REALLY RED “MODERN NEEDS / WHITE LIES” 7″ (HOUSTON, TX- CIA, 1979)
I had some other postings planned, but I got all riled up to post this great record after yet ANOTHER blog posted this 7″ the wrong way recently. By “the wrong way”, I mean that instead of using the 7″ version of “White Lies” they posted the different, later version that was on the remarkable “Teaching You The Fear” LP. I have seen this done several times already on different blogs, so perhaps they are getting their mp3’s from Soulseek or someplace instead of ripping it from their own collection and thus don’t realize about the two different versions of the same song. Darn kids these days!
As you will hear, this version of “White Lies” is different in several ways from the LP version. The single’s version is played at a slower pace and in a more moody, pysch-ier and weirder manner if you will- U-Ron Bond’s vocals are echo-y and the lyrics sound improvised at times (and are thus a little different than what he says on the LP version). The guitar on the LP version is played in a faster, “chugga chugga” manner while the guitar on the single version is played in a more “pluck n’ strum” manner. When I put the two versions side by side, I kind of gravitate more towards the strangeness of the version on the single but on the same hand I like the meatiness and chunkiness of the LP version.
Overall, “White Lies” is not my favorite Really Red song but still a good one- the Really Red song that tops my list is “Modern Needs”. Dammit, the band was like a well-oiled machine in all ways on this classic ditty- Kelly Younger’s guitar sound is to die for, Bob Weber’s drumming is tight, John Paul Williams’ bass playing melds in perfectly and, to top it all off, U-Ron’s vocals are top notch. The band could really carry a tune and U-Ron could sing his ass off. He is one of my Top 5 punk singers of all time, hands down. I especially love the interplay between the guitar solo near the end of the song and the unique beat pattern than the drummer pounds away at. And then there’s that cool, one last guitar growl right at the end. Powerful stuff all around. And the lyrics are just intelligent and great. A perfect formula for my ears.
Really Red’s story and legacy have been well-documented many times already- check out the wonderful writeup on Break My Face or the liner notes to the Deep In The Throat of Texas comp– so I will hold back, or this posting will become very long. Here is another piece I just found on them while putting this post together. And a long interview with U-Ron from early 2007 that was reposted on the Really Red MySpace fan page. Suffice to say that Really Red is one of my favorite bands of all time and their vinyl output is almost spotless for me. “Almost” because I think the record that followed this one, the live Despise Moral Majority EP that was recorded in early November 1980, is just a mediocre recording of a great band and does not exemplify their tightness and power. I’ve listened to the EP many times and it just does not grab me- the LP versions of all of the songs on it were recorded just about 4 or 5 months later and are miles better. For years I’ve had a 2 hour VHS tape of different live Really Red stuff circa ’81 and ’82 and it’s much better than that live EP. And I think their posthumous LP, Rest In Pain, is a bit spotty. But their 1st 7″, this “Modern Needs” 7″, the Teaching You The Fear LP and the New Strings For Old Puppets EP shows that they were crappin thunder and were like a freight train for a four year run between ’79 and ’82.
P.S. Anyone have an original “Modern Needs” button for me like the one pictured above? I would love to have a real one to replace my virtual .jpg version.
Now, I have seen this “Modern Needs” 7″ listed forever as being from 1980 but I am going to put it at late 1979 since Ron says “New decade right up ahead” near the start of the song. Er, I’m not a rocket scientist but I take that to mean that the 80’s were about to begin. Perhaps there was bit of a lag between its recording and release that makes most sources date it to 1980 (?).
My first introduction to “Modern Needs” was when I picked up a newly released copy of Killed By Death #4 in October of 1989 (the first KBD volume I got) at the long-gone Pravda Records that was located on the 3700 block of North Clark Street in Chicago. Why do I remember these details?! The song grabbed me first listen and was one of my favorite nuggets on that LP. But the first Really Red song I ever heard was a little earlier when “Prostitution” was included on the wonderful Let Them Eat Jellybeans comp. Again, that song grabbed me and was one of the standout tracks on that LP. The foldout poster had a picture of the band and they looked like regular Joes- I think U-Ron was even holding a bottle of Lone Star beer in that picture. The poster also had an early discography of the band, and I wanted to hear other stuff I saw listed but I felt discouraged because I thought how the hell am I ever going to find their records- they must be rare and I feared most copies probably never made it outside of Texas. Sigh. A few years later I stumbled upon copies of both of their LP’s at my then-dinky, low-wattage college radio station- that was quite a find and a shocker for me. [On a stamp collector note, the copy I found of “Teaching You The Fear” was not the first pressing with the white cover (this was one black) and it had the original two-sided insert printed on yellow paper. Nice.] In ’93 that Really Red near-complete discography CD came out on the Angry Neighbor label but for some reason I didn’t pick up a copy until early ’95. I ended up ordering it directly from U-Ron himself- there was a classified in the back pages of Maximum Rock n’ Roll advertising it for sale. Given the seller’s name that was listed I had a hunch it might have been U-Ron Bond himself. So I included a nice note with my payment saying how much I liked the band, etc. Few weeks later, I get the Angry Neighbor CD in the mail from him along with a nice bonus- a dead mint sleeve for the “New Strings For Old Puppets” EP. Thanks, Ron!&
nbsp; I still have it.