The first in a series where we take a band everyone’s heard of â€” whether via constant critical acclaim (the Velvet Underground) or just one huge, annoying hit (um, the Bay City Rollers), yet no one seems to own any of their albums â€” and we tell you why you should like them. Simple enough? Let’s begin!
The Sex Pistols cited them as a serious influence. So did Joey Ramone. And they got to cavort with Witchypoo and H.R. Pufnstuf on their own Saturday morning Sid & Marty Krofft variety show. So why should you like the bubblegum power pop of the Bay City Rollers? Allow us to present the evidence:
Hooks, Hooks, Hooks: Say what you want about their #1 hit, “Saturday Night,” but you must admit it’s an earworm that you can’t escape. In fact you’re probably cursing us under your breath at this moment for bringing it up, since you’ll be singing “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y! NIGHT!” to yourself the rest of the day. Not only was the band adept at picking stellar material, they were quite capable of writing their share of catchy singles themselves, evidenced by other hits (yes, there were a few) like the glammy “Money Honey.” Dig deeper and you’ll find plenty of the sweet power pop candy the Ramones mined for their sound.
Scandal, Scandal, Scandal: Members came and left over the years, thanks to tons of infighting and drug abuse problems. Their drummer was accused of possessing child pornography. The band had financial disputes with their record company, resulting in years of litigation. The upheaval resulted in the band having three leaders singers in less than ten years. If that’s not rock & roll, what is?
Their Crowning Moment: If anything would convince you to reassess the Rollers, it would be how they were able to take a good tune from a little-known songwriter like Tim Moore and turn it into the fantastic rock blast of “Rock & Roll Love Letter.” In just under three minutes, the Rollers destroyed their teeny-bopper image and quite successfully established themselves as a power pop force. Don’t believe us? Listen for yourselves.
For Fans Of: the Sweet, Joan Jett, T. Rex, the Monkees