Various Artists - 2009 Titan: It's All Pop


ARTIST: Various Artists
ALBUM: Titan: It's All Pop.
LABEL: The Numero Group
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: See band lineup below.

TRACK LISTING: See track listing below.

RATING: image


Titan Record's Mark Prellberg and Tom Sorrells did power pop right while doing everything wrong. Based out of the totally un-hip and blue collared Kansas City, Missouri was strike one.

Forming a pop label in said city more comfortable at the time with traditional Midwest favourites Black Oak Arkansas and The Eagles was easily strike two.

Running it out of your house which eventually had to be sold to pay for a compilation LP was the big strike three, and if they hadn't swung for the fences enough, they slowly but surely knocked the music ball out of the park with a brace of stellar power pop 45's.

Their record deals unbelievably were based on nothing but a handshake and trust and from the mid-70's to the very early '80s, Titan among power pop aficionados was ahead of the curve long before The Knack made the genre safe for the masses.

Incredibly hard to find and expensive as heck if your lucky to you're lucky to find 'em, this compilation put together by the Chicago based Numero imprint collects the best of Titan's singles and is a dream come true for long-time fans.

The Songs

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The quality is outstanding. Two digi-packs housed in a slipcase with a huge booklet chock full of rare photos and info, you couldn't ask for better presentation. Now there's lot here to digest here and admittedly not everything is great, but it's pretty damn close.

Of primary interest to Glory Daze readers is hometown heroes Secrets* who were apparently managed by a former member of Morningstar. Their songs, in particular 'Radio Heart', 'It's Your Heart Tonight' and 'Uniform' are too good for words and while I have no idea what the asterisk at the end of their name is all about, their music speaks for itself and were the only band on the Titan roster to sign to a major label, releasing a full-length LP in 1983 on Polydor.

Gary Charlson, the label's first signing moves happily with a sound between Greg Kihn and Shaun Cassidy and his cover of an unreleased Dwight Twilley song 'Shark' is inspired middle American stripped down rock n' roll.

Millionaire At Midnight had it going on as well, supporting bands like BOC and Nektar when they came through town and even made it to California for dates with power pop champions The Rubinoos. Their jolly 'Drink A Toast' is sure to please fans of early Duke Jupiter, but the label picked the cream of the crop from outside the Kansas City area as well.

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The Gems hailed from Michigan and Arlis. called Omaha, Nebraska home. His masterful 'I Wanna Be' sounds like a lost Eric Carmen track, in fact everything he does sounds like Carmen.

Another Nebraska act, The Boys spent time in Minneapolis with concert promoters Schon Productions where they found themselves on week-long upper Midwest stints with REO Speedwagon, Kansas and other big names while recording a couple top rate singles.

Unashamedly influenced by Mersey beat, The Kinks and glam rock, Schon eventually dropped The Boys because they wouldn't change their sound something more akin to Aerosmith. They later found a more welcome home on Titan and every song presented here is a stunner. These guys would have had my vote for the band most likely to succeed. Sadly, it was not to be

In Summary

There's so much more here including ex - Raspberries member Scott McCarl's early demos and when McCarl finished recording his one and only solo album he insisted the then dormant Titan release it.

The superb and oh-so Beatley 'Play On' from 1998 remains Titan's only CD release. Really, I can't recommend this compilation enough and you would have to look long and hard to find a better power pop collection.

Coming out in late 2009, this missed my 'best of the year' list, but would certainly rate at the top if I had picked it up sooner. Beg, borrow or steal this fascinating piece of rock n' roll history with confidence.

Track Listing:

Disc One -Rave Side.
01) Shark - Gary Charlson
02) We're Dancing Again - Boys
03) Baby Don't Laugh - J.P.McClain & The Intruders
04) I Wanna Be - Arlis
05) Radio Heart - Secrets*
06) (Baby) It's You - Boys
07) Drink A Toast - Millionaire At Midnight
08) Rock N' Roll Song - Bobby Sky
09) Uniform - Secrets*
10) Hold Me - Boys
11) Burning In You - Gary Charlson
12) Some - Gems
13) Yesterday's Circles - Boys
14) Night School Girls - Secrets*
15) Didn't Like It Anyway - Gems
16) I'll Get You Back - Arlis
17) I Think About You - Scott McCarl
18) Radio City - Bobby Sky
19) You're Bad Too - Boys
20) The Last Song (Dry Your Eyes) - J.P. McClain & The Intruders
21) Goodbye Goodtimes - Gary Charlson

Disc Two- Fave Side.
01) It's Your Heart Tonight - Secrets*
02) Please Change Your Mind - Boys
03) Real Life Saver - Gary Charlson
04) No Way Baby - Arlis.l
05) Coit Tower - Millionaire At Midnight
06) We're Too Young - Boys
07) I Hope - Scott McCarl
08) Save Your Money - Gems
09) Not The Way It Seems - Gary Charlson
10) On A Night Like This - Boys
11) Just Another Pop Song - J.P. McClain & The Intruders
12) Brown Eyes - Gary Charlson
13) Daddy's Girl - Secrets*
14) The Water - Bobby Sky
15) Tell Me It's You - Boys
16) I Can't Take It - Arlis
17) Cry -Gems
18) Get Your Radio - Secrets*
19) Bad Little Girl - Boys
20) Close Enough - Gary Charlson
21) Good Friends - Arlis.

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