Come On - 1978-1979
I just imagined a great band. They have the post-punk bravado of Pere Ubu, the nervous energy of the Talking Heads, the minimal funk of Liquid Liquid, the frenetic jangle of The Feelies, the detached, no-star swagger of MARS, the stripped down harsh guitar minimalism of Arto Lindsay in DNA and the idiosyncratic and whimsical lyrical style of Devo. Oh and they look like a monochromatic Modern Lovers that sing about suburbanism and Mickey Mouse.
Ok, so they exist, or existed rather. They’re called Come On and you need to know about them. Like much of music and / or show business, timing is everything. They were around at the right time. 1976-1980 to be exact, playing at the very same venues The Ramones, Blondie, Television and The Talking Heads played at. David Byrne was a fan and he urged Brian Eno and David Bowie to come see them at CBGB, which they did. However Bowie got tired and Eno said they were “too vertical and not horizontal enough”, (whatever that means) which is his reasoning to their dismissal from No New York. They were supposed to get introduced to Art Garfunkel for chrissakes! Garfunkel! (Maybe that was for the best). They even auditioned Patti Smith’s sister Kimberly to sing but thankfully turned her down for the enigmatic and punk-fueled Jamie Kaufman.
Come On did release 2 singles: the surging, carpet-bombing Don’t Walk On The Kitchen Floor and the UK only Housewives Play Tennis. The latter was so mangled that the band never even saw a copy until a member won it at auction on eBay.
With all of that said, Come On is one of the most important underground groups from the late 70’s punk and no-wave scene. We should be talking about them right alongside The Talking Heads and Patti Smith.
While the band has been archived before on CD, this is the first LP collection of their material. Not only does it include both sides of their officially released singles, but it also includes the original masters of their other studio recordings which until now, were pressed from low-grade cassette dubs. Manufactured Records also managed to put together a beautiful booklet with band history and photos. I expect to have this way-up high on my year end list. Truly fantastic stuff! (Dom)
Check out a track here.