The Plimsouls: Everywhere At Once (1983)

One of several bands I was turned on to courtesy of the stupendous Valley Girl soundtrack.  And of all the songs that kept running through my head after seeing the silly film back in high school, the Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away" made the biggest impression; it's a killer piece of power pop, far more durable and less dated than the movie or most of its soundtrack.  While many of the songs in the film were lighter new wave fare, the Plimsouls tune was heftier, cooler (rivaled only by the Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way," another one that long outlasted the movie).

The rest of the Plimsouls' second album, where "Million Miles" can be found, is pretty damn good as well, even if nothing is quite as stunning as the single.  I'm probably a little partial to their self-titled debut, which was janglier and poppier (and, on CD, appends their excellent Zero Hour EP); Everywhere At Once has a slightly harder edge, more of a Stones/Who vibe than the early Beatles vibe of the prior album. 

My biggest qualm with the record is the sequencing; in my view, the album back-loads a lot of the best tracks.  On the second half of the album, beyond "Million Miles," you've got the killer rave-up "My Life Ain't Easy," the catchy, understated "I'll Get Lucky," and the fantastic title track, which approaches the infectious glory of the single.  Not that the first half doesn't have plenty to offer, most notably the chiming pop of "How Long Will It Take" (a bit more reminiscent of the first album) and the anthemic sing-along "Play The Breaks."  But it's all pretty great, an underappreciated gem of an album.

(The band disbanded shortly after its release, with frontman Peter Case going on to a long solo career; they got back together at the end of the 90s for the underrated Kool Trash, a more polished but still fantastic album worth tracking down.)

Here's the video for "A Million Miles Away":
Here's the title track (need to turn up the volume):
And here's a live take on "I'll Get Lucky":

Comments

  1. Loved this album — power pop with a punch. I saw Peter Case live a few years ago and you’d never know it was the same guy who fronted these guys. He’s certainly mellowed with age and shows no signs of wanting to revisit the past. Seeing the Plimsouls briefly perform live is one of the best parts of the film, followed by the scenes of girls dancing in their briefs.

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