple. The band's self-titled release arrived in 1998 on Sandbox Records. Two collections of lost Rubinoos recordings were released in the early '90s. The group returned in 2000 with Paleophonic, which was originally a fan club-only release, and headlined that year's International Pop Overthrow festival. Coming back like they had never left in the first place, the band chose to release an all-covers album (Crimes Against Music, Vol. 1) in the fall of 2002.

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