Wednesday, January 22, 2014

CBGB - Movie Soundtrack!

A proud new addition to my collection is the soundtrack to the new film CBGB.

For those not familiar, CBGB was a small venue that opened in New York City back in 1973. While it was originally intended to stage the Country, BlueGrass, and Blues genres, it became a home to local bands whose musical style didn’t seem to fit in anywhere else. Owner Hilly Kristal decided to give these bands a shot under the condition that they did not play top 40 songs. Little did he know that by granting these bands the freedom to play, he would be witnessing what many consider the birth of punk rock (at least New York punk rock!). And he didn’t even have to leave the comfort of his shit-hole bar. Bands performing at CBGB included: Ramones, Dead Boys, Dictators, Blondie, Iggy Pop, Tuff Darts, etc.

I had the opportunity to catch the movie, and while it was highly criticized, I liked it…a lot! I think people take these “based on a true story” movies a bit too serious and they tend to forget to enjoy them. Sure, Iggy Pop may have had a different hair style when this movie was based and some of the songs played were not released until a few years later, but relax! It’s just a movie. It gives a great idea of what happened at this venue, plus it manages to entertain you at the same time. While people spend their time researching what was not 100% accurate, I enjoyed it for exactly what it was… entertainment!

Now, let’s get back to this album. First off, let’s get to the obvious; this album is just down right sexy! I haven’t seen a vinyl look better than these two transparent pink 180 gram LP’s. So bravo on giving us collectors some eye candy! I would have bought the album regardless for the music, but it’s always a perk to make it look cool. The album lacks any inserts, but since the inside of the gatefold sleeve gave the necessary information such as the name of the artists, what album the songs first appeared on and a brief history of CBGB, the inserts were not really missed.

As for the music, what’s nice is that they did not just limit themselves to the CBGB era bands, but instead included music from the prior decade as well. This is the music that influenced these musicians (New York Dolls, The Stooges, etc.). It’s like they are showing us a history of punk rock straight from conception.

This is my new recommended album for anybody that is looking for an intro into the genre. Besides being perfect for punk newbies, it’s also a damn near perfect mix for any long time punk music collector.

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