Like Badfinger, Big Star and the Scruffs, Dwight Twilley was one of the few icons of power pop who was clearly not new wave. Twilley and his musical partner Phil Seymour were pop classicists who cut their teeth on the Beatles (they supposedly met at a screening of A Hard Day's Night), and while their love of rockabilly and Southern soul added a welcome grit to their music, their ideal wasn't to move music into the future so much as to reclaim rock's noble past, and their best music manages to capture a taste of mid-'70s swagger alongside hooks that would have done any Merseyside boys proud. Twilley and Seymour made their definitive musical statements with their first two albums (and the only two they would record together), Sincerely and Twilley Don't Mind, and the Australian Raven label has reissued these two excellent albums on a single disc. Nearly all of Sincerely was recorded by Twilley and Seymour without any additional musicians, and it's a marvel of studio craft, with the two overdubbing themselves into a tough and emphatic rock band that also knew when to lay back on the moody love songs. Sincerely also features "I'm on Fire," one of the finest pop singles of the '70s and a deserved Top 20 hit. Unlike Sincerely, the songs on Twilley Don't Mind were road tested before Twilley and Seymour went into the studio, and the album sounds livelier and more rocking than Sincerely while still leaving room for other colors from Twilley's impressive song writing palate, though at only nine songs it's less of a good thing than the debut. Raven have also added four rare tracks from a 1993 compilation as a bonus, including the witty and rollicking "Shark (In the Dark)" and the revealing "You Never Listen to My Music," as well as including a well-written liner essay from John Dowler. Anyone who loves '70s power pop should have the two Dwight Twilley Band albums in their collection, and Raven has served them up in fine (and even convenient) form with this release.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming