Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In last week's rave on The Raveonettes, I alluded to veteran producer Richard Gottehrer. He was also at the controls of the first, and last, album by The Prissteens. The New York City group, featuring three women up front and a male drummer, saw its Scandal, Controversy & Romance album released by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss' Almo Sounds label in 1998. Its blend of '60s girl group pop melodies and '70s punk guitars and attitude was an irresistible combination that helped make the record one of my favourites of that year. In addition to a slew of crunchy and sweet originals, The Prissteens showed their good taste by covering The Merseys' Sorrow (which Gottehrer co-wrote in the '60s and which is probably best known through David Bowie's interpretation on Pinups) and Wreckless Eric's Whole Wide World.
I saw the group headline a show with Tuuli at the El Mocambo in support of the album a few months after its release, and left quite disappointed. The musicianship was sloppy and the joyful pop elements of the CD were few and far between in concert, which leads me to believe that Gottehrer and co-producer Jeffrey Lesser played a very large role in the record. While The Prissteens never recorded another album after Scandal, Controversy & Romance, the group's 13-song legacy still puts a smile on my face whenever I listen to it.

np Professor Longhair - Big Chief

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