As must periodically happen, the One for Friday space this week is devoted to carrying the baton forward for the late, beloved (by me, anyway) blog Little Hits. The online space that shared notably obscure songs from a certain era — basically the power pop, post-punk, modern rock tsunami from the late nineteen-seventies to the late nineteen-eighties — was one of my favorite destinations when I first started assembling a pile of music onto a hard drive, building the automated radio station of my most blissful dreams. Besides admiring the taste of the blog’s creator, his selections spoke to a favorite part of my own college radio experience: the sense that some of the dustiest, least-loved passages of the station’s music library contained songs that would have been monster hits in a most just pop culture. What’s more, our station — and, I firmly believe, every station — had acts and songs that may not have gained traction anywhere else, but to us were rock ‘n’ roll deities, albeit somewhat modest ones. Scrolling through Little Hits was like visiting someone else’s realm of duly anointed musical heroes.
I’ll not claim to know anything about “Lovely Crash” by the Dazzlers that I didn’t learn from reading the original post on the site, right before I eagerly downloaded the song. I’m not going to be able to resist a song with punchy guitars and lyrics like “Instant reaction to a newly found friend/ I like the distraction that she brings to my head,” and why would I even want to? It’s a fierce, spectacular single, wearing its British pop sensibility like a row of nickel-sized punk rock pins across the strap of a messenger bag. This is what someone like the Easybeats would have sounded like had they formed a generation later.
The original post also drew some attention that I’m passingly familiar with from my years of weekly One for Friday offerings. In the comments section, various band members, having discovered some attention given to their old, largely forgotten group, chimed in with recollections. Amusingly enough, those memories are somewhat at odds (understandable given the roughly twenty-five years between the blog post and the single it celebrates) leading to a slight digital squabble over whether or not U.K. Subs leader Charlie Harper was ever in the band. There are also a bevy of great details offered up by those band members in the comments (the named the Dazzlers was suggested by one of the band member’s girlfriends, their album was produced by Tommy Erdelyi of the Ramones just like the Replacements’ Tim!). Maybe best of all, the last comment suggests that the former mates may have been able to get back together again, in part because they found each other through the post. This sharing music thing, it has some nice outcomes.
Listen or download –> The Dazzlers, “Lovely Crash”
(Disclaimer: Let’s start with the necessary credit on the sparkly image, which I found on Tumblr, because of course that’s where I found it. And I’m of course sharing this because it is no longer available on the Little Hits site, nor does it appear to me to a single or album that is in print in any way. I can’t even find any of their music available for sale on eBay. It is being shared here with the understanding and belief that it does not impede any commerce that would put money in the pockets of the band members and the proprietor of your favorite local, independently-owned record store. That noted, I will gladly remove the track if asked to do so by any entity or individual with due authority to make such a request.)