Crepes & Drapes

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By late 1979 and its fifth album, Showaddywaddy had moved so far beyond its original links with the glam rock scene that it was hard to believe the group had ever been considered a part of it -- all the more so since the bandmembers themselves had scarcely altered their own modus operandi in the slightest. Still firmly locked into an updated vision of mid-'50s Teddy Boy chic and still drawing its repertoire from the pre-Beatles rock & roll library, Showaddywaddy was both an absolute anachronism and an unflagging inspiration for a clutch of freshly emergent '50s revivalists -- both the Darts and Rocky Sharpe & the Replays made their own grab for chart glory during 1979, leaving Britain briefly (but convincingly) poised on the brink of a full-scale rock & roll revival. Again. Of course it didn't happen, but Crepes & Drapes, released just in time for Christmas, marched on regardless. The album made the U.K. Top Ten, three singles hit the U.K. Top 40, and if critics complained that the whole Showaddywaddy sound was sounding dreadfully formulaic -- so what? The usual mix of spot-on originals and excellent covers thrilled the people it was meant to thrill, and who could ask for more than that? Versions of "Sweet Little Rock & Roller," "Twist and Shout," and "Come on Let's Go" stand out among the album's revivals -- points also for the skillful Showaddy-izing of Eric Carmen's "That's Rock & Roll." "Remember Then," meanwhile, serves up the latest in the band's collection of achingly nostalgic looks back at the days when rock was young, while the well-packaged 7Ts CD reissue appends two non-LP B-sides that themselves would have sat proudly on the main attraction, "Love for a Star" and "Five Minutes More."

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