The Spongetones: Beat Music (1982)

Possibly the best Beatles album the Beatles never recorded.  Long-running power pop purveyors the Spongetones debuted with a stunning ode to pre-Rubber Soul Beatles, catchy Merseybeat tunes that any fan of early 60s British Invasion singles can't help but love.  

Lead-off track "Here I Go Again" is a rousing declaration of intent, a song that wouldn't have sounded out of place on Meet The Beatles (or at least the Rutles' re-interpretation of the Beatles songbook); and the point is driven home with "She Goes Out With Everybody," another Beatlesque tour de force.  Elsewhere the band channels the Zombies ("Don't You Know?") or maybe the Dave Clark Five ("Better Take It Easy").  Only the last song, "Eloquent Spokesman," breaks out of the early 60s mold, sporting a more sophisticated pre-psychedelic pop sound, a little more Revolver or Something Else By The Kinks (by way of XTC).

You can enjoy this purely as pastiche, a batch of faux oldies that never were; or on its own merits as a pretense-free collection of perfect, simple pop songs.  But it's an impossibly infectious little gem that was largely overshadowed by the emerging post-punk college radio scene at the time.

The album was paired with 1984's like-minded (but less doctrinaire) follow-up EP Torn Apart on CD (as Beat & Torn), and it's absolutely a must-have.

Here's the video for "She Goes Out With Everybody":
And here's "Here I Go Again":