Thursday, April 12, 2012

billy bremner. new album imminent. yawn.

I've gotten a couple of emails over the last couple of days from a Billy Bremner yahoo group, indicating that Bremner has a new solo album coming out soon.

I honestly wish I cared more about it. Bremner was a member of Rockpile, one of my favorite bands. Though on the other hand he wasn't the driving force, creatively, of the band. That role fell on Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe. He did, I'll admit, lend killer vocals to a couple tracks on the band's album, Seconds of Pleasure. (As an aside, I'll never know for sure, but I'll bet the album title originated with someone's joke about someone else's sexual stamina.) But his solo work has been less than thrilling for me.

It started off reasonably well. The first single of his that I heard (though it was the second one released) was 1982's "Meek Power" b/w "Yes Please!" That was a great single. Pure power pop, that was easily the match of the best Rockpile had ever done. But he did other singles around that time, and none of them were up to that energy. "The Price is Right" came close. And "Laughter Turns to Tears" was a really good single, though it was much mellower than I was expecting. You can hear it here:
I'm not saying his output was bad. It just wasn't what I wanted, or what I had hoped for from a member of Rockpile. Of course, it made sense that his own style was not the same as the group's.

At any rate, I bought his first solo album, Bash!, as soon as it came out. It disappointed me. Stylistically, it was much more like his singles (and I don't mean that lorious first one I had heard) than like his former band. Fortunately, when it was rereleased decades later, they added most of the tracks from those initial singles, including both "Meek Power" and "Yes Please!"

When his second solo album, A Good Week's Work, came out 15 or so years later, I bought it right away and was even more disappointed. The music sounded OK, but was formulaic and nothing caught my interest -- it sounded like so many albums I've heard by broken-up and reunited bands that I've heard. The hooks are there, and I can't point to any specific thing wrong, except it doesn't grab me. 

When the third solo album, No Ifs, Buts, Maybes, came out about five years ago, I didn't bother buying it. I've listened to those samples on Amazon, and it sounds like it's better than the second album. But something holds me back.

So now, another album is coming out soon. I just don't know. I'll probably listen to samples on Amazon and then make a decision. Or not.

At any rate, this is how I like to remember Billy:

No comments:

Post a Comment