X - Los Angeles 2001 Reissue !
X - Los Angeles
Slash 1980 / Rhino / Wea 2001 Remastered Issue CD
01. Your Phone's Off The Hook, But You're Not
02. Johnny Hit And Run Paulene
03. Soul Kitchen
06. Los Angeles
07. Sex And Dying In High Society
08. The Unheard Music
09. The World's A Mess; It's In My Kiss
10. I'm Coming Over (Demo)
11. Adult Books (Demo)
12. Delta 88 (Demo)
13. Cyrano De Berger's Back (Rehearsal)
14. Los Angeles (Dangerhouse Version)
Steeped in poetry and class issues, X was the first L.A. punk band to fully incorporate a dark West Coast sensibility. Singer/lyricists/spouses John Doe and Exene Cervenka forged a stray-cat approach to vocal harmonies while spieling reports on crash-pad sex and drugs, casual hatred, and the occasional spotting of the "idle rich." Full-powered and intelligent, X's sound also spotlighted Billy Zoom, a pompadoured guitarist schooled by Gene Vincent, and flexible drummer D.J. Bonebrake. Los Angeles, the first of four productions by ex-Doors Ray Manzarek, made an excellent case for the group, though its ambitions were to be quickly outstripped by the evolving personal takes of Doe and Cervenka. For the most part, the album is fast, hard, and fleet, like the motorcycles Zoom loved: "Your Phone's Off the Hook," "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline," the title track, and a Ramones-style cover of the Doors' "Soul Kitchen" are touchstones that reach beyond their era. Only "The Unheard Music," a turgid bit of suburbia-bashing, mars the original LP, which is augmented on this reissue by five bonus tracks that bring the running time close to 40 minutes. (Rickey Wright)
X's debut album, Los Angeles, was released in 1980 and was produced by Ray Manzarek of The Doors. X emerged out of the burgeoning L.A. punk rock scene of the late 70's. Unlike most of their contemporaries who were more raw style than substance, X consisted of gifted musicians. They fused the raw power & frenzied emotion of punk with strands of rockabilly and country twang. The quartet of Exene Cervenka on vocals, John Doe on bass and vocals, Billy Zoom on guitar and DJ Bonebrake on drums were supplemented by Mr. Manzarek on keyboards. The nine songs are quick bursts of power and precision. The opening track's spurned lover fury of "The Phone's Off The Hook, But Your Not", the date rape victim of "Johnny Hit & Run Pauline", the feverish remake of The Doors' "Soul Kitchen", the banality of rich people's existence in "Sex & Dying In High Society" (which was used a theme in Bret Easton Ellis' book Less Than Zero) and the majesty of the title track, the album's finest moment. The reissue is augmented beautifully by five tracks. X was a band never destined for mainstream success, but nearly a quarter of a century later, this album as with much of their music, still sounds fresh and vital. (Thomas Magnum at Amazon)
Former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek (also a California native) had some success post-Doors as a producer & was charged with helping X develop an identity in the studio. While as time went on, X would go for a much cleaner sound & approach, Manzarek pretty much let the band just play live on LOS ANGELES (with the occasional overdub like Ray Manzarek's organ). The result was an audio snapshot of the punk scene in California that showed so much potential to reach national acclaim, but that didn't happen but posthumously.
From the start, it was clear that X was probably the most talented & accomplished of the California punk bands & this is proven with the vocal harmonies between bassist John Doe & vocalist Exene Cervenka that no other punk band could claim. Songs like the sped-up cover of The Doors' "Soul Kitchen" (probably a tribute to their illustrious producer), "Sugarlight", "Sex & Dying In High Society", "The Unheard Music" & the epic closer "The World's A Mess; It's In My Kiss" show the prominent set-up of Exene (or Doe) singing solo with the other later chiming in on the chorus & occasionally on the verses. This turned out to be the folk influence coming to the fore & this was just one of many things X had on their fellow punk rockers. (See 27 customer reviews on Amazon)
224~320Kbs Mp3 encoded + scans/tags, that is a fine X plate to start with, n'joy!
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