JOHNNY’S “SPY FOR YOUR LOVE” 3-SONG 7″EP (LOS ANGELES, CA- OWN LABEL, 1979)
Out of the blue, someone sent me scans of both labels (thanks so much again, eBay seller popularjam!). So I can finally remove that lame picture below from the original posting and the apology for not having any pictures. I can also remove the line that wonders if any copies of the EP have ever sold on eBay, because popularjam just did in March.
Rather Spartan labels, eh. No songwriting credits, but they wanted to
tell everyone that they used ASCAP insted of BMI.
This record totally was unknown to me until about a month ago when a kind gentleman provided some mp3’s (thanks again!), and I have listened to it a lot of times since then. Well, at least the first two songs- although kinda raw, the record has an underlying pop structure but I find the last song too poppy. I am usually not a big fan of poppy stuff but the leadoff track, “Spy For Your Love”, is so-damn-catchy. It’s also rather quirky with the prominent DIY-ish organ playing that has me hooked and has a nice driving pace. While listening to it makes me think of the great Nick Pagan EP in some ways (but let me say I think the Nick Pagan disc is better). The second track, “Happiness Is High Speed”, is just that- a less than 2 minute, in-your-face song played at a fast “race-to-the-finish line” pace for the most part- very nice! The song slows down a bit during the semi-wimpy chorus parts but then the chunky bass kicks in and puts it back on the fast track. Nice quick guitar solo too.
I couldn’t find out much about the band (you try Google-ing “Johnny’s”!) but this record is listed in the Collector Scum SoCal discography. And please know that the band name is not a typo- it is a possessive noun and not plural as you would assume. The Johnny’s listing on Collector Scum reveals a scan amount about the band- apparently the disc came in a stamped sleeve that, according to reviewer Marty Rips, has a “ridiculous hype message”. Anyone have a scan of it so I can see what it looks like and says? Mr. Rips also thinks it is “almost completely a pop record, with only a slight punk edge”. My ears hear something different because, while I do think the record is based around pop, it has WAY more of a punk edge especially on a track like “Happiness Is High Speed”. To each his own, eh. Collector Scum also briefly mentions that one of the Johnny’s went on to form some 80’s band called Wire Train. In quickly scanning through sites about Wire Train it looks like that dude was Kevin Hunter. When I dug a little deeper, it turns out that Mr. Turner was, before The Johnny’s, in the awesome Snotpuppies whose two tracks on 1993’s KBD #13 were highlights to a great comp. Er, by the way, anyone got the complete Snotpuppies demo circa 1978? It’s been on my want list on this site for quite a while now.
Spy For Your Love.mp3
Happiness Is High Speed.mp3
Stuck On Her.mp3