Jonathan Richman

Roadrunner, Roadrunner: The Beserkley Collection

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

While Jonathan Richman has recorded for lots of different record labels over the years, both big and small, any fan of his music has to acknowledge the smarts and vision of the tiny Berserkley label, who for many years before the notion of "indie rock" had gained currency were willing to give Richman and his unusual (many would say "strange") musical perspective free reign at a time when he sounded not eccentric but downright freakish. Roadrunner, Roadrunner: The Berserkley Collection culls most of the high points from the five albums Richman and the various versions of his group the Modern Lovers recorded for Berserkley in the 1970s, from the bracing proto-punk of the first Modern Lovers set (recorded in 1973, but unreleased until Berserkley took a chance on the tapes in 1976) to the willfully child-like songs and structures of 1979's Back in Your Life. Offering healthy samplings for each album, this set does an admirable job of tracing the evolution of Richman's style through his first decade, as he moved from teen angst into an innocence that might seem fey if it weren't so passionate and sincere. If you're looking for a detailed introduction to Jonathan Richman's formative era, Roadrunner, Roadrunner hits all the high points, and does a fine job of summarizing a vital era in the life of an influential artist. And just try to imagine what his music and career might have been like if Warner Bros. had actually released that Modern Lovers album they recorded in 1973.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 4:06 Amazon
2 3:00 Amazon
3 4:22 Amazon
4 2:55 Amazon
5 5:31 Amazon
6 3:39 Amazon
7 4:18
8 3:16
9 2:28 Amazon
10 2:17
11 1:42 Amazon
12 2:36 Amazon
13 2:26 Amazon
14 3:38
15 2:25 Amazon
16 3:00 Amazon
17 3:15 Amazon
18 2:48 Amazon
19 2:12 Amazon
20 3:52 Amazon
21 2:51 Amazon
22 2:37 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:03
2 5:42
3 3:18
4 2:29
5 1:51
6 2:41
7 2:46
8 7:28
9 2:03
10 5:28
11 2:43
12 3:17
13 1:57
14 4:07
15 1:58
16 2:13
17 3:01
18 2:44
19
3:09
20 2:51
21 4:43
blue highlight denotes track pick