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Posted by on Mar 13, 2024 in Music, News, Powerpop |

Paul Collins – Stand Back and Take A Good Look

Paul Collins – Stand Back and Take A Good Look

Paul Collins is back with a new one – a retrospective, really. The album takes the title of its opening track, a Nerves song written back in the day by Jack Lee. As such, it’s the perfect name for an album that looks back on a career that has spanned nearly 50 years. Amazingly, his sound never gets old.

Paul has always had a keen sense of both marketing and context. He was smart enough to assign himself the moniker “King of Power Pop” a few years back – which is fitting. He is part of power pop royalty having been in The Nerves. And if the King of Power Pop decides to look back on his career, it only makes sense to take a few of the genre’s past stars along for the ride. Dwight Twilley, Shoes, 20/20, Richard X Heyman, Prairie Prince and Ronnie Barnett all make contributions.

Back in the days when I used to work for/with Paul, he might occasionally propose a marketing or promotional idea to me. If I doubted him (which was almost never, as I recall) he would be quick to remind me that he had learned his marketing chops from Bill Graham. And time would eventually prove him right. Stand Back And Take A Good Look is yet another example of this marketing prowess. And the tunes are great, too.

Bouncy Power Pop Nuggets

The aforementioned “Stand Back and Take A Good Look” leads things off. “I’m The Only One For You” is the kind of bouncy pop nugget that Collins is known for. “In Another World” is a remake of a PC classic – and its every bit as good today as it was when it was originally released way back in 1992. It’s one of my favorites of his and it has aged extraordinarily well.

While Collins either wrote or co-write most of the songs on the LP, “Will You Come Through” is a Peter Case composition from his days in The Breakaways. “Under the Spanish Sun” is a bit of an acoustic, folky piece. Another twangy highlight, “You Can’t Go Back” is right on the mark, both in its feel as well as lyrical message.

More Than a Pop Pioneer

Its easy to see why the likes of Heyman, Twilley and the others would jump at the chance to participate in a Collins retrospective. In my old neighborhood, they’d call him a “mensch”. I can say that from first hand experience. A few years back, he chose to honor deceased friend John Wicks (The Records) by contributing a track, his time and that of his producer’s to a tribute album. Paul’s contribution was the Wicks penned “Glittering Gold”. He knocked it out of the park. The album also featured Al Stewart, Peter Case and others. You can hear it HERE.

Get Paul Collins’ New LP Here

There’s both new and old in the 12 tracks on Paul Collins’ latest. The bottom line is that it’s all really fun stuff to hear (again). If you need to be reminded why power pop dominated radio (albeit for a very short time), Collins’ wonderfully catchy melodies will do exactly that. You can pick up Stand Back and Take a Good Look at Amazon and Kool Kat Musik.