&ot absonderpop: 50,000 Watts Of Power

Thursday, April 26, 2007

50,000 Watts Of Power

Now, this one's a bit complicated.
Well, the song as such is all but complicated. Two chords (ok, a third one right at the end) and a guy mostly talking.

Roadrunner can be found on The Modern Lovers' only (self-titled) album, which was released in 1976, when the band had long ceased to exist. Jonathan Richman would name his backing band The Modern Lovers for quite some time, but none of the original members were ever part of that. Jerry Harrison had joined Talking Heads and drummer David Robinson had already become a member of The Cars.

I took the effort to track down and (hopefully) correctly identify all versions of this song (with a lot of help from Simes' Jonathan Richman Pages and Daniel Howards Modern Lovers Discography).

All versions (unless otherwise noted)
Jonathan Richman (git/voc)
Jerry Harrison (kb/voc)
Ernie Brooks (bg/voc)
David Robinson (dr/voc)

The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner (LP Version)
March or April 1972, Elektra Studios, Los Angeles, produced by John Cale

The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner (Alternate Version)
March or April 1972, Elektra Studios, Los Angeles, produced by John Cale

The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner #1
June 1972, Dinky Dawson's basement studio, produced by Kim Fowley

The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner #2
Autumn 1973, Gold Star Studios, Los Angeles, produced by Kim Fowley
additional musicians: Mars Bonfire (git)

The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner (live)
1971 or 1972, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, produced by Ernie Brooks
additional musicians: John Felice (git)

The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner (Demo)
Autumn 1971, Intermedia Sound, Boston

Jonathan Richman: Roadrunner (Once)
Spring/Summer 1974, CBS Studios, Fulson Street, San Fancisco, produced by Matthew King Kaufman and Glen Kolotin
Jonathan Richman & Earth Quake [Robbie Dunbar (git), Gary Philips (git/voc), Stan Miller (bg), Steve Nelson (dr), John Doukas (voc), Ron Rhoades (voc)]

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers: Roadrunner (Thrice)
1977, Live
Leroy Radcliffe (git), Asa Brebner (bg) D. Sharpe (dr)

A posting like this one couldn't be complete without a couple of cover versions:
Greg Kihn: Roadrunner
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: Roadrunner
Joan Jett: Roadrunner USA
The Jazz Butcher: Roadrunner
The Jazz Butcher: Roadrunner (live, 1985)
The Jazz Butcher: Roadrunner (live, 2000)
Ace Andres and the X-15's: Roadrunner
Yo La Tengo: Roadrunner
The Feelies: Roadrunner (live)
Sex Pistols: Johnny B. Goode/Roadrunner
R.E.M.: Eight Miles High/Roadrunner (live)
ADZ: Roadrunner

If you happen to have another version of this song, feel free to send it in and I'll include it in this list.

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Blogger W said...

Awesome page! What a wonderful idea.

I'm getting forbidden errors for a few files:




9:01 PM  
Blogger absonderpop said...

Fixed that.
Files should work now.

Thanks, Netzhaut

8:17 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Jonathan Richman AND The Jazz Butcher? Is this heaven?

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Modern Lovers... such a great band!

7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:53 PM  

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