There’s no more joyous album opener than the “1-2-3-4-5-6!” with which The Modern Lovers announce Roadrunner. To appreciate the visceral beauty of this 1976 classic, listeners don’t need to know that it was effectively a compilation of early demos released two years after the band had split.
Most of its nine tracks had been recorded by John Cale in 1972, before Richman became the cuddly pop ironist who released his ‘proper’ debut Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers in July ‘76. This is the one, though: the JR on this record anticipates the punk-rock revolution five years before it happened: all nervous energy and suburban ire. Even if you already own this, there are at least two reasons to buy the reissue: one, it’s pressed on convincingly silver vinyl and secondly, you’ve probably worn out the copy you own.