Song Of The Day 6/2/2015: The Idle Race – “The Birthday”

Nuggets Week: Nuggets II gave precedence to the marginally more ornate psychedelia of the “British Empire,” which by that time was more of a British Amusement Park, but it’s the thought that counts. The 2001 box also gave nods of appreciation to Scandinavia, South America and other territories as needed. (For example, Uruguay’s Los Shakers and their wonderful “Break It All.”) There still were moments that stuck to the original Nuggets charter of raw power from centralized garages, but bearing a primarily British approach you also had your more composed Beatles homages.

For example, the Idle Race from Birmingham, who would be worthy of glory for no other reason than first giving the world access to Jeff Lynne. He would eventually join The Move with his friend, the equally brilliant pop shucker Roy Wood, and when that ended the two of them formed Electric Light Orchestra, and with that the soundtrack to about 80% of my teenage trances. But the Idle Race was compact, literate and inspired. Their flights of fancy were believable and sugary, but also had some bite. And you can definitely hear some ELO chords in waiting. “The Skeleton and the Roundabout” made it onto Nuggets II, but I like the more woebegone coming-of-age realization “The Birthday.” I been there. I continue to be there.

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