Unknown to nearly everyone save the most devoted power-pop and glam aficionados, the Quick were managed by legendary Los Angeles scenester and Runaways cofounder Kim Fowley. Fowley also coproduced the Quick’s one and only LP, Mondo Deco (1976), alongside Earl Mankey, formerly of Sparks — quite notable, since at first listen the Quick come off as slavish imitators of the Mael Brothers.
While tunes like the gimmicky “Hi Lo” (download) definitely have a Sparks-like sound, complete with helium vocals from Danny Wilde, various time-signature changes, and prominent piano, the Quick was truly a glam-pop band at its core. Nowhere was that made more apparent than on the Beatles remake that kicks off Mondo Deco, “It Won’t Be Long” (download). In the Quick’s hands it becomes a theatrical stomper, as slashing guitars and call-and-response vocals take it beyond the basic four-four pop song it was intended to be.
It was difficult to imagine anyone thinking the Quick would take America by storm, especially when the source material, Sparks, were barely able to get arrested here. But perhaps if hook-filled tunes like “Hillary” (download) had been released as singles, the ill-fated quintet would’ve achieved some level of mainstream success. As it were, the Quick were destined to be cult favorites, with devotees clutching copies of the long-out-of-print debut close to their breasts, never to see it issued on CD.
The band did go on to record some demos for Elektra Records in 1977 that failed to ignite any interest; however, those demos did make it to CD as Untold Rock Stories in 2002. One of them, “Pretty Please Me,” was even covered by the Dickies and Redd Kross.
While the Quick never broke through, lead singer Danny Wilde would eventually find success, albeit nearly 15 years later, as the notably helium-free lead singer of the Rembrandts, most famous for recording the theme from TV’s Friends. I’m sure that payday was worth the wait. I’d love to see Mondo Deco be reissued on CD or even as an official digital release, but I’m not holding my breath. Until then, it’s definitely worth hunting down.
No singles charted.
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