Primitons: Happy All The Time (1987)

Yeah, I sure do love me some mid-80s college radio jangle pop. The Primitons fall on the more obscure side of the scale, but their brief run, including an excellent 1985 self-titled EP, a single, and this, their sole LP, is as good as anything else the genre produced. The entire recorded history is collected on a single CD (the out-of-print but worth chasing down Don't Go Away: Collected Works collection).
The Alabama-based band is cut from the same cloth as other Southern bands of the era, like Love Tractor, the Connells, and Guadalcanal Diary (and of course that other Athens band), with pastoral, jangly guitars, while incorporating some more frenetic rhythms reminiscent of the early Feelies or the Bongos.

The album's opening track, "On Or Off The Bus," is shimmering, upbeat pop, with some nice guitar lines; "Deception" is a similarly solid pop-rocker with a radio-friendly energy; "You Are Leaving" is folky, with a nice Feelies-like rollicking feel; and "Happy All The Time" is a gorgeous ballad, like an update to the Youngbloods' "Get Together."  But their best song may be the lead-off track from the earlier EP, "All My Friends," which has a jittery staccato feel that channels Athens' legendary Pylon; truly one of the most overlooked classic tracks of the era.

Here's an audio rip of "All My Friends":
...and an audio rip of "On Or Off The Bus":
Here's a live performance of "Stars" (from the EP):


  1. It's your anonymous pal Ion checking in. Thanks for posting this. I remember playing this record on my college radio station, and haven't heard it since. It was especially great to hear "All My Friends," which was like running into a good friend you had forgotten about over the years. Love those smooth vocals and the Big Black- like guitars. What a song :)


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